I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, April 21, 2013

New friends and a bad cold

WSOS (Women Skydivers Over Sixty) members:
Sandra, Dana, me, Hollis
I just re-read my post from last week, which was written in the early morning hours of Sunday, the second day of four possible days of skydiving in southern California. Although I made four skydives the day before I wrote it, I didn't get to make even one more jump, since low clouds moved in during the night and didn't leave until Wednesday, when I headed back home. I don't even want to think how much those four skydives cost.

It was worth it, though. I made so many new friends and connected with people who are my peers, making me feel much more normal. When I first began skydiving, I couldn't wait to tell a new acquaintance about my passion; today I keep it under wraps and sometimes never even mention it. Of course, once the word gets out, people find it so unusual that they ask me about it, and I pull out my iPad and show them pictures of my parachute, me landing, and answer any questions they have.

Wednesday during my two plane flights and bus trip, I must have come into contact with some cold germs. The petri dish environment of airplane travel, as well as the unavoidable touching of handles, makes it almost impossible for me to keep from getting sick. I was already vulnerable from the stress of the week, and now I'm sneezing, have a runny nose, and sounding very croaky. But it's only a cold, and I've started taking extra vitamins and will keep a low profile until I'm feeling better. That doesn't mean I will miss my exercise commitments, because I always feel better afterwards. I've learned that if I don't have a fever, it won't hurt me but will help me recover faster. Plus I'm addicted, ya know.

When I think back on the past week, I keep remembering my new friends whose lives I now care about and will cherish as we continue to keep in touch. That's one really good thing about Facebook; almost everyone I met is on it, and we "friended" each other. I've gone on their pages and learned about their lives outside of skydiving. In the picture above, Sandra is the only one who is not on it, but I know she is a real-estate agent and works part time. Dana has a fifteen-year-old disabled son on whom she dotes, as well as a beautiful motorcycle that matches her skydiving rig. Hollis is married to a skydiver and only started skydiving within the past few years. She was intimidated about jumping with all of us who have thousands of skydives to her hundreds, but she is very competent in the air. We dubbed her "Skypup," and I look forward to watching her progress.

I've spent more time on Facebook since I returned home than I have during the entire rest of the year. Being able to see pictures of the families and pursuits of new acquaintances is invaluable. Before now, I only got on there to see what is going on with my family and people in Boulder I haven't seen for awhile. But now I can send messages to my new friends and feel involved in their lives, even if only as an observer.

The larger reason for the gathering of SOS was to set a new record for the most SOS skydivers in a formation. Since only a few of us are women and of the six of us who set a new women's record were not interested in the larger formation, almost every one of the 72 who are attempting it are male. I've been following their progress on line, at skydivingphotography.com. They were winded out on the first day, and so far they haven't gotten the record. I don't know whether most of them will be there today, Sunday, or whether it's a day for traveling back home. The record right now is 60, and they were trying for 72. When you think about it, the pressure to perform is enormous, and I myself never do better when I'm feeling anxious. I do hope they get it.

When I was at the health food store yesterday, I was talked into trying a homeopathic remedy. I don't know about you, but I just don't understand how it works: by diluting something until it's almost not there and then taking minuscule amounts in a tablet? But I'm trying it, and who knows? Maybe it will work, along with the Wellness capsules I'm taking. I really don't like to take over-the-counter stuff, but since I'm not feeling well, I'm open to new treatments. What do you take for a cold?

Well, that's the news from my corner of the world. Now it's on to reading the blogs I follow, looking at the Astronomy Picture of the Day, reading the Sunday comics, and drinking lots of liquids to help this cold germ pass right on through. I hope you are enjoying your Sunday; I'm determined to do the same.


Lorna said...

I admire you so much. I have BAD scoliosis and so get sore easily if I walk around a little. Please tell me what kinds of exercises you do just to keep in shape. Could you? I know from reading your blog that you go hiking, but I mean other exercises as well.

Linda Myers said...

How great to have made new, good friends. I think I'd think about the experience and its worth rather than the cost per jump.

I use Airborne for a cold.

Mel said...

I admire you so much too! I hope to have half as much adventure as you, but thanks for taking us along in spirit.

I too caught that cold on travels from home, and bonded with a great group of new friends made through volleyball. The cold is a doozy, I haven't had one for a while. I'm just taking my vitamins, extra vitamin C or Airborne, cough drops, chicken soup and the occasional ibuprofen. And water, water, water. Hope you're on the mend soon.

Anonymous said...

I take Allegra D-12 for head colds, and so does David. We buy it at Costco pharmacy because it costs less there. It is not over the counter meds. You have to sign in for it at the pharmacy, as it contains a controlled substance.

Star said...

Hope that nasty cold is soon gone D-Jan.

CrazyCris said...

Cold? Ow! Not fun! I hope you feel better soon DJan!

