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21/10/19 Drop for Youth – Part 3 – Finish This Sentence

21/10/19 Drop for Youth – Part 3

Finish this sentence: The one thing I will never regret is …

We clambered up and into the single nosed propeller stick plane that was to gradually take us up to the 13,000 feet point of drop. It was a 20-minute ascent by the chick pilot. What a cool job, sometimes seen bobbing to the tunes she was listening to through her head piece.

Sitting on the floor, Aaron and his tandem were facing backwards beside the door that was bungied shut. We were facing forward, a snugly fit backed up into his spread legs.

The Canterbury Plains landscape was just a maze of farm paddock patch work. Greens, dark greens, yellow and browns. Mount Cook had a wisp of cloud floating eastwards; the Kaikoura’s although hazy were apparent. Lake Forsyth resting to the south of the Port Hills, the Rakaia River like a crack in the crust from mountain to ocean and the curvature of the coastal bite where land bordered sea, as far as the eye could see.

One has to equalize as one gained altitude, a matter of squeezing the nostrils and blowing so as to pop the ears. Ironically, no belch of sausage. Or two.

“Three minutes.”

Shit, what were the instructions? One was engaged and lost from the panoramic views. Hop up onto lap, click. I could feel Brent tightening us into a kama sutra position. Luckily, we had our clothes on. No mile-high club membership interaction on this day!

Aaron was pumped. And so was I. If he had any nerves, then they were well hidden. And so were mine. Aaron is a Year 13 student from Linwood College that I’ve worked with this year. He is one of the Peer Mentors to the Year 9’s we impart basic life skills to. And now here we were jumping out of a plane to raise funds for the programmes we provide to youth. Together. Well, he dropped out first!

As the tap on the shoulder came to release the hands, we were still in free fall. Aaron was a dot below. We rotated and Brent (tandem pilot) removed my goggles. It made the opaque vision clearer and the view sharper.

The rip cord was pulled and we came to an abrupt slowness. Brent didn’t tell me that he was going to loosen the buckles and hf, I grabbed onto my harness! That was a lot of good wasn’t it, the harness was only mine! That’s when I belched sausage. Nothing exited I’m pleased to write.

He pointed upwards. There was Aaron and his pilot high above. We had free fell for longer to pass them dropping. Apparently, a weight to gravity ratio. Apparently.

Then we glided back to the ground, with the odd 360° rotation. Everything got bigger again. With the knees up into the chest, the landing was a touch down of arses to slide on the moist long grass before coming to a halt, the shute gracefully coming down in front to signal our drop was over. There were cheers from the by-standers over yonder at the hanger. A fist pump and hug with Brent the tandem pilot. Job done.

To watch Aaron arrive made the moment more significant. His grin was from ear to ear. A buzz of adrenalin and euphoria that clashed. A hug of congrats before we trod toward a third sausage and bread and onions and sauce.

Which brings me back to the opening question and finishing this sentence.

What is the one thing YOU will never regret?

Now get on and do it, what ever the one thing is.

20/10/19 Drop for Youth – Part 2

We all do it.

Looking as if we are listening to the person speaking but don’t be in the presence of what the person is saying.

Him – “At the three-minute call, hop onto my lap and I will clip in the bottom buckles.”

Me – Should I have eaten that sausage and bread with onions and sauce?

Him – “At the one-minute call, affix the goggles and I’ll pull the sides tight.”

Me – If I spew up the sausage and bread and onions and sauce – will it collect in the shute?

Him – “We will jump second so shimmy to the doors edge, you’ll hang outside the plane so adopt a bent banana pose with head on my shoulders, legs curled back, hands hanging onto the straps at your tit level. You’ll know when we exit the plane as I’ll rock back and forth twice and then out we go. Once I tap you on your shoulders, release your hand and just chill out, relax and enjoy the view. And breath.”

Me – Shit, should I tell him or just let nature takes its place?

Him – “Any questions?”

Me – “Yes, have I got time to eat a sausage, onions, bread and sauce?” (It would be my second)

Him – “Absolutely.”

I did, subconsciously knowing that I remember hearing three minutes, lap, clip, one minute, goggles, shimmy, banana, rock then drop, tap, release, enjoy … and try like hell not to spew up the gut contents.

What a crap last meal that would have been!

Words of wisdom – be in the moment with the person you are conversing with. Keep intently listening and, try not to finish the sentence for the person speaking.

We all do it.

19/10/19 Drop for Youth – Part 1

The things we do that takes us out of our comfort zone I’ve been brainwashed with, grows us, apparently. Read any self-development book. Listen to podcasts or watch Youtube presentations. I’ve kinda done a lot of them all.

Bla bla bla bla, you will grow from the experience more from doing, versus sitting on the side-line.

Or the ground in today’s instance!

And the gap between brainwash and reality that causes the most overthinking is as easy as the word’s spoken “ Yep, I’m in” and “What the f#*k was I thinking.” Even before you put on a jump suit that holds all your guts in for that just in-case reality of what you overthink doesn’t turn out to be something, far from your brainwash!

The folk you associate with contributing to that fear with “is your insurance up to-date?” or even better, “what is a song you want played during the service?”, be mindful of. On record, I’m having 86 songs and no speakers and believe me, when I say that I have a Celebrant who will deliver, her name is Tina.

