When Super Sue got me into contact with Jeremy Struemph I really had no idea what a great friendship this was going to become. However, Jeremy provides an adventure of his own. You see, he works at iFly in Overland Park, KS where you can do indoor skydiving! Super Sue went and of course did the “You must do this for your blog!” hook line making it impossible to once again say no.
I have to say that I had never looked at any other adventures before jumping into them, but this one I did investigate a minimal amount because for some reason this was proving to cause more anxiety then snorkeling did and we all know that I was in tears before I did that. So I guess I peeked because I didn’t want to be quite so hysterical this time….ha!
I watched the videos of Jeremy jumping from planes and helping people to safety on the internet, and I still didn’t quite get why so many people liked this activity. Maybe because my doubtful rationality side was kicking in on overdrive with thoughts of “I don’t understand how watching the land below you come at you before you crash land could possibly be fun…” but it was time to be less doubtful. Doubtful rationality keeps us safely tucked away in our comfort zones and quite frankly that’s not what Chasing Stormi is about. So I watched the video explaining how the tunnel worked and called it a day. It was time to say yes and jump. No more letting doubt win. It was time to go back to having faith in myself again. So I contacted Jeremy and set a date.
When you first meet Jeremy you like him right away. He’s full of energy and reassurance and you immediately know you’re in good hands. I did the classroom first where you learn how to position yourself and the hand signals they use in the tunnel since there’s no way to hear each other. Then I got to watch a class before me fly so I could see what works and what doesn’t work. The first thing I noticed was how attentive and amazing each instructor was with each group of students. They are all fun and reassuring and make it easy to feel comfortable with them to the point that no matter who you get you know you’re in great hands. They love what they do and their number one goal is for you to love your experience too. A goal they succeed at with ease!
So yeah….nerves had my stomach tightening, my heart racing, and my breathing increasing but I was not hysterical like I was snorkeling. So either I was getting better at this “stepping out of your comfort zone” thing, or I was just at such great ease knowing I was in very capable hands. I’d like to say it was a bit of both personally…. So I suited up and giggle at Jeremy’s ongoing cheerleading routine to get me pumped up. He, like all of his co-workers, love to get their students pumped and excited because if we have a great time then it makes their life that much more enjoyable. A feeling I am well too familiar with when it comes to working with kids myself. We’ve got this!
I took a deep breath, stood into position, and leaned into the wind as instructed. The force of the wind that hits you is not only deafening but it’s powerful and makes your cheeks flap against your face like all those silly cartoons you see falling through the sky on tv. But the anxiety quickly exited my body and I actually found myself enjoying it despite one of my greatest fears it to plummet through the sky to my possible death. HA! So there I was. Flying. And LOVING IT! A cool thing they do is when you are done and walking to the end of the bench to take a seat everyone high fives you with congratulations along the way. On your second round you actually fly with the instructor circling towards the top of the tube.
In the beginning I had said that wasn’t going to happen. Jeremy smiled and said we’d wait and see how the first round went, knowing that even someone like me would be so much in love that I would easily be willing to circle to the top with him. I just didn’t know it yet. But sure enough I was TOTALLY ready! And so we did. When you’re done you feel exhilarated by your accomplishment and are actually so tired and relaxed that you have NO trouble sleeping that night! You even have the option of getting pictures and video of your experience to keep for a lifetime! Although it was funny to bust the other instructor that was making faces and whatnot behind me knowing he was on camera and I couldn’t see him until I viewed the video….Yes. These people love their jobs and make sure you have the best experience by not only letting you fly in a wind tunnel giving you a realistic skydiving experience, but they also make sure to position you just right so you get great photos and videos to share proudly with your friends and family. So would I jump out of an airplane?....I’m still thinking that’s a hard limit. HOWEVER, if I get another opportunity to fly at iFly then I am SO THERE! What an amazing experience to have! Thanks again iFly KC!
As I filled out my end of the semester class evaluations it felt only fitting that I do my OWN evaluation and see where I was standing these days….So it’s been a year and a half at this point and I am LOVING Chasing Stormi! Still single and enjoying the quiet satisfaction of being comfortable with myself. I have tried several things, learned new stuff, and met some really great people along the way. Heck! I even got on a plane to go to a random country and meet 15 complete strangers! I’ve found out that I am better at more things than I originally thought. And I’m living life a little more fully. Needless to say, I’d like to believe that I’ve come a long way….