It's a pity you couldn't do any more skydiving, but it's wonderful you got to make new friends and have a good time anyway!

Gigi said...

Yay for new friends!

As for colds, I am a firm believer in drugs, since I don't want to suffer any more than I have to. My current favorite is the Alka-Seltzer Cold capsules. Because I am sensitive to medicine, I only take half of the recommended dosage during the day and both of the night time capsules to help me sleep. That stuff works miracles, I tell you.

Rian said...

DJan, I use Ocean nasal spray year round to keep flushing those germs you pick up everyday out before they can build-up, and I gargle with Listerine morning and night. Those 2 things along with washing hands and drinking plenty of liquids work for me. Oh... also hot liquids (hot tea and hot soup) help wash those bugs out of the respiratory system. (I also use raw garlic as a homeopathic antibiotic). Get well soon!!

Arkansas Patti said...

Now I see an advantage to FB. Scoping out new friends. What a handy tool.
So sorry you brought home a cold. Darn miserable things. I use Echinacea to ward off one and if I don't catch it in time, it shortens the duration.
Feel better soon.

Jackie said...

Jan...what a wonderful feeling in the heart...meeting new friends as well as keeping abreast with the friends you already have. Your world is alive with love and closeness, and I hope that continues for you for always. I'm sure that it will.
What do I take for a cold? I take an over the counter medicine...and nothing else. I find that my body (even as old as it is) has the most remarkable way of healing itself given time and rest. The ONLY brand that works for me (and each of my family members) is equate's Suphedrine PE. (Comes in a green and white box...24 tablets in a box) and can be found at most stores that sell OTC allergy medicines (Wal Mart, etc.) Like I said, it is an over the counter sinus and allergy pill, and I don't leave home without it. Even though it says "sinus and allergy," I take it when I find myself having the same symptoms you are experiencing now. I don't have to take it often, but when I get like you are saying you are getting...I take one, and it works miracles for me. If you try it, let me know how it worked for you.
Sending you great big hugs, wishes for a speedy recovery, and happiness beyond measure. Enjoy your FB friends!

Red said...

Well, sorry to hear about the cold. You're right about airplanes the same air is circulated many times and each time there are more germs.
More and more I can see the value of passion. Your passion keeps you in the game.
I spend some time on Face Book too. I keep up with the relatives and friends.

Retired English Teacher said...

WSOS - I love the name of this elite group of women. You truly are in an elite group. I admire all of you. I'm so glad you met this new group of women with whom you have so much in common.

Now, take care of that cold. I've been lucky this year as far as colds go. Do what you are doing, that should help.

#1Nana said...

You're right, travel can make you ill. I'm always picking up something when I visit the grands. They are germy little things, and then I usually sit next to Typhoid Mary on the plane! Hope you feel better soon.

Linda Reeder said...

By now we know you are "normal" even if you do jump out of airplanes. :) I'm glad you made new friends since your diving experience was frustrating. I like Facebook for the reasons you do too.
What do I take for a cold? I haven't really had much of a cold since I quit teaching germy kids. I can't remember the last time I was sick. I tend to just tough it out if I do get a cold. Most OTC medications have unpleasant side effects for me.

Jackie said...

Came back to check on you...hoping that each day you are feeling better!

Deb Shucka said...

It's wonderful that you've found a new peer group and ones that are friends, too. What a great experience that trip was. I'm with Linda, the cost per jump is irrelevant compared to what you actually came home with. As for the cold, it sounds like you're taking good care of yourself and have a great attitude. No surprise there.

Far Side of Fifty said...

It is always good to make friends:) I hope you are all better soon. Knock on wood no cold for me this winter..but winter is not over yet. Would you bask in that sunshine you are getting for me? I usually take Zicam at the onset of a cold..then whatever makes me sleep to get all better:)

Friko said...

There’s nothing much you can do about a old except drink lots, don’t overtax yourself and wait for it to get going again.

I usually pamper myself, take vits and mins. a chocolate or two and feel sorry for myself. It’s very enjoyable.

I don’t believe in homeopathy. It’s not ‘almost’ not there, it is indeed completely absent, whatever ‘it’ was in the first place. But if you believe in it, take it. The mind can work wonders. For me it would be a waste of money.

Enjoy your new friends and many more years of skydiving, with or without colds. Air travel is the devil, you breathe in everybody’s germs and they surely stay in the re-cycled air for ever.

Keicha Christiansen said...

I'm glad I finally have time to catch up reading blogs and saw this post. I saw your WSOS picture on FB and kept meaning to post a comment asking you what it stood for. Then I decided I could probably find out from your blog and sure enough, I did!

As always, your activity and energy level is inspiring. I wish I could catch some of your energy. Colds are no fun! I hope you're feeling better.

Rita said...

Sounds like it was worth every penny! :)
I hope you are feeling much better now. Seems like everyone who travels by plane gets sick afterwards--geez! :(