True, it is no surprise to most of our followers that I am always out seeking, exploring and biting off adventure in big chunks. So when we were back in Moab last week to kick off the summer season, why did everyone freak out? Probably because this time we chose to get high – in the sky that is 🙂
First a little back story. Endurance Town USA is a team of values-driven people who spend their lives exploring and telling stories about people who are CRUSHING IT in life. By way of Outdoor Adventure and Endurance Sports, we move around the country finding places and humans who best represent what real living means to us. We believe that the outdoors, adventure and endurance sports transform lives and communities.
So each season we pick a place or two to discover and share with you – in hopes that these stories will inspire you to get off your butt, grab your friends and get OUTSIDE into the real world. We want you to sweat, breathe, taste and feel what real living is like. That is why our summer season had to kick off with getting HIGH. We felt it would be the best if we gained and shared perspective from above the clouds.
Our day started out like all others, in search of the best espresso and human nutrition in town, at Main Street’s Moab Garage Company. No, we did not get our oil changed but yes, we did fuel up on kick-ass Americanos, gluten free avocado toast and gourmet breakfast burritos. Caffeinated and fed we headed 15 minutes north of town to the airport to meet up with Keith, owner and pilot at SkyDive Moab. We were stoked to see the great turn out of other altitude junkies, all gathered round, game for an adventure. Since this year I turn #FierceAtFifty, my wingman and Endurance Town USA producer Travis Ford opted out of diving and let me chip away at my 50th birthday bucket list.
Right away I felt super comfortable, deispite the fact that I was about to do something totally nuts. The team at SkyDive Moab was legit. There were as many staff as there were jumpers and we all had to sit through a training video and gear class to ensure we had all the required knowledge. We even got to watch the crew packing parachutes and had time to see the team before us land near-by to get fired up!
When it was our time, Travis and I, along with 2 film crew and 4 other divers plus their tandem coaches, boarded the clean new plane and headed up with pilot Keith. We watched in awe as the desert sand canyons got farther and farther away while we went to 5,000, 7,500, then 10,000 feet up in the air. The views were UNREAL and frankly I could have just hung out up there all day. But hell no, when we hit 13,500 feet we were all given the high fives for action.
Oddly enough I was not scared – even though I am afraid of heights. I had been tandem paired with pro stunt man and world record holder Sketchy Andy and aera film man @moabjoe423 (both pictured above). @SketchyAndyLewis had thoroughly checked my gear and briefed me oin the exact sequence of events so as we shimmed towards the open door all I focused on was my breath. For about 30 seconds I sat with my legs dangling out of the plane staring straight down into the Moab desert I love so much. Of course, Sketchy was behind and attached to me so I felt the comfort of both his strength and experience. He rocked us while counting one, two, THREE, then pushed us out of the plane effortlessly and into the great blue sky.
What happened next was like slow motion. Yes, we were free falling from 13,500 feet at speeds of 100+ MPH but it was a dream state. I scanned the horizon, then the vast desert landscape and everything in between. I was overcome by the beauty of our Earth and the warm embrace of the sky. Never in my 50 years have I seen or felt the love for our Earth like in that moment.
@moabjoe423 was falling with us and filming. He got close and grabbed my hand, rotating us in circles. About half way down Sketchy pulled the parachute and we stopped falling and started floating. He let me pull the reins and move us right, then left. There were a few others diving too and so we caught up with them hooting and hollering. I screamed, “This is what Fierce at Fifty looks like, people! WOOHOO!”
Within minutes we were closing back in on the airport landing strip and Sketchy guided me on how to lift my buns then legs and feet for landing. Smooth as silk we glided into the field and popped upright as he grabbed our parachute and slung it over his shoulder. I was ECSTATIC. I was high as a kite, literally. All at once I was filled with emotions of joy, love, power and connectedness to the Universe. I felt ALIVE!
Upon walking back to the hanger and talking to my patient husband, friends and other divers, I felt a wave of adrenaline wash out of me and peace flow in. We all shared our experience and in talking with pilot Keith (pictured), diver Sketchy and aero filmer Joe afterwards I could easily see how this could be a weekly thing. It put life in perspective FAST.
We headed off to celebrate at the Moab Brewery over a few cold ones and some hot nachos – recovery fuel of champions. Hosed off and chilling on the patio looking up at the La Sal Mountains, I felt ready for a nap. I realized then that we flew up and then jumped out HIGHER than the La Sal Mountains! Back in the warm desert’s arms, gazing up at the fluffy clouds, our adventure started to sink in a bit deeper. People were now texting and commenting on how NUTS that was to do and caused me to pause and consider why I did it.
Truth? To recalibrate my mind and spirit. To go above my world and see beyond the daily grind. To stare risk right in the eyes and say I HAVE NO FEAR.
Indeed, the raw unfiltered perspective gained by taking the risk, jumping into the thin air (or into life), diving straight towards Mother Earth (our your goals) and then floating carelessly through the landscape (flow) changes you. Self propelled motion through nature changes you.
Being around people and places who inspire you changes you. And for me, change means never-ending growth and endless possibility.
*Watch the full experience (created by Skydive Moab) below*