Sunday, December 27, 2009
Standing on Morro Dois Irmnos (Two Brothers Mountain) looking out towards the horizon, where the sky and the ocean joined together as one, continuously, I repeated the following:
I am limitless, fearless, and I am a force of GOOD!
These words I OWNED! They became ME! They WERE ME!
“Are you scared?”
“Are you nervous?”
“Youre not going to outrun me are you?”
“Look, I'm not going to doing ANYTHING that might or will cause you or me harm in anyway. My life is in your hands, and more importantly, it is God's hands that both of our lives are in!”
This was the exchanged that occurred on December 31, 2005, on Morro Dois Irmnos (Two Brothers Mountain) in Rio, between me and my hang gliding tandem flight instructor, Eduardo. I choose this day, the last day of 2005, to go hang gliding. This day was to be symbolic for me. It was the last day of the year (2005), and I was going to jump off this mountain, sailing into the New Year (2006). What a way for me to end one year and to begin another. Effortlessly, I thought this to be. WELL, it almost didn't happen. This last day of the year was so beautiful. The sun was shining brightly, 80 degree weather, I was in Rio de Janeiro, what could go wrong? The wind! The wind on top of the mountain was a tail wind (coming from behind the jump off ramp). This wind could cause a glider to crash into the mountain. A north wind (front wind) was needed for a glider to sail.
As I stood in Ipanema, in the far distance, I could see a few gliders soaring, but not as many gliders as some days past. I convinced my flight instructor to take me to the top of Morro Dois Irmnos. Once traveling up a very steep, twisting winding road, we reached the top of the mountain. Up here, there were many gliders wanting anxiously for the wind to become right so that they can fly. My turn will come, I WILL fly! Put it out in the universe and it WILL happen! This is what I did. Never did my faith shake until I was able to understand what was being argued around me, between the flight instructors. I'm able to understand some Portuguese, the instructor's native tongue, and realized it was me whom they were arguing about. The argument was that I was too big! No one wanted to fly with me. In essence, they were saying, this big ox will cause us to die! Eduardo then approached me to express everyone's concern. I explained to Eduardo that I am 195 lbs, (88 kilos); I look bigger than what I actually am. Eduardo then stated not only the weight they were worried about, but my height. My height?! As I looked around, I noticed that I did tower over everyone. Then coming up on my right side, another instructor was fuming in English. Over exaggerating the panting of a dog he said, she can't even breathe! She won't breathe right! I calmly looked at him and said, it's all about the breath. Suddenly, he stopped and stared at me. I then repeated, it's all about the breath. "Breathe controls life, it's all about breath. She needs to inhale and exhale slowly, calming herself down and that would relax her. You're a Yogi! I can see it in your face, the aura you have about you!" he said. "Uh, yeah. Um, YES, I AM a Yogi!" I said proudly! It will be an HONOR for me to fly with you, he said! In my mind I thought, who ME?! Upon hearing this, the other instructors started arguing this time over who would fly with ME! What a dramatic about face this was! Then Eduardo, stepping forward proclaimed that I will fly with him. I looked at him with an Arnold Jackson, Different Strokes, Whatcha talkin' bout Wilson look! The instructor who was talking about breath asked me if I drink wheat grass juice. "Uh, I have, but its not my beverage of choice," I said. He then talked of living in New York, moving to Rio and of cultivating wheat grass juice. Still I was in amazement how, like a flick of a light switch, everyone falling over me. When everyone's concerned with my weight eased, I then went through the preparatory stages to fly with Eduardo. After proving that I am NOT an OX, Eduardo said, "You are big, but you are light as a feather! It's MY honor to fly with you. I can see the yoga in you. Yogis have a special glow. Thanks for being here." This CAN'T be the same guy who with the flight chorus thought that my size will definitely bring about his death! HELL, the way they were arguing, I'm surprised that they allowed me on top of the mountain fearing that I my size will reduce it to an ant hill! As Eduardo and I approached
the launch ramp, calmness completely took over me. My inhalations were matched slowly with my exhalations. Looking to the strip of beach in the far distance where we were to land, nervousness
never entered my thoughts, or my body. I was as calm as a cucumber! "It"s all about the breath. Breath is life. God did not bring me this far to take me away. At least not now. The Universe will
protect me. I am limitless, fearless, and I WILL be a force of GOD!
"Now, on three we jump!
Eduardo yelled and on three, my feet were no longer on the ground! Beneath me was nothing but the sky I saw above me. My feet, my body, my spirit was all soaring like eagles.
We were airborne!
"Oh my God," I said!
"You're scared?" Eduardo said.
"No, I'm fine, this is beautiful! I am in amazement of God's glory. This is beautiful!"
I CAN FLY!
I AM AN EAGLE!
I AM LIMITLESS!
I AM FEARLESS!
I AM A FORCE OF GOOD!
I AM SOARING INTO 2006!
I CAN FLY!
I CAN FLY!