Kaitlyn Staats: A Leap of Faith
This summer, I jumped out of an airplane. The jump itself didn’t take the whole summer, though. I also drove to the skydiving center, got strapped into my gear, took a shuttle to the take-off site, climbed into the plane, and watched as I ascended 13,000 feet into the air. Sitting on the edge of the plane felt like an eternity. Time froze as my feet dangled out of the plane at the peaceful scope of the world below me. And then, I jumped.
I had many opportunities to decide against jumping. First of all, I could have decided not to sign up for skydiving at all. I could have decided not to drive to the center on the day of my appointment, and I could have decided to leave at any point during the hour wait before the jump. Most significantly, though, I could have decided not to jump from the plane.
Deciding to not commit to my journey would have prevented me from getting to partake in the most thrilling experience of my entire life. Turning back at any point would have stopped me from experiencing the true courage and bliss that came with this life-changing opportunity.
Here is what I learned:
- Being informed is helpful, but sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith. For every 100,000 skydives, 0.28 are fatal (USPA). You have a higher chance of injury or fatality from simply crossing the street. Research your path and weigh the benefits.
- If you want something badly enough, there is very little keeping you from acquiring it. Want to run a marathon? Training starts today. Want to get hired at your favorite company? Connect with company staff on Linkedin and schedule interviews to learn more about what they do. Your drive and ambition will push farther than you realize.
- The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Possibly one of the most famous quotes in history, Franklin D. Roosevelt wasn’t lying when he proclaimed this line in his inaugural address. Fear is truly the killer of dreams. I felt so scared in the hours (and even minutes) leading up to my big jump. But, when I let all of that fear go at the edge of the plane, I was liberated in the most exciting way possible.
When you make a decision despite fear and let your drive and ambition overpower your worries, you are creating your own destiny. You can do anything you want to do and go anywhere you want to go, with a simple decision to begin and not let fear stray you.
Committing to a path is a series of decisions. There are many opportunities to succumb to fear or whatever may stand in your way. Doing anything new can be scary, but so is strapping into a harness and climbing into an airplane with the knowledge that you will soon fall thousands of miles out of it. If you want those moments of bliss at the end strong enough, the desire overcomes the fear. And then, you are unstoppable.