Chapter 14

Are You In, or Aren’t You?

Have you ever received a gift from a friend, family member, or other such generous person and realized upon opening it that you just didn’t like it? Years ago I received a Christmas present from my girlfriend at the time. It was . . . special. She made me wait to open it last. She told me it was her favorite gift and the one she was most excited about giving me. It was wrapped nicely, about the size of a piece of paper, and I had no idea what it was. I eagerly unwrapped it and realized that it was a gift certificate—and not just any gift certificate. It said, “You are hereby entitled to one free skydiving adventure!”

I remember looking at her and thinking, did I ask to jump out of a plane for Christmas? She said, “Isn’t it great? Aren’t you excited?” I was not really all that fired up about the idea, but when I expressed my lack of enthusiasm she said, “Come on! I’ve jumped out of a plane twice, and I’m a girl! You aren’t going to let a girl outdo you, are you?”

“Um, yes, actually,” I thought. “I think I’m cool with that!” She gave enough, well, encouragment, until finally I agreed. I don’t think there is a better illustration of taking action than what I experienced on that adventure.

When we arrived at the skydiving airport about two hours from my home, I was escorted into a room where I was shown a video of a lawyer. He shared with me that what I was about to do was very dangerous and that they had no insurance—zero, zip, nada. In order ...

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