MBA Graduation Gift to Myself

by on December 14th, 2012

It has been over two years already since I read Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Workweek. I shared some of the thoughts on the book in my post The 4-Hour Workweek – Jar of Goodies from Tim Ferriss. One of the lasting impressions from the book, besides some business and career-management advice, as well as Ferriss’ self-absorption and narcissism, was the author’s zest for life and desire to live it to the fullest. It was quite contagious, and I got this bug for life adventure from reading the book. Except that for the last two years the only outlet for my adventurous inclinations was pursuing the MBA degree ;-). Nevertheless, two years ago, after reading the book, I started to put together my list of things I wanted to experience in life. I don’t call it “the Bucket List” though, as that list was for someone with imminent death prospects.

One of the experiences I put on the list was to do skydiving. I had been theoretically thinking about it before, but never did any research how to actually get to it. So after reading the book I just went online to check out the skydiving centers around DC. I was surprised to learn that there were more than one outlets offering tandem skydiving and you could get it for between $200-300. For some reason I thought it could be much more than that. I further rationalized that one skydiving jump was the cost of just two full-priced textbooks for some of my MBA classes. Surely, if I was paying for the textbooks, I should pay for such a memorable experience.

When I shared with my family my intention to go for skydiving two years ago I said: “Can you imagine, it costs only about $250 to jump with the parachute (this is what skydiving is called in my mother tongue). My quick-witted younger daughter replied immediately: “I wonder how much less it would be to jump without one”. ;-)

Anyways, when in March of this year I saw a deal on Livingsocial to do skydiving for just $160, I grabbed it without hesitation. I knew I would not have time to do it before the end of the school, so I designated it as my MBA graduation gift to self, since my wife and older daughter opted out from it, and my younger and adventurous daughter was too young to join me in the sky.

In August I finally had it accomplished. It was indeed a great experience, as you probably might figure out from the embedded video. I was also very happy that I did not have to do it by myself, and had a company of an MBA classmate and two of his buddies.

So about the skydive. That was indeed one awesome experience. As much as I liked the free fall and floating under the parachute, by far my most exciting and favorite moment was letting go of the relative safety of the plane and sliding outside – just let it go and slide out into the new and exciting.

Honestly, I did not quite expect it to be that way. I had heard enough stories about first time jumpers being forcefully pushed out from the plane because they had a panic attack at the sight of an open door and could not force themselves to step out. In less severe cases people viewed that step outside as a necessary evil in order to experience the reward of a free fall and floating. For me, however, it turned out to be the  greatest prize and the rest was all gravy.

Was there any scary moment in this skydiving experience, you might ask. In fact, the scariest moments were when I was watching the video and saw the flapping face skin during the free fall. Looked like a scene from a horror movie to me ;-).

So, that was my very delightful MBA graduation gift to self. Now I need to check out a few other items on my not-Bucket List. Running a marathon is the next in line. I will keep you posted on that. For now, watch the video of my skydive, if you have a few spare moments.

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