Risky Business

Yesterday I went on adventure.  Now this might not seem like a huge deal, but I lead a boring life.  My friends like to joke that I’m a grandma – mind you I am a 22 year old, college senior.  But I go to bed between 10 and 11 every night, I loom knitt and my car is an Oldsmobile.  You get the picture.  Well my life, at times can be and seem rather boring.  I get up, go to school, go to work, come home and cook dinner, do homework and then go to bed.  There are a couple of alterations that happen to my schedule throughout the week but I think you understand my point… my life can get boring.

Well a few weeks ago through some circumstances I found a certificate to IFLY in my hands and I had to decide whether I was going to give it away to someone or if I would experience it for myself.  I decided to make an adventure out of it and so I called and booked my flight.

Now you may be wondering what IFLY is; IFLY is an indoor skydiving experience where you get the experience of flying without the heights or having to deal with a plane.  I had never heard of anything like it until this past Fall a friend told me about it and I looked it up.  There are a couple of different locations across the US where you can experience IFLY: Seattle, Hollywood, San Francisco, Orlando and Utah.

Okay well back to the adventure… I schedule my flight for 10:00 at night so that my roomie could come with me – it ended up being a roommate date adventure!  And boy was it an adventure from the ride there to the flight through the ride back home!

The Ride There:

Well anyone who knows me well knows that I don’t especially relish driving at night in LA especially when I’ve never driven where I’m going.  At night I have to work 10 times as hard to drive because of the contrast between the dark and the car lights.  My depth perception during the day can be a problem but at night, oy vey!  Well, of course since we were driving right into LA to Hollywood there was traffice and crazy drivers everywhere… then my GPS tells us to get off the Freeway into what seems the middle of nowhere.

Kortni voiced the question we both are thinking: are we going the right way?  We have no idea, neither one of us has ever driven to Universal Studios so we just keep driving.  After a while we begin to recognize our surroundings and then we see the sign: “Universal Studios straight ahead.”  We had almost made it.  We continue to follow the signs, pull up to the entrance for Universal Studios Citywalk and pull into Vallet Parking – that’s right! Vallet Parking! hehe I bet my dirty Oldsmobile was the best car they had ever parked ;)  I handed my keys over and we walked into Citywalk.

Univesal Studios Citywalk:

Once we got to Citywalk and I was signed in at IFLY my roomie and I had our second adventure of the night.  We explored Citywalk!  We browsed in shops but mostly the adventure was people watching.  If anyone can explain why there are so many girls in short dresses and high heals at the beginning of a theme park please feel free to let me know because when I go, I put on my walking shoes!  The best moment of our Citywalk adventure was that we witnessed two teenagers begin walking incredibly close behind two complete strangers and begin dancing and then abrutly walk away.  The best part was no one else saw!! Those two are destined for greatness.

And then we got back to IFLY right in time for me to have my “class,” suit up and then fly!  As with any skydiving experience, your time at IFLY begins with a class.  Which is actually just a 5 minute video introducing you to the hand signals your instructor will use during your flight.  Then we got suited up!  I thought it was mildly amusing that the instructor had to “size” everyone up and pick out what flight suit and helmet would fit us.  We put our suits on, our ear plugs in, googles and then helmet on and we were ready to go!

During my adventure I made some friends.  Nancy, a chatty fellow flyer.  Matt, my funny instructor.  and Henry…Harold….Harvey?, a “professional” flyer who hit on me the WHOLE time I was there (is it bad that I completely forgot his name within 2 minutes of meeting him?! woops!).

We then went out to fly!  I am not sure that I will be able to explain with words how amazing it was to feel like you are flying.  I was a little nervous as I waited for my turn and watched my fellow flyers.  For one thing, Matt literally had to man handle some of the flyers – to control how you were flying and where you were at in the wind he would hold onto your arm and your thigh.  Let’s just say I was never a cheerleader or a wrestler for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest was that I have never wanted to be man handled.  The second thing that I was nervous about was that I would look like an idiot, that I wouldn’t be able to control my body and thus my flight.

Since I’m talking about looking like an idiot: Kortni and I had been watching the flyers a little bit before I went into my class and we wondered if anyone ever peed while flying.  Not sure why we thought that but we did.  So right before we get ready to go in, Kortni decides to tell Matt, who we had been joking with, to be careful because I would most likely pee.  We then told him about our wonderment about if anyone ever peed while flying and how we had decided that if it happened they could just say “Oops, we’ve got a wet one!” and then they could gracefully “throw” them out of the tunnel…. Matt told us afterwards that he was hoping I would pee so he could do that because it would have been funny.  Sadly (for him) I definitely did not pee while flying!

As soon as I was in the wind tunnel both those thoughts disappeared.  All I could think about was how amazing it felt to have air flowing past you, holding your weight up in the air… and then Matt grabbed me and up we went!  We went up and dropped down, up and dropped down!  I spun around and around as we went up and down!  I couldn’t help it but I giggled in delight!  I couldn’t close my mouth for more than two seconds as wave upon wave of pure delight erupted out of me!  I laughed, screamed and couldn’t get enough!  My fellow flyers told me that they could hear my laughter the most above the sound of the wind.

 “Hey Look! I’m flying!”

Above is a picture of me flying with Matt my instructor making funny faces behind me!  If I could encourage everyone I know to go and try it I would.  It was something that I could do every day and never get bored!

The Ride Home:

On the ride home we laughed about the people we had met, the guys who hit on me, my instructor who was a really cool guy as well as having an amazing job.  She gave me a hard time about getting hit on and then told me about the guys who had creeped on her as she waited and then watched me.  We talked about the people we had seen as well as met.  Right before getting into the our car we had seen a guy and a girl getting out of a car at the vallet parking.  The girl had tried to wear what seemed to be a longer shirt as a dress without leggings but the shirt definitely was not long enough it wasn’t working so well for her.  After getting into the car Kortni told me how she saw the girls whole backside as she was getting into the car – talk about a wardrobe malfunction!  We laughed uncontrollably the whole way home!  We talked about our adventure, our lives and so much more!

I realized something after my adventure and that is that we are made for more than the mundane and ordinary.  That we are called to experience life and life abundantly in Jesus and part of that means enjoying that life that He has given to us!  Sometimes I hide behind my gramma persona because it’s safe – but it can also be boring.  Learning to truly live is risky, it means putting yourself out there and experiencing the new and unknown.  But, if last night taught me anything it was that often putting yourself out there to experience the unknown is worth it because there is nothing that will compare.

I am now convinced that I am called to adventure.  Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit” experienced adventure and then he wasn’t satisfied to live his life in the Shire.  Well the same can be said of me, I have experienced adventure and through that life and I will not be satisfied with anything lessThe world is my oyster, Adventure awaits and I am ready!

What will my next adventure be?

Maybe I will actually go Skydiving? I might try to Rock Climb? Maybe check out some Laughing Yoga?  Whatever my next adventure is I sure am excited for this life that God has called me to live and to enjoy!

Ask God what adventure He has for you – then go out and do it!  Really start to live life!


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