What do I wish to you this Christmas? Well, I want you to be healthy, to have peace and some good friends. I hope you find love, and in between, while you are enjoying all of it, I wish you can skydive from airplanes in many different places. This year I want to explain a few things about my relationship with skydiving and why I feel this way when I think about my skydiving community. However, to begin this article, I need to state that I’m grateful for all the blessings I have. Thank you, God, for adding so many cool people to my life.
The Christmas list
I want to ask you to put on your Facebook a message requesting your friends to Tell 3 things you got this year that made you happy and/or proud. This will help us to find the right way to celebrate Xmas.
Life was a little weird this year. We found ourselves in the middle of a pandemic that we weren’t able to get out of. The fear and anxiety we felt regarding ourselves and our loved ones were terrible. All these feelings that I can’t even imagine need to be put on the side this Christmas to renovate our spirit. We must find a new way; we need to modify stuff inside us. Only then we will find a new perspective. Every time the year ends, we have the opportunity to start a new circle. Let’s embrace our community and help each other even more. We all need to remember what life gave us this year. I’m sure there is good stuff on it.
The skydiving Community
When I decided to skydive for the first time, I was living in Brazil. I did my first jump at the end of 2011, right after entering recovery. I finished my AFF course 2 weeks after that. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep jumping by that time and I left my home drop zone in Brazil. When I moved to California in 2015, I was able to pick up a rhythm and immerse myself in the skydiving community.
When I quit drugs, I realize that I didn’t know myself that well. However, in the beginning, I had to focus on my recovery. I got into my 12 steps program with all I had. I wanted to create a strong recovery base. Only a few years later, I was ready to learn more about myself, I believe that was when I moved to California. I remember arriving at the San Francisco Airport with no English knowledge, 3 huge bags (all I had), a parachute, and lots of dreams. I rented a truck, put it all on the trunk, and manage to arrive at the parking lot of Skydance Skydiving.
The next day, in the morning, I started jumping and never stopped. There I made real friends, people that accepted me even before I could accept myself. It looks great when I write it, but the story is a little different.
It’s not easy
Thank God, any place I go in the world, I’m not alone. I learned that I’ll find a chair to sit and people waiting for me anywhere I am. That is the most significant thing about my 12 steps program, and sometimes we need a place and a warm hug.
There are many groups and online meetings that we can find support. Find yours!
I like to emphasize this abundance of meetings because of the day I almost relapsed. One day, driving my car in Davis/CA, near the DZ, and I started crying. I was feeling alone, and I had no clue what my God was planning for my future. In the middle of an anxiety crisis, and I started yelling with God inside the truck. I decided to drive to a bar.
In a minute of clearness, I looked at the time and thought that at 7 pm, there are meetings everywhere in the world. I pulled my phone and found a meeting. That day I met one of the most amazing people I know. I got to that meeting out of my mind, and this person that I never met before came to me and, in silence, gave me a hug and said, calm down, you are home now.
My Xmas List
I want you to share the Xmas List Game with your friends, but I also want to play it. I think it’s good to write down the things we are proud of and celebrate them with others. It can be anything, an achievement, a feeling, spiritual things. It doesn’t matter what it is if it makes sense for you.
I want to add to my Xmas list that:
- I’m happy because I was able to share my story with thousands of people and might have helped some of them to change their paths;
- I’m delighted to be close to my family. I didn’t see them at all this year. However, I can’t thank Nathalia enough for being such a great partner. You’re the best, babe!
- I’m proud of the Sports Photographer of the Year prize and all the skydiving sponsors I got this year.
Keep coming back
I hope we all can use this year as a tool for growth. We are all so much more than we think. This Christmas I hope we all can share our love with others and enjoying the New Year to improve ourselves. Our world need more from us and we all have so much more to give. Love you all and Merry Xmas.
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