Wow! Did I really do THAT?
Associate Programs Newsletter #564
I jumped out of a plane at 15,000ft a few days ago. It was a fantastic, awesome experience… except for the bits that weren't.
The worst part was the flight up there.
To your surprise, the Cessna Grand Caravan doesn't have any passenger seats. About a dozen of you – jumpers, instructors and photographers – are sitting on the padded floor in two rows, with your legs spread wide so another guy can squeeze in close.
Your instructor is sitting behind you. You can feel him attaching his gear to yours. Your webbing is yanked and tightened.
The little plane seems to take forever to get up to 15,000ft. You have 15 minutes to sit there thinking about the fact that soon you're going jump out into nothing, nearly three miles high.
The plane is noisy, so hardly anyone attempts to talk. I'm thinking: “Why did I agree to do this?”
And why did my instructor, Greg, hurry ahead and put me into the plane first, telling me I'd be the last one out? Do they put the person who's most likely to panic in that position?
I look around the plane. Is anyone panicking? The young guy next to me looks frozen like a statue, glassy eyed.
Instead of staring at him, I hoist myself up and look out the nearest window.
BIG mistake. We're close to a mountain range – New Zealand's Remarkables – and I'm looking down on a snow-capped mountain.
Oh heck! A wave of vertigo hits me. I can feel my heart pounding and I'm gasping for air. And I'm at the front of the plane, nowhere near the door yet.
“It's OK,” I try to convince myself. “It's a tandem jump with an experienced instructor. It's OK. You can do this. Relax.”
I force myself to do deep breathing.
I breathe in very slowly, silently counting “One.” I breathe out slowly, “Two.”
It's a relaxation technique I use sometimes if I can't get to sleep. If I do it correctly, it's so boring I eventually fall asleep.
I tell myself, “Think only about your breathing. Nothing else.”
As we keep climbing higher, and eventually level off at 15,000ft – that's nearly 3,000ft higher than New Zealand's tallest mountain, Mt Cook – I keep doing my deep, slow breathing.
It's working. I'm going to be OK.
My instructor and I scrabble awkwardly to the open door and I sit on the metal edge with my legs dangling in the air, my hands holding on to the webbing at my chest as instructed. I'm still doing my deep, slow breathing, still trying to think of nothing else.
We're nearly 3 miles high. This is insane. Don't think about that! One, two, One two…
I don't look down. I look straight out into wispy clouds and I'm amazed to discover that my deep breathing has calmed me down enough so I feel OK. Stunned and frozen in place like a sitting statue maybe, but OK.
We sit on the edge for a few seconds… A few seconds more… Then Greg leans into me and we topple out.
For a few moments we're upside down. All I can see is white cloud. Was that supposed to happen? Is everything all right?
We keep tumbling and suddenly, through the clouds, I can see green land far, far below.
We're hurtling down at maybe 124 miles per hour. An icy gale is racing up my nostrils. In spite of the goggles, my eyes are watering and my view is blurred.
We freefall for 60 seconds. In all that time, just about the only things I think about are the icy air going up my nose and the fact that I'm trying to keep my mouth shut to stop my gums from flapping. I paid $400 for this!
Then there's a “Whoosh,” and a jerk as the parachute opens. My eyes clear and I can see again.
Now there's no sense of falling. We seem to be floating in the air.
We're high above some of the most fabulous scenery in the world – Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range near Queenstown in New Zealand.
“Are you OK?” Greg asks.
“Fine,” I say, and I'm surprised to discover I AM fine. I really do feel good. The view of mountains and lakes and greenery is absolutely awesome and I don't feel scared at all.
Charles Lindbergh described this state as exhilarated calmness.
“What a way to make a living,” I say.
I'm not even down on the ground yet and I'm eager to try ballooning, so that I can float up there for much longer.
After the 1 minute of freefall, it takes about another 4 minutes for us to float down to earth.
Greg does this all year long, 10 jumps a day. I ask questions and tell him my wife doesn't know I'm doing this. I'm more talkative than usual, hyped up on adrenaline.
The land races to meet us faster than I expect and I'm too slow to react. Instead of landing on my feet I collapse on top of him.
It's painless. It's all good. I'm grinning from ear to ear.
My legs are a bit rubbery, but I'm feeling wonderful.
Here's the outfit I went with…
No. Unfortunately, they don't have an affiliate program.
I'm really glad I did it.
Sometimes to get good things out of life, you have to move out of your comfort zone.
Are you stuck in your comfort zone?
What sort of year is 2014 going to be for you?
Is this the year you're going to leave the job you hate? I did that, years ago, thanks to affiliate commissions. It CAN be done.
Right now, you probably have more knowledge than I did when I started online. I knew so little I had to go to night classes to learn very basic computer skills.
Take one step at a time. You may be able to achieve a lot more than you expect. I surprised myself. You can, too.
I won't try to kid you. Affiliate marketing is a tough, competitive industry. But remember the big picture… It's a multi-BILLION-dollar industry. An awful lot of affiliates are succeeding, even if you're not one of them yet.
The lifestyle rewards can be amazing. Joanna and I spend summers in New Zealand and winters in Australia. Sometimes I look back on my life and think, “Wow! Did I really do that?”
You may not want to spend $400 jumping out of a plane, but I'm sure that you can think of other things you'd like to have.
But first, to achieve the results you want, you may need to create new habits. For example, get out of bed an hour earlier each day, and put in one hour of solid research before the rest of the world wakes up.
Examine what you're doing now. Is there a realistic chance of succeeding with the site you're working on? Can you improve it or is it time to make a fresh start with a brand new idea?
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Thought for today: Butterflies
“You may never get rid of the butterflies, but you can teach them how to fly in formation.” – Author Unknown.
All the best