AwareNow: Issue 18: The Outside Edition

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Page 41



DESPITE DISCOMFORT JUST DO IT It was a Saturday morning when my roommate Brandon walked in.

“Hey Lex, let’s go sky diving.” He’s really asking me this, again? Each time he asked me, I declined.

“No Brandon, not doing it.”

“Brandon, I would never!”

“Brandon, black people don’t sky dive.”

“Nah man, there’s no way I’m doing that.”

But, on this Saturday, he continued. “Come on Lex, let’s go sky diving. This is the day!”

Brandon and I have been good friends for a while now. We roomed together in the lead up to the 2012 Paralympic Games. He was injured overseas fighting for our country, but he found Paralympic sport and decided to train full time for London. There was never a dull moment between the two of us.

“So, are we going to do this?” he asked. I could mentally see a huge smile on his face from ear to ear.

For some strange reason I said yes. “Alright, let’s do it.” We were going to jump out of a plane at 13,000 feet.

Doesn’t that sound fun?

Brandon and I hopped into his F-150 and we traveled to Sky Dive San Diego.

It’s literally about 5-10 minutes away from the Olympic training Center, the facility where we spend most of our days.

I sat in the passenger’s seat thinking to myself, what in the world am I getting myself into?

There’s no turning back now.

The F150 pulled into the Sky Dive San Diego parking lot.

“You ready for this?” Brandon asked.

“No, but let’s hurry in before I come back to my senses and change my mind.”

The two of us walked inside and began the process. We first pretty much signed our lives away. If anything happened, Sky Dive San Diego was not liable. What can go wrong at 13,000 feet in the air, right?

We watched a video outlining other pertinent pieces of information for the big jump. I am accustomed to jumping into sand, but there wouldn’t be any of that involved. This was a big jump into the sky. Brandon and I were introduced to a trainer who gave us hands-on guidance on our position when jumping out of the plane. Just to clarify, we would be jumping tandem with a qualified specialist so that was a relief. I love Brandon and all, but this was his first time too - I definitely wasn’t going to jump tandem with him. 41 AWARENOW / THE OUTSIDE EDITION