Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nicole. I’m 28 years old. The following is a condensed version of the past three years of my life.
January 29, 2010
My husband died. That sent my world into a spin. I had been with him, practically, my entire adult life. Having that taken away turned everything I knew upside down. I spent the next 10 months reacclimating my life; trying to find something that made sense.
I had done 4 tandem skydives… one every year around my birthday, since I was 22. I never had the time (or the courage, frankly) to commit to doing it on my own. After a lot of research and soul searching, I mustered up enough courage to do it on my own.
January 7, 2011
After taking to Hans Paulson (DZO at Skydive the Farm), I went to Skydive the Farm in Rockmart, GA for AFF ground school. Because of the high winds, I was unable to jump that day. I went back the following weekend and completed level 1-3 with both Jeremy Marston and Miki Baranowski. I INSTANTLY fell in love with skydiving and was immediately attracted to Jeremy. Jeremy and I started dating within the week and I soon found myself falling in love, again.
June 13, 2011
Jeremy and I were a mile from his apartment, heading home from a picnic in the park. We stopped by Redbox to grab a movie. Leaving the parking lot, going through a green light a guy ran the red light at 65 miles per hour and t-boned us- hitting the drivers side door. Jeremy was driving and didn’t survive the accident.
I was in critical condition. I had to be flown via Life Flight to a hospital in Atlanta. I sustained a broken neck, back, tailbone, punctured lung, 2 broken ribs, 4 pelvic fractures, and 2 brain injuries. The doctors informed my family of my injuries and prepared them for the worst. My mom and dad were told, because of my brain injuries, I may never be able to have a normal conversation again. On top of that, they were told I would never be able to walk again. But, in the off chance I did recover from the pelvic injuries and regained my ability to walk, I would never do it without an aid or without a limp. My mother and father were given a 2 inch thick stack of papers preparing them for my long term care.
I spent 11 total days in the hospital (none of which I remember) and went through 8 months of grueling physical therapy.
I am happy to say that I started walking, with a walker, 10 days after the accident, on my own in 10 weeks with NO limp and NO cane, and skydiving again in November.
I returned to work at the beginning of August. After three weeks, I decided to quit my job as a District Manager for a large specialty retail company. I had a comfortable life and I had been with the company since my Sophomore year in college (2003) but the desire to do this job was no longer in my heart.
During my rehabilitation, I had time to focus on what is really important in life. It was no longer about the job, the nice house, the sports cars. No! I realized LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE CONSUMED BY MATERIALISTIC CLUTTER. So, I quickly began to get rid of the things holding me back- the house, the car, and a large majority of the things in my house. It was time to knock some things off my “bucket list”.
That takes us to TODAY. My love for skydiving has become an obsession. Wilbur Wright said it best “More than anything else the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost, if you can conceive of such a combination.”
The first thing (well, the first 50 things) I am going to knock off my bucket list:
Skydiving all 50 states!
I anticipate this trip taking 4-5 months and I will try to document it every step of the way. Wish me luck.
As of 8-18-12 I have completed ALL 50 states. Check out my blog for the list of states and Dropzone names, information, and my experiences. TemptPhate01.tumblr.com
Check it out….
I’ve been having a TON of fun this summer :)