A couple days ago, as I was regaling a friend and her 11 year-old daughter with the story of my somewhat less-than-auspicious first and probably last sky-diving adventure, I had an epiphany. But first, a little back story.
When I completed the first edition of my book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, nearly 25 years ago, I was desperate to get away from computers, phones, fax machines and frankly, any research even remotely related to women’s ovaries. So I picked one of the furthest places from Seattle that I could think of to celebrate: New Zealand, of course.
And what could possibly be more out-of-my-comfort-zone than jumping out of a plane from 12,000 feet above earth? Oh yeah, doing so with a complete stranger strapped to my back! I have to say, I think the experience was probably incredible, but I wouldn’t know. You see, the second he gently persuaded me to jump (hell, who am I kidding?) pushed me out of the plane, I felt an immediate searing pain emanating from my inner-back thigh. It turns out that the weight of my body pinched my skin against the harness so hard the whole way down, I could barely focus on the scenery through the tears in my eyes.
After what seemed like an excruciatingly long time, we finally landed in the field below. When my instructor saw my tears, he exuberantly congratulated me on enjoying the experience so much. But when I explained that, actually, I was in incredible pain, he was stunned to learn the reason was my pinched skin. “Why didn’t you just adjust the harness the second you felt it pinching you?”
Um . . . what? You mean, that was an option? I could have just reached down and moved the strap half an inch? I essentially thought that if I would have moved my arm even a fraction of an inch that high up in the sky, it would have sent both of us careening to the earth.
Who knew? So, what did I learn from this experience? Well, nothing really, until I was recounting it to my friend and her daughter and realized that my nightmare was really a metaphor for life:
Whenever you are in a bad situation, adjust first!
It will save you a pain in the ass later on.