how was your week?
good i hope?
did you do anything you're excited about?
if you answered yes carry on reading, if you answered no, ask yourself why not?
if you answered no, do you want to do something you get excited about?
if you answered no, and do actually want to do something that gets you excited, will you do something for me?
i'd love you to grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down something that would excite you, that is what we're gonna call your goal.
now write down todays date, and draw a line between the date and the goal.
it doesn't matter how big or small the goal is, but it has to excite you, it has to scare you a little, it has to make your heart race just thinking about it.
now, when you've finished reading todays blog you need to formulate a plan, the plan will be the path or journey that takes you from todays date to your goal, and when you analyse it, it may scare the bejeesus out of you, but now comes the fun bit, if you accept your own self imposed challenge, and actually follow this plan you will have all kinds of positive things happen to you.
but first you have to commit, as that's the only way it will happen, tell people what you're going to do, tell them how, and tell them why, by committing it will become a reality, and good people will encourage you, and support you, including me.
you will have a purpose, you will have something to aim for, and you will spark your life up a bit, which makes your life even more fun than it already is, and hopefully you'll e-mail me and say by jove i'm glad i took that little slice of advice, and we'll both smile.
well that's the plan.
somebody who did just that plan is my mate i mentioned last week emlyn emerit, or as folk call him elmo.
elmo used to work with me whilst he was at uni studying to be a dentist, and nowadays he does all kinds of crazy dental work with facial reconstructions and all manner of specialist work, and is working at the top of his game.
since working with me he has married his then girlfriend penny, and they now have two extremely polite sons, and are a lovely nuclear family.
elmo contacted me, and said he wanted to climb a mountain to fundraise for a friend of his who has been hit with the disease beginning with c, and after discussing this plan, it became apparent that this idea, was pretty time consuming, and probably not the best thing for him to do.
he was pretty disappointed as he really wanted to help his buddy fundraise, and after i suggested he looked at something more suitable, it took less than a day for him to text me back that he was gonna do a skydive, pretty brave i hear you say, but i know elmo, and i know he has vertigo, and i knew this was going to be pretty scary for anyone, let alone a guy that doesn't like ladders!
however, he set a goal then drew a line towards it, aka the journey, and then committed, and then on saturday 11th october 2014 he achieved his goal.
i drove down to the dee zee (drop zone) and the weather was perfect, very slight wind, and extremely blue skies, which if you haven't caught my explanation of why i sign off with this monika every week, it is for this reason, as skydivers, of which i am one, use this expression as a greeting and way of saying goodbye, as blue skies is indicative of good jumping weather.
as i approached elmo, i could see he was as nervous as i expected him to be, and having had his three year old son reprimand him that this wasn't really very clever, and ask what would happen if he died, i think he was assessing his mortality as we hugged hello.
i shot some video, for him to look back on of the day, and as we filmed they called him in for training, which i joined him for, and we tried to stay cool as the next couple of hours of emlyn emerits life were planned out for him.
we left the training room, and i grabbed some refreshments for us all as we watched the most recent group of jumpers descend under a rainbow of coloured silks as the chutes opened and they swirled their way towards earth.
everybody landed safely, which is always good!
the names of the next jumpers were read out over the tannoy for load 13, never a good thing to hear, and i had just been relating a story to elmo about the first time i had number 13 parachute given to me, and that i had toyed with saying i didn't want it, but decided to man up, and rationalise that this fabled number was not actually going cause me to die, but i just hoped that emmers agreed with the moral of the story and would jump on this load.
of course he did, he was an educated man, who was used to working under pressure i reasoned, but i have a sneaky feeling he didn't actually know, which was probably for the best i reckon.
as he left to walk towards the plane right in front of us, there were quick pangs of guilt in my mind that had bigmoose not come into elmo's life, he wouldn't now be risking it, and i watched as penny and his boys said their goodbyes.
the plane closed it's door, taxi'd, and then the twin prop, otter i think, defied gravity and took these jumpers to 15,000 feet, which takes about fifteen minutes to get to this altitude, and with the skies so clear we could see the plane as it circled higher and higher until we heard the engine cut back on throttle, indicating that they were ready to jump.
we squinted to see the first jumpers leave the aircraft, and i envied them as they freefalled for just over a minute at terminal velocity of 120mph, i truly love that feeling, and i knew that elmo would too.
the seven jumpers, most of whom were tandems all exited, and the plane raced them to land first, winning by a couple of minutes, and eventually everybody was under canopy safely, which made all of us feel safer, and when we watched the last tandem land we knew our man was safe.
team elmo were all relieved, and rushed to see him when he walked back to the hangar where we were waiting, cue hugs and kisses of relief, and that was just me!
'how was it?'
'amazing, i loved it', and i overheard more than one person saying they wanted to do it again, the human brain is so strange sometimes, but fight or flight situations can cause so many endorphins to consume us that these kind of reactions are commonplace.
we took loads of pictures, and elmo wandered off to the hangar resplendent in his jump gear, and a swagger of a guy that had conquered his fears, and as i told him, a man that his sons would be proud of doing this for his friend, and at that moment something definitely flew into my eyes, i think it was probably dust, but it made my throat choke a bit as well.
i love watching humans do amazing things for other humans, it is what i live for, and what i believe, and emlyn has provided a great example of setting a goal, drawing a timeline to that goal, and then committing, and although you don't need to jump out of a plane or climb a mountain, you can step outside your comfort zone in some way, and if reading this causes you to do something special, it will have been worth writing about.
here are some pretty cool pictures of a very brave human, that i am very proud to call my friend, just check out how alive and happy he looks, whilst hurtling to the ground at 120mph, what a madman, oh i did forget to mention elmo also plays drums, nuff said!
if you want to read about why elmo did this amazing act, check out his pal here http://www.gofundme.com/Matthew-Parsons
we have a lot going on here at bigmoose at the moment, but i want this blog to be about emlyn, and as i said at the beginning of this blog, hopefully he can inspire you to do something you get excited about, so you know the rules, set a goal, commit, then complete.
so until next week it gives me great pleasure to say thank you to emlyn and penny for letting me share their day, and until next week,