Friday, February 10, 2012

Twenty One

In my class, I have been teaching about mechanical interactions.
Things like friction and drag.
And the perfect example of drag is, of course, skydiving.

When I was fifteen or so, I made a promise to myself and my high school best friend that we would go bungee jumping before sixteen and skydiving before twenty-one.
We went bungee jumping in Gatlinburg, Tennessee the summer before I turned sixteen.
Five years later, my twenty-first birthday was creeping up.
So I decided since my twenty-first birthday was on a boring ol' Monday, I would go skydiving the weekend before.
I found some friends who said they would go.
We went to the place, signed the paper work, watched the safety video, but weather was a no go.

My actual birthday, I went to class like a good girl and on my way home noticed the weather looked like perfect skydiving weather.
And in a time before cell phones were flooding our pockets, I drove home to call Skydive Deland.
I got home and the light was blinking.
They had left a message on my answering machine.
I called my friend but she was too busy spending time with her boyfriend.

So I rushed over, alone.
My adrenaline was pumping.
My eyes were big.
I could not quit smiling.
Life was good.
Twenty-one was good.

Of course, I bought the VHS tape of my jump but I have not watched it in years due to the fact it is VHS.
My homeroom (reading) class, who is also in my science classes, were amazed I had been skydiving and asked to watch the video.
And since Fridays are generally more relaxed and my classroom has a tape player, I brought in the video.

Twenty-one year old me.  I have not seen you in so long.
You did not even know that your next birthday would be spent living in New York City.
You had not even fell in love yet. Even though you had a long term boyfriend before this time.
That would happen for the first time later that month.
You had not even traveled to far off places and did not even have a passport.
You had no idea what life would hold for you.
You were mature but yet life was full of surprises still.
Your friend Tom will still be your friend.
You will be a teacher in about ten years.

And you will lose so much.
You will hurt and bleed. And you will scar.
You will be in a serious accident where the unbelievable comes true.
You will be your happiest and your lowest all in six months time.
And you will jump again.


Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

I love the idea that you will jump again.

I hear there are places that will transfer that VHS to DVD for a price. I bet dr google would know where there's one near you.

Thanks for sharing this with me.

Hira Animfefte said...

I have always wanted to do that. I wanted to do that when I turned 25. Couldn't afford it. Then when I turned 30. Couldn't afford it then either...Well, that's because I was headed for Russia and that's where all my money was going.

I guess I'd better start saving for skydiving if I really want to do it.

Good for you for doing it! :)