What Skydiving Taught Me About Curiosity

It was one of the scariest moments of my life, when the person ahead of me on the airplane went to the door – and jumped.

And then it was my turn.

Believe it or not, I didn’t go skydiving for the adrenaline rush. But a friend of mine had been talking about it, and talking about it, and talking about it, until I finally asked, “WHAT is so fascinating about skydiving?”

And he answered, “It’s so peaceful.

*Puzzled look.*

Well, then I was curious. And I had to go.

So I jumped with two instructors at 15,000 feet. Now, Mt. Rainier is only fourteen thousand and something feet high. We jumped at 15,000 feet.

Nobody told me how NOISY it would be in freefall! Imagine being in a car with the windows open going 120 miles an hour. Only there’s no car.

But once the parachute opened – that beautiful parachute – everything got quiet. And it was peaceful. It was my favorite time of day, too – sunset. It was beautiful.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it hasn’t killed me. I learned that day that if I allow myself to follow my curiosity, I often get an unexpected bonus. In this case, the bonus was this: Now when I have to do something scary, I can say, “Pffft. I can do that – I’ve jumped out of an airplane!”

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

What unexpected treasures have you discovered by being curious?

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9 Responses to What Skydiving Taught Me About Curiosity

  1. LaVonne Ellis October 25, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    What a great story, Susan! I’ve never heard anyone describe what it’s actually like — the noise, and then the quiet. It does sound inviting!

    My unexpected treasure, lol: my first child. Yes, I was curious about sex!

  2. Susan October 25, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    Ah, unexpected treasures come in many forms! Thanks for sharing, LaVonne!

  3. Michael Broom October 27, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    I still don’t get jumping out of perfectly good airplanes! You’ve got more courage (or less good sense) than I do.

    Anyway, why do you think curiosity has gotten such a bad rap?

  4. Susan October 27, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    Hi Michael,

    I suppose I could say the same thing about jumping off of perfectly good boats. 🙂

    I think curiosity gets a bad rap for several reasons. One I’ve addressed in other posts, that it can be scary to be curious, to admit we don’t know. Another is because there are two kinds of curiosity – the open-minded kind, and the nosey kind. I’ll be delving further into that in another post soon!

  5. Walter October 27, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    How I wish I could experience skydiving, I feel that through it I will know the feeling of flying. 🙂

  6. Susan October 27, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    Hi Walter,

    Thanks for visiting, and for commenting. I never appreciated, until my skydiving experience, the difference between the free-fall portion and the para-gliding portion. They are very different and appeal to different people for different reasons.

    More than anything, I respect your curiosity about it. Thanks for visiting, I hope you will come back.


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