When I was in the hospital, November 1 was the date I’d set as a goal to be back in the air. I had/have hopes of perhaps even making it into the 100 way wingsuit world record on November 7.
Today, November 1, I donned my wingsuit, exited the Otter, and flew towards the sunset over the Ortega mountains. It couldn’t have felt much more sweet than the air I tasted on this 124 second flight from 13.5k. Not my best performance, but far from my worst. It marks the end of one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long while.
My rig has been known for giving me some nasty hesitations with its 6′ bridle and 24″ pilot chute, so I swapped out the PC from my Voodoo rig, and installed a 9′ bridle and 30″ pilot chute. A sweet opening, and I was on the ground along with the aircraft. Damn…that was nice.
I flew west towards the Ortegas, listening to Alter Bridge during my flight. There is something special about “In Loving Memory” when I fly, I suppose it’s a time I feel most close to my son. I can’t help but think his spirit lives within me as I fly.
When I turned south along the foothill road, I had some exhilaration when I looked at my altimeter and saw I was still above 8000 feet! My last turn took my down Corydon street (the road that leads to the DZ) and I could see my favorite taco shop down below. MMMMM…I knew what I wanted to eat in celebration of this day. As I made this last turn, Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love” dropped in, and it was smooth, sweet, and soft as I contemplated what this jump really meant to me. I’m back in the sky because of being loved and having the opportunity to love someone else. There is no other explanation for how fast I have been able to reach this ridiculous goal.
So, here I sit with a glass of red wine, kicking back and thinking about the past few months, grateful they’re behind me. Grateful for the thousands of well-wishers, grateful for my close loved ones, grateful that I’m alive and able to experience the air again. I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of missing out on life experiences.
It doesn’t get much better than this weekend, this moment….
Remember: Fear Zero.