My first words of wisdom are, ‘be mindful who you associate with.’ Are they taking you closer to your goal or away from your goal? So, when it was daughter LClaire who kept up the banter and wife BClaire agreeing, my come back was a phrase to calm my excitement about coming back to ‘poltergiest’ them. And sadly I write, I stole that from a dear mate who used those exact words during a service I officiated after watching a message he left and we played during his farewell.

Just as important, there isn’t any instruction about how to position anatomy once you have the suit that the holds all your gut in and when they start to strap in the belt and buckles that are the bits that connect you between fall out of the plane and gravity. Your tandem professional whom by the way, was a Brent!

And some of us are more endowed than others. Not sure about the other Brent. My tandem professional.

Just saying.

To be continued …

15/10/17 Cripes, have the bodies aged since then too!

All those in favour, say “Ru can be the first rider” It’s what happened when I was taking a leak … to arrive back at the Atlas Gentech corporate tent and be told, “Ru, you are the first rider!”

BClaire and I were making up a team of four from Alarm Solutions to participate in a 6 hour relay mountain bike challenge.  The other two riders were Richard Jones & Mike Fairbrother.  We each took turns to pedal at speed the 11 km route racing against the clock to complete as many laps as we could in the 6 hours.

With 1,650 others sharing the same track, it was absolute chaos as the the bunch started however, as all shapes of size, weight, fitness or not snailed the first lap, riders spread out in a figure of eight to allow for a much easier pump of the metal between the legs.

The last time we were involved in a corporate team wearing sponsorship was way way back in the dragon boat days of yesteryear.  This day flooded back thoughts of those we played, drank and partied with … where ever they are on the planet nowadays!

Cripes, have the bodies aged since then too!

Not so the comaradery of fellow bikers today though … it was alive with bragging & banter bullshit like all those in uniform should abide by.

Cheers Gwyneth, Richard, CJ and Mike for allowing the Ru’s to partake.

A great day that tis the start to the adventure season ahead.

10/9/17 A Whale Run but No Whales

350 participants fronted up for either the 2km for kids; or 10km and 21km for those wanting to run or walk.

BClaire and Lisa lined up amongst the punters to step out another 10km run to add to their lengthy list of kilometre-age trodden resume.

Mark (Lisa’s hubby) and I are always there in support to watch.  Cheer then on.  Clap them in.  To capture that moment of crossing the finish line.  It’s an important role we are tasked with and take it very seriously.  Sure, we have missed them come in a couple of times.  They’re quick in their old age.  Besides, our sport at each event is to sample ‘eggs benedict’ through frequenting different location eateries.  All sports magazines promote eating and hydration during events, ahem!

The event this time, the Kaikoura Whale run held by a little Kaikoura School just north of the township, a two-hour drive north of Christchurch.  It’s a fun event fund raiser designed to encourage folk to have a ‘get fit’ project over winter to feel great for the summer.  For BClaire and Lisa, it breaks the monotony of getting up under the cover of darkness weekdays to puff it out around Hagley every other morning.

Mark and I don’t attend those!

It was a spectacular view with the nose pointed north towards the steep rise of the Kaikoura Ranges.  Furthermore, it was a landscape that was forever changed back on the 14th November 2016 when at two minutes after midnight, Kaikoura was rocked by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

The sea bed rose over two metres exposing wildlife that lived just below the tide line.  Mountain sides are scared from earth slips.  We had to take an inland route because the old coastal route in parts has only recently become passable.

For BClaire and I personally, Kaikoura holds dear to our hearts.  We got engaged and then returned to place rings on fingers and tie the knot, getting married at the Winery overlooking the South Bay.  Our stage included the mighty Kaikoura Ranges.  Fifteen years ago.  Strewth time flies when you are having fun.

A whale fun run at that, where there were no whales running!  I did snap the girls though.   And the eggs bene was okay ya’know!

To bump into an old mates’ brother from yesteryear at the event was a bonus.  It was at their Dad’s funeral back in 2012 that sowed the seed for me to become a funeral and marriage celebrant.

BClaire and Lisa befriended another runner (similar age) who with her husband, downsized their life to be nomads travelling around our country in a caravan, parking up whenever they feel enough tarseal has been driven, so as to explore.  Another bonus meeting like-minded minimalists.

It’s a small world.  Perhaps a signal that it’s time to renew our vows.  Know any good celebrants?

Kia Ora Kaikoura.  Warm thoughts for a speedy recover.  Full kudos to the orange jackets making that possible as well.

All un-sung heroes.

5/6/17 Timing Isn’t As Important As Finishing!

So, the girls front up to the 10 km part of the Chch Marathon in the inclement weather with only one support person in toe.

No running from the support, just supporting.

The estimated time it would take to finish debatable – actually they had no idea!

The support person missed them finishing!

Don’t understand why they just couldn’t go around the block one more time for the support person to snap them finishing!

The end.

Jaunt, Jaundice and Joints

Bell Hill Walk1Jaunt, jaundice and joints – that is what you get when you do a 12km walking jaunt and there is a 1000 metre  ascent straight up at the start … tripping up and landing on your left butt cheek (BClaire) to have a jaundice patch appear the size of ya hand … and both not moving the best having sore joints the day after because we are old.

Jeez, stupidity is no joke!

Bell Hill Walk2Bell Hill Walk4 Bell Hill Walk3



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