When I was 18, I decided to jump out of a plane at 8,000 feet in the air. It changed my life because I take the mantra every day with me “If I can jump out of a plane, I can do this.” 

            Skydiving was something I always wanted to do, but my family did not see the thrill in it. I found an opportunity while attending an aviation school in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and I took it. I flew my co-pilot and I to the skydive facility, went through safety training, harness fittings, and then received a walk through of the entire process. From there, we walked down the runway to the plane. I met my tandem partner, and we stood connected by the plane door until we arrived at 8,000 feet in the air. The most intimidating part was walking onto the wing of the plane. Then, we slowly leaned off the wing into the clouds.

            Euphoria came over me as I realized nothing else in that moment mattered except how I felt. My body was free falling at 100+ mph for less than a minute, but it felt like eternity. Soon, we came to a point where the parachute opened and I felt a huge tug on my body catching my momentum. From there, we slowly floated down for 3-4 minutes until landing on solid ground. Nothing but a smile was on my face as I realized, “I did it”.

            I sent my family the complete video of me falling out of the sky upon landing, and at first they were not happy. A few days later, I found them all showing the video to their friends and explaining how proud they were of me. From there, I have been able to step outside of my comfort zone and accomplish spectacular things such as flying a plane alone, scuba diving at night, surfing in the ocean, and even competing in pageants. These are all things I did not see myself doing before this life altering event, but somehow it was now possible. 

            I challenge you to find your “If I can do this, I can do anything.” It does not have to be as scary and large as skydiving, but it should be right outside of your comfort zone.