Coping With Fears

Tyler Hardy ENG 217 Assignment 8 Coping With My Fears Its mid July, 1996 at Ft. Benning Georgia. I was with the 101st Airborne Division; our motto was “Death From Above” and for a very good reason. Some of my worst fears were put to the test during an intense three-week training program for the Army. I had jumped out of planes before from much higher elevations. I was practically a certified skydiver before I even considered going to Airborne School with the Army. I wasnt afraid of heights. I wasnt afraid of anything! I learned that it wasnt the actual fall or the height of the fall that makes it frightening to jump out of a plane. Its the people youre jumping out of the plane with that make it either a good or a bad experience. There are two major differences between skydiving for recreation and static line jumping as a paratrooper. The first is that skydiving is all about personal style and you progress at your own pace. The second difference is that if you decide not to jump or “chicken out” you dont have to if you dont want to. Im an indecisive person at times, especially when it comes to high-risk situations. So my greatest fear was that I would be to scared to jump out of the plane, and then I would be thrown out or kicked out by a Sgt. Airborne. That wouldnt have been any fun at all. So the day came and there were about 90 paratroopers loaded into a huge transport plane called a C-130. It was my first jump out of a mandatory five. I was freaked out to say the least. I had to completely trust the riggers to pack my chute right and to make sure my equipment was up to par. The planes propellers fired up and I remember how loud they seemed to me. I looked around and I could tell I wasnt the only one who had doubts about this jump. Everyone looked horrified. I even saw a few people getting in a quick prayer or two before the doors opened. We had ascended …

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