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Fear - A Fantasy or Reality? (Part 1)

There I was, another spot in the large sky. A space so vast that all my problems seemed much smaller than they actually were. Often, fear grips us so tightly that we get accustomed to living with it. We hold the fear closer to our hearts, the comfort soothes us somewhere. We tend to tell ourselves we can never do it. We believe it. The fear takes over.

What is fear? It is a combination of our preconceived notions? Something that is taught to us by our parents, teachers, or people closely associated with our lives? Is it a fear of the unknown that we allow to loom before our eyes? Like the dark clouds that can quickly engulf a bright sky, fear can encompass our mind, body, and alter our thought patterns.

We hold the fear closer to our hearts, the comfort soothes us somewhere.

I’ve had my share of fears. I’ve faced them myself. This time, here I was tumbling through the sky, with a professional who taught me so much. It just took one tandem skydiving jump. To unlearn and learn new things about life.

I’d like you to meet Rod, a Tandem Master and one who has mastered this skill since the age of 18. Rod, currently 56 years, has completed 15,000 skydiving jumps since 1980 and is a force to reckon with. I’d had the opportunity to take the plunge with this impressive personality. I’m sharing snippets of our conversation here.

Breezy Conversations with Rod (Tandem Master, Abel Tasman)

Dr. Paras: How do you motivate people?

Rod: I’ve always felt motivation lies within. A person can feel motivated only if he/she is curious about exploration. This exploration can be about the self, the environment, and more. One needs to empty the mind of all thoughts, beliefs, and opinions about self. Every time I come across a person who wants to opt for tandem skydiving, I can view two emotions. There is fear, and the presence of curiosity as well as excitement. At this point, a clear mind ensures a person can see the path ahead.

Dr. Paras: What are the 5 tips you’d like to share with people who are about to take the jump at a high altitude, with the door flung open, peering into the depths of the world?

Rod: It’s natural to feel a little nervous here. As I am highly trained, I ensure their doubts are cleared and I give them the right guidance to take the jump. I’d like to share some points:

  • Do not think about what skydiving is. Overthinking is totally not needed here.
  • Always be relaxed and prepared.
  • Follow the instructions I have shared with you. These instructions are useful for your journey of life. These are instructions based on the experiences of people who have jumped with me. It’s about their observations and challenges as well.
  • Please ask questions. Do not be afraid as you have to clear your doubts. You need to have complete clarity before you opt for this experience.
  • Most importantly - learn to smile and enjoy the experience. Life is about the moments and this is a new moment. We need to be mindful about the experience.

Dr. Paras: What is the mantra of your life? Work on your thoughts, and push fear away.

Rod: I’d like to borrow a line from Nike - Just do it! Do not allow fear to come in the way. Do not allow your mind to control you. Work on your thoughts, and push fear away. Never allow disability to come in the way. I strongly feel you are never too old or too young. The misconception about the right age is untrue. It’s all in your mind. Choose to use it wisely.

Dr. Paras: How long have you been associated with Abel Tasman (Inflite)?
Rod: It’s been a wonderful journey of 7 years! I don’t know how time flew by!

I leave the lush green fields as a completely refreshed person. Rod’s personality and strong vibes truly embody the strength of his mind and mental makeup.

Do stay tuned to my next blog where I share my experience about fear and what tandem skydiving has taught me.

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