Sometimes facing fear is graceful. For your viewing pleasure, here’s a video of me gracefully facing my fear, plummeting from an 829-foot-high ledge of death in Las Vegas. And by “gracefully,” I mean like if you attached forty lit bottle rockets to the tail of a sleeping feral cat, who pisses himself whenever an ice cream truck drives by.
When it comes to fear, I have one rule: If it scares you, do it. There’s not a whole lot that scares me in this life. Heights are one exception. I’m petrified of them, which is why I’ve jumped out of a plane. Twice. Actually I was more kicked out than anything. Whatever. You say “potato,” I say “scared shitless.” But I did it for the thrill, and as a continuous commitment to allow no fear to control me in this life. To quote Mark Twain,
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
Here’s what I learned about skydiving. You assume that when you jump from 15,000 feet, you’ll feel the drop in your chest, like cardiac arrest, followed by the sensation that your balls suddenly became your toenails. Not true. Since you’re moving at the speed that the plane is flying, at first, the inertia essentially carries you as much forward as it does downward. So it’s more like you’re coasting on air, and you don’t really feel yourself falling.
Here’s what I learned about the Vegas SkyJump. You feel the death drop. Oh yes, like a disconcerting creampie from the Grim Reaper; like one of those life sucking Dementor thingies from Harry Potter. Yes, I used a Harry Potter reference. Like a drunken teenage gazelle who’s stumbled upon thirty days-starved hyenas in the middle of a Coke party. And forget balls becoming toenails. I left my damn balls on the ledge and had to ask the attendant to throw them down to me afterward. And by the way, during the wait, you get to watch a whole shitload of prior jumpers, every last one of whom is prancing off the ledge of death like some dainty fucking ballerina, pirouetting gleefully all the way down, and landing elegantly on tippy toes at the bottom. Obviously these people have had zero fear of falling since their mothers had their Moro reflexes genetically removed. Fucking psychopaths.
Anyway, sometimes facing fear is graceful. This is not one of those times. But I did it, dammit.
If it scares you, do it. Cheers.