Conquering airborne school adversity is just like life.
I had jumped out of the 34-foot tower over 4o times and had never jumped correctly more than twice in a row. The tower simulates a C-130 transport plane; I was an ROTC cadet at the time, elected by my classmates to attend airborne school. It was an honor — but I needed to do it correctly five times in a row. There was no opportunity to cycle through a repeat week and the thought of facing my classmates without airborne wings was unimaginable.
I was down to my last jump and the August summer was oppressive. Between the heat, the sawdust from the work-out area and soreness from all the physical activity, I often wonder what drove me to finally succeed. I grew up in a middle-class family and had not really known any adversity up to that point. Yet, in the face of my fear of heights and past failure, I made the fifth jump.
Regardless of your position in life, there will be some point in time where you will face adversity. Sometimes we live up to the challenge and other times we do not. In my experience though, when we fail, the lesson somehow repeats until we get it right. Fear, shame and failure are constant companions along life’s journey — the more we figure out how to dance with these feelings, the greater our success.
For me, airborne school was a life-changing event. Looking back, I am proud of my airborne wings and status as a five-jump chump. I learned that I could do things even when there was no evidence to support it. Go for your dreams and learn to dance!
Samuel Becket stated, “Ever tried, ever failed, no matter, try again, fail again, fail better!” If you want more information or help achieving your dreams, please sign up at coachtoachieve.com