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Discovering Leisure

In: Social Issues

Submitted By longnguyen2
Words 1512
Pages 7
Ski-diving and Wall Climbing Discovery
Long Nguyen
RPTA 100


Had you asked me several years ago whether i would ever jump from a plane 15,000 feet in the air, my response would be something like: “Are you crazy?”. Fast forward to February 20, 2014, I am perched on the edge of a single-engined airplane 14,000 feet in the air, ready to make my first skydive, costing $300 per person. In a matter of seconds, I will be hurtling towards the ground at 120mph. As many other first jumpers, i choose tandem skydives for my first jumps. Tandems are easy, safe, exciting, and i don't have to spend a lot of time learning how to jump. During the Tandem Skydive, which requires only minimal instruction, i am harnessed to an instructor for the entire jump. During the jump, i, myself, experience total exhilaration while free-falling through the fathomless sky at 120mph. Then, after the parachute opens, ride a sea of tranquility as i gently drip through the sky, soaking up the panoramic view of a lifetime. It all started during a plane trip in January 2013, when i browsed through the Regional Express inflight magazine and came across an article about skydiving. The author had visited the flourishing skydiving community of Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, interviewed some experienced divers, then made the big jump himself. Before i had even finished reading the article, i knew i would be skydiving soon. If i could experience half the buzz this reporter was gusting about, then skydiving was something i just had to experience for myself. People skydive for all sorts of reasons; some purely fro the massive adrenalin rush, others for more profound reasons such as overcoming their inner fears. For me, i had always been scared of the height. Therefore, the idea of jumping of the airplane had never crossed my mind. However, after i did that skydiving, i satisfied with the outcome. It is the best way to experience that adrenaline through your body. I was able to overcome my own fear and enjoyed the wonderful view at the same time. I would be lying if i said i did not experience any anxiety or fear prior the event. The moment i stood by the edge of the airplane; i had a second thought whether i should jump or not. This is due to my fear of heigh. Once i began to jump, all those fears were disappeared and replaced by the enormous view in front of me. I feel that the unpleasant response could be maintain if the parachute did not go off which could be very unfortunate for whose had to go through. While waiting in the plane, i was being feared of my own decision. The thought i went through as my life depending entirely on a rectangular strip of rip-stop nylon. Should this nylon parachute fail, then both my instructor and i going to make our exit from this world in a rather sudden and decisive manner. But once i jumped, that thoughts were replaced by the excitement and amazement of the view. I was thrilled with my heart beating faster. i could feel blood running through my body as i got closer to the ground. Once i got close to ground, my focus was on how to be able to open that parachute successfully. When i landed, i felt it was such a pleasure to make it through something i had always doubt myself. The optimal arousal theory explains leisure behavior as a quest to attain an optimal level of arousal (Iso Ahola, 1980) But because i am afraid of speed and heights and has never been skydiving previously found the arousal level induced by jumping down the plane to be so hight that i now choose not to do it for at least a while. Before i had done the skydiving, i thought my body was not strong enough for this kind of activity. I was wrong. I have learned the strength of my body better than i thought it was. Also, skydiving benefited me mentally from choosing to do an activity that never cross my mind. Lastly, skydiving gave me an opportunity to meet incredible people, those instructors. They share with me that because they enjoy doing it so much, they do not feel as they working. This event could have turned out better if i were not badly scared of height. Another important factor is weather. I think if i do it again next, i would do it during spring or fall when the weather is cooler. Definitely, i will take pictures or record a video for memory later. Despite i enjoy this activity very much, i am not sure if i would make it as my future leisure activities. Even though i was excited and joyful, somehow i could not overcome the fear of height. However, i am glad that i did it. The second activity i decided to challenge myself is wall climbing at the Well. As a Hornet student, i often go to the W ell. I always pass by the climbing wall area with my mind thinking of this kind of sport so incredible but no way i can do it. One day i decided challenge myself. I asked for my friend, Thang, has been doing wall climbing to help me at the beginning. I gotta say it is not easy for me. Indoor wall climbing: It's a lot of fun, but you might say there's a steep learning curve. Since i am a Sac State student, there is no cost involved to wall climbing other than it just requires lots of effort. To make no mistake, rock climbing is a challenge. This is why it motivated me. I have the aching forearms to prove it. But it's not the kind of workout you might think it is. Jim Stiehl, a professor in the sport and exercise science school at the University of Northern Colorado and the co-author of "Climbing Walls: A Complete Guide," says : "Many people who have never tried indoor climbing mistakenly believe that its primary prerequisite is extraordinary upper body strength and, therefore, is the sole province of strong athletes. When climbing, however, technique is often more important than strength.” (Jim Stiehl, p.11) Just about the only fitness enthusiast who might not take to indoor wall climbing would be the kind who is afraid of heights. Ideally, i am going to be spending most of my time looking up, searching for the next hold. And I found it kind of a liberating experience to know that I was so well harnessed that I could take a break from climbing, which my decidedly non-Popeye-like arms demanded several times on the 40-foot wall, and just hang there, working up some more strength to reach the top. Yes i please with my result as i achieve 40-foot wall climbing. Of course, there are many times i wanted to give up because the fact that i might injure myself. For example, it is necessary to get some big lug to keep a strong hold on the rope, just about anyone can belay effectively. My partner, Maile Zeng of Alexandria, was a . . . well, "little lug" probably isn't the way to put it, so let's just say she's considerably smaller than I am. The point is, she had little trouble keeping me up in the air when I fell away from the wall. While rock climbing can be a solitary pursuit, it hardly needs to be. In fact, Chao-Quinlan was quick to point out that her gyms are quite the social hives, especially for young professionals who flock there after work. In addition to belaying for each other, strangers can bond over discussing new techniques, routes to the top and, possibly, how tight their shoes are. (Rock-climbing shoes are designed for maximum feel around the toes.) It's definitely fun to return to my childhood, maybe the last time i felt compelled to climb something just for the sake of climbing it. But indoor wall climbing adds the benefits of a controlled environment, expert assistance and plenty of safety