Part 2 – The preparation
We were taught in 3 stages: the jump, the freefall, the glide. Each has a number of steps to perform. Easy enough to remember on the ground. But you know it’s going to be different at 4000 m altitude standing in the open door of a plane and then falling at 200 km/h. You know the adrenaline will make you strong and alert, but also stupid.
During waiting times I went over this in my mind, I lay down in the freefall position and repeated the movements. I went over it with Svetlana. The instructors went over it with us. When I hesitated, I asked to go again. I practiced “no hesitation”. Hesitation confuses the instructors and that was unacceptable to me.
During a long wait, I got 20 minutes of half-sleep in the grass. I was confident that I had used my time well during the day. I had to make sure I was fresh for the jump.
Wo why am I so proud? Because my instructors told me I was one of the smoothest learners they had ever had. That’s not natural for me. Things were quite the other way around when I was young. But I made it happen, using the power of my mind.
You, too, can overcome much greater challenges than you might think. Find one! Go and make something happen. Make yourself proud!
PS Svetlana did a tandem jump, sharing a parachute with an instructor. She was as relaxed as ever and welcomed me on the ground with her usual grace and calm. She never ceases to amaze me.