1. I have learned that anxiety can heighten your success level. Being slightly uncomfortable can help you achieve goals that you never thought you could. But it’s also good to be able to take a break from stepping outside of your comfort zone and step back into it in order to decompress and fully enjoy what you have just accomplished. There’s nothing wrong with taking a day off to spend time with yourself in the comfort of your own home to relax. After all, we don’t have to save the day EVERY day…
2. If we challenge ourselves, we tend to succeed. I became Chasing Stormi in order to challenge myself and I really have had the time of my life! With each new adventure, not only do I get to meet new people and try new things, but my self-confidence increases and I find it’s more preferable to be challenged then it is to constantly hang out in my comfort zone.
3. They say taking risks help us grow. It’s quite remarkable watching kids have no fear and willing to experiment and try new things without a care in the world, yet when we are adults the fear of failure cripples us into stepping outside the cocoon of a comfort zone we have built for ourselves in order to not face failure. I have learned that I definitely don’t master everything I try. But I also don’t beat myself up every time I fail despite the perfectionist in me. I have actually caught myself not necessarily focusing on just achieving the actual task at hand, but enjoying the journey so that I can be proud no matter the outcome.
4. They say stepping out of your comfort zone even once will ensure that you will most likely do it again. Nothing could have been more true for me. In fact, my adventures are getting grander the longer I go! It can also spark your inner creativity. With a brain that is deadened by medication, even I have noticed my creative side is showing attendance once more.
5. Continually expanding your comfort zone will help you age more successfully. With the constant learning and trying of new things, I have actually found that this ADHD brain is getting better at focusing even when the medication doesn’t succeed all the time. I look forward to living life to its fullest, and I am definitely more open to trying new things.
6. Although it’s good to step outside of your comfort zone, it’s still good to be in it from time to time. If we are constantly pushing our limits to the max and then we will never perform at our best. Even though I enjoy trying new things I typically take a couple of days off to decompress in between. If I don’t recharge my batteries with down time and relaxation then I stop functioning well. I also know that there are certain things that I will still never be able to do simply because they cause me too much stress. So even though I was able to go snorkeling, scuba diving will not be happening. I will never swim in a cage surrounded by sharks along with a few other things. So although I push myself to try new things, I also know that I have hard limits that would reverse the effects of my current loving adventure. I want to grow. Not become more afraid because I’m pushing myself even beyond safety boundaries for myself.
So yes, I can honestly say that I have changed during this process, but only for the better! Sometimes it really is okay to color outside the lines even if your perfectionist brain screams otherwise. It’s good to challenge ourselves and keep our minds young. It’s good to become flexible and feel you can take on whatever is thrown at you without shrinking in fear and hiding. It’s more beneficial to step out of our comfort zones occasionally instead of building a bunker and refusing to leave. Look at me! I have more friends. Old ones are more cherished. Life is less bleak and uncertain. I’m more ready to take on whatever is thrown at me. I’m also completely at ease with myself and know that I deserve only the best. And the main person I work to please is me. So if I had to score myself I would say “Extremely Satisfied” with so much more to come! So go on. Step outside of your comfort zone and see what benefits come to you!
What the heck is a Far Infrared Fat Flush? Yeah, I couldn’t tell you either. So I went to Spa 7 to find out! Apparently, infrared heat is used to pull toxins from the organs and tissues while burning up to 1200 calories per session! Benefits include the following…
· Removes Toxins – Detoxification, removes heavy metals and harmful toxins stored in the body.
· Reduces Stress – Promotes better sleep, relaxes, melts away tension.
· Aging – Reduces some problems associated with aging.
· Improves Skin – Helps clear cellulite, tones and hydrates cells and pores.
· Burn Calories and Control Weight – Burn as much as 1200 calories or more in 30 minute session through profuse sweating.
· Pain Relief – Arthritis, muscle spasms, joint stiffness, sprains.
· Strengthens Cardiovascular System – Heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate increase, helps stabilizes blood pressure.
But does it really work? It was time to find out! So I stuck my feet into the base of the tube and pulled the top up. At first the heat felt great. It had been cold all morning and I was ready to thaw out! Then it started to get a little warmer. That’s okay. I was the scalding hot shower kind of girl. It felt like I was lying in a tanning bed, only it was just heat and I wasn’t going to get skin cancer. You could feel the heat getting deep into your skin. Sweat was definitely a side effect. It was getting really warm so I pulled my arms out to cool off some. I really wish I had my ipod right now…. My heart started pounding. It was getting really warm! So after 30 minutes I had to call uncle and crawled out.
Even though it was really intense and I only lasted 30 minutes the first time, I can honestly say that I was putty and had no tension, and I definitely felt healthier and less weighted. And I slept better than I have in a long time! I know it’s hard to believe that stuff like this is really beneficial and not just a hoax to gain another buck for some random business. But as I try all of these different things I’m finding out first hand that most of them actually DO make a difference! The essential oils help you without facing side effects and the harshness of medication on your system in general. Yoga really does help you relax and gives you a great workout at the same time while making you feel at peace. And now I can excitedly add Far Infrared Fat Flush to my list of awesome things that will make you feel better! I wish I could handle the heat a little better, but it’s definitely I would try again.
The “Bomb Squad Bank ABC” isn’t the only escape room at Trapped KC in Lee’s Summit. Once you escape one room, there are always other rooms to fight your way out of. Second only to my trip to Belize, I’m a big fan of this new pastime.
In the claustrophobic room, a male voice comes over the speaker to set the scene:
“You are broke, and you don’t get paid until next Wednesday. You scrounge for all of the change you can possibly find, and head to the bank to cash it. Or at least that’s the plan. Shortly after you enter the bank, a man with a ski mask sneaks in behind you, carrying a bomb, with no help in sight. Or is there?....”
It was the fabulous foursome to the rescue! The bomb starts ticking and becomes a constant sound ringing in your ears. They say it’s an inside job, but where do you start? This is the scenario you face when you’re in the Bomb Squad Room at Trapped KC, where there’s no rhyme or reason to the ordering of the clues. You just tear the place apart until something sticks.
With my girls Erin, Briana, and Tiffany and me teamed together, there was nothing we couldn’t conquer. We got to work immediately, scrambling to see what we could find, spotting clues right and left. It was just a matter of piecing them together to get all of the locks opened.
When I got the first lock undone, I was hooked. The adrenalin rushed. My heart raced. I listened to the bomb ticking away, and watched the clock telling us just how much time we have left. Cut the wrong wire and it could do nothing, detonate the bomb, or double the time, so we had to be very careful to choose the right one.
I’m sure that the ladies at the front desk were finding this girl group very entertaining. We continued to whoop and holler as we pieced the puzzle together. There’s even a button on the wall that someone can push to get a clue. The best score includes only asking for a single clue or none at all. I burst out laughing when Erin pushed the button and yelled, “Do you SEE the look of disgust on my face right now?!” at the camera. Yes, this fabulous four was determined to take this mission by storm.
We got all the clues, opened all the locks, and cut the right wire with 10 minutes to spare. Yes, this dream team of Charlie’s Angels had completed the task. We diffused the bomb, and saved all of the innocents at the bank while having the best time of our lives!
It is true that after an hour of solving clues and beating the clock, my heart continued to race for at least a half hour after we were done but it was totally worth it! The best part was spending time with some girlfriends I hadn’t seen in a while, making this adventure one of my favorite ones yet.
This was my second year walking in the Just Be You Walk for Autism, benefiting the Autism Society of the Heartland at KU Edwards Campus. I became a participant last year due to my little man, Noah. I was originally hired to teach everyone in the family sign language because Noah wasn’t able to speak. However, during our first lesson I quickly learned Noah wouldn’t settle for just signing. He was determined to talk. And a few months after working with him, he was doing just that! Even though the family didn’t need me anymore, we still stay in touch and I get to see the kids from time to time. So this is my favorite walk because I get to walk with them!
Yes, Team Noah represents just a small portion of Noah’s special qualities. He may be shy and need to go at his own pace, but he will hug you in his special way. He isn’t capable of vindictive thoughts or actions. And as I’ve watched Noah sit on the floor, rock, and stare at the lights, I thought, “Why can’t we be more like Noah?” Why can’t we be content with the simple things? Why can’t we know only love and share it with others? This little man is so smart! I’m pretty sure he’s smarter than me. It’s just a matter of tapping into it all. I was so blown away listening to him sing the National anthem before the walk. I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear. Yes, this little man is going to change the world.
Noah isn’t the only tiny teacher in this family. His little sister, my little chipmunk, went from booth to booth during the walkathon and either made something for her big brother or got two of everything so he could have one, too. Her compassion is an inspiration to all. Even though she’s the little sister, she knows her brother is very special and helps him move throughout crowds and encourages him to try new things. They are inseparable.
I love spending time with this family because they truly help me put the world into perspective. They remind me of the person I want to be. They remind me of how strong love is.
A girl just trying to find her way, stepping outside of her comfort zone, trying new things, and making new friends along the way!