Skydiving Season Has Started!

This weekend was a really good weekend for me. On Friday I started the day by walking to church (it’s about a 10 minute walk from my house). I really enjoyed the service and was reminded of what an incredible thing it was for Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. There were things that the pastor talked about that I really just hadn’t thought about in detail before. I’m still thinking about them. I watched the last three episodes of the Bible series on the History Channel with a friend last night and I decided that it’s time that I read all of the gospels again. After church on Friday I drove out the the skydiving dropzone. There were lots of people there. Most of them were strangers to me. The other local dropzone has been going through some major changes and it looks like all these new faces will soon become familiar ones that I’ll be seeing regularly at our dropzone. They all seemed really nice, knowledgeable and helpful so I think that I’ll enjoy having them around. I had planned on doing a couple of jumps on both Friday and Saturday. I did my first jump since October on Friday and it was FREEZING!! The whole time that I was in freefall all that I could think of was how cold I was and how I just wanted to get to 4500ft so that I could open my parachute. I didn’t even work on much of anything in the air. I just floated down and resisted curling into a ball to stay warm. I was happy to have a good stand-up landing. Last year I had some problems with landing on my feet. I fell several times and then just assumed that I would fall every time and without realizing it I stopped even trying to stand. It wasn’t until one of the guys told me that my only problem with one of my landings was that I didn’t try to stand up that I realized that I’d stopped trying. I think that I’ve had stand-up landings ever since. After my cold jump on Friday I decided that I didn’t want to do another jump that day. On Saturday I went for a short easy run in the morning and then headed back out to the dropzone to hopefully do some more jumps. It was warmer at ground level on Saturday and one of the guys that had already done a jump told me that it was pretty warm up at 10000ft as well. I still dressed warmer than I had on Friday just to be sure that I wasn’t going to be cold. The jump was wonderful! I did a front flip then I rolled onto my back for a couple of seconds and then I did a little bit of tracking (moving forward). I opened my chute at 4500ft and did another nice stand-up landing. But, for some reason my left ankle hurt on the landing. That ankle had actually finally stopped bothering me when running so I was not happy to feel pain in it again. I decided not to do another jump that day. With the marathon only a month away I don’t want to risk injury at this point. I’m not sure that I can resist skydiving for a whole month but I’m going to try. My ankle hurts a bit when standing but it didn’t bother me on my run this morning so I may have trouble convincing myself that I shouldn’t keep skydiving.
Yesterday I went to another great church service in the morning and then I went for a bike ride with a friend. We tried a new route and I loved it. We were on dikes most of the way. In the beginning the water was mostly still and kind of gross and dirty looking but then we got to another river where the water was clear and blue and flowing fast. It looked and sounded so nice. We ended up riding 37km in about 2hrs. We could have gone further if we had wanted to as well. We’ll definitely be doing that route again if I have anything to say about it. The friend that I was with seems to think that my marathon training has made my legs stronger. He was having trouble keeping up with me at the end. The past few weeks that we’ve biked it has been one or two days after my long run and my legs have been sore and tired. I’ve always refused to do hills or anything too long or strenuous and I’ve whined a lot. This time it was 4 days after my long run and my legs felt great. It feels good to know that my legs just keep getting stronger. The further I get into this marathon training the more I’m enjoying it. I never thought that I would feel that way but I’m happy about it. I actually just signed up for another half marathon at the end of May and I’m no longer saying that I will only ever do one full marathon in my life. I’m not saying that I’ll do more than one but if everything continues to go well I would say that it could be a possibility.
Today I went for another short run in the morning. I did some speed work today. I don’t like speed work. Tomorrow I have more speed work and harder stuff too. I’m not looking forward to it. After my run today I called the dropzone to see if they were busy and wanted me to come out and pack some parachutes. I am planning to start packing chutes whenever they need the help and I am available. My plan is to go out on Saturdays and maybe some Fridays. Today it ended up not being very busy when I got out there. I only packed one chute. It was the first tandem chute that I’d packed this year though so it was nice just to get one done and to remember how to do it. I had packed three regular parachutes on Friday and Saturday without much trouble. The tandem chutes aren’t really much different. They are just bigger and you close the container differently. I’ll still have to get a refresher on one more type of tandem and then I should be good to pack for the season. I enjoy packing chutes. It’s easy once you know how and all of the chutes that I’ve ever packed on my own have opened nicely so I feel confident in my packing ability. It can be a little scary to think about the fact that you kind of have people’s lives in your hands but mostly I just try to make sure that I do a good job and hope that nothing unexpected will ever go wrong. I am glad that there is always a reserve parachute just in case. The reserves are professionally packed by someone with special training. When I was at the dropzone today they decided to put the engine back into the plane that they use during the busy part of the season. I was amused to realize that I was more concerned for the safety of everyone during the process of putting the engine in than when they/we are jumping out of planes.
I went to my Monday night volunteering again tonight. I actually offered to do the prayer requests this time and I’m happy to say that I’m getting more comfortable with it. I expect that it will be my job at least until I’m completely comfortable. I’m really starting to enjoy volunteering. I’m getting to know the people a little bit. I have trouble remembering all the faces and names but they’re getting familiar. I think that I should start writing down some notes for myself at the end of the night so that I can remember everyone better. Some people stand out more than others and some are easy for me to remember but there are many that I’m worried that I’ll talk to multiple times without remembering. I definitely remember the ones that I pray with more than the others. Tonight there seemed to be more people than usual that wanted prayer to get their lives together and to get over their addictions. I often wish that there was more that I could do than pray. I know that God is in control but it’s hard to see people that want to change their lives but are having trouble actually doing it.
I’ve started growing my own vegetables. I have some pumpkin, zucchini and onions that are starting beautifully. I plan to put them in pots tomorrow until I can get the area in my yard ready to plant them. I’m also going to plant carrots, lettuce, dill, basil and cilantro. Plus I have parsley, kale, broccoli and artichoke that are coming back from last year. I bought two strawberry plants this past week as well. I’m not a huge fan of strawberries but for some reason I always want to grow them. I decided that I would plant them where I had flowers last year and just hope that they’ll come back nicely every year. I’m really looking forward to eating some of my own organic herbs and vegetables this year. Hopefully it’ll encourage me to actually eat more veggies and to cook more often.

I’ve been keeping track of approximately how much I’ve been running every month so far this year.  In January I ran 109km, in February 111km and in March 164km for a total of 384km.  I didn’t really decide on a goal for the year because I really don’t know what to expect.  I think it’ll just be interesting to see what the total is.

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