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Home » Confidence Building, Decision Making, Featured, Goal Setting, Headline, Inspirational, Motivation, Problem Solving, Self Esteem

Choose to Take Action

Submitted by on October 11, 2011 – 12:02 amNo Comment

Author: John Cane

One day a long time ago when I use to skydive, I realized the importance of trusting my instincts and planning ahead.  One of my jump-masters would remind me, “John, the more you know about this sport the less fear you will have.”

Still an amateur, I had many fears about jumping out of a plane.  But on one particular day something in me, call it a gut feeling or instinct, prompted me to ask my jump-master what turned out to be later on a life saving question.  I don’t know why it came to me on that particular day—it just did.

Just before we went up for our jump I asked her, “What do you do when free-falling if ever completely out of control?”  She responded, “Just throw a hard arch.”  For those of you not familiar with this term, it is basically the position you see skydivers in when they are free falling.  Some call it the ‘frog’ position.

The practicality of this position is so your body flows smoothly through the air.  Your belly is your center of gravity—much like how a badminton birdie flows through the air; this keeps you in control and facing the ground.

None the less, I took the information in with a kind of, “Oh, okay” in my head and left it at that.  Later on we all went up for our jump at 11,000 feet.  This was the first jump I had done with two jump-masters at the same time.  If you have never done this before, let me give you an idea so you can get a feel for the experience.

As we approached the drop zone, one jump-master swung the door open.  We were in a small Cessna, so this door swung up with the hinges at the top.  Regardless of the fact that I was wearing a parachute it always scared the you know what out of me because I was sitting about two inches from the opening where the air would rush in and the ground is 11,000 feet down.

At this point we all started to get out and in position to jump, this is with about a 100 mile per hour wind in our face and I think the temperature up there that day was about 45 degrees.  Climbing out of this type of plane was like trying to get out of the back seat of a two-door car.  To say the least, focus is highly recommended.  The first jump-master got out and hung onto the strut of the wing—he just kind of hung there.  Then I got out, wrapped both my hands around the wide strut, right leg dangling, left foot was on a very small step (actually it was more like a rod) which stuck out below the door, then followed my jump-master next to me, sharing the same small step.

We always went on ‘3’, meaning we would count 1-2-3 and then push off the plane backward together.  Now there is a rule when leaving the plane in this manner.  When you push off, you must push off evenly.  What I mean by this is your whole body has to let go of the plane exactly at the same time so the wind can carry you off in a nice balanced free-fall position.

However here is what happened: I was not as focused as I could have been.  I was slightly distracted with having people on each side of me—bad idea.  As we got to the number 3 to push off, I accidentally let go with my left hand a split second before I let go with my right hand and my foot was still on the step.

The 100 mile per hour wind caught my left shoulder and threw me off the plane head over heels.  I was suddenly falling out of control, 11,000 feet from the ground.  All I know is I saw the ground go by, maybe a cloud, the horizon go by and I think one of the jump-masters.  Even though I was completely out of control, one thought came into my mind, “HARD ARCH! HARD ARCH! HARD ARCH! HARD ARCH! HARD ARCH!”  Yes I was yelling in my mind and I am sure I said it more than five times.

No matter what this is all I knew for sure at the time and I continued to hold that hard arch until something hopefully happened (for the better)…and it did, thank God.  I fell about 3,000 feet before the wind caught my body and flipped me over into a free-fall position.  At that point my jump-master flew up to me, yelling REEEELAAAAX!  To some degree I did and managed to finish the jump successfully…with a pretty soft landing I might add.

Sometimes in life you got to trust your gut and just go with it.  I learned that when it is necessary to ask a question, just do it—Ask.   My instincts helped me to plan ahead.  If I wouldn’t have asked, I wouldn’t have known what to do when the time came for me to choose to take action.


About the Author

John Cane  is a motivational speaker who develops and implements confidence and self-esteem workshops in North Carolina, South Carolina, and New York. With a background in Psychology, John has six separate certifications in Personal Growth and Development.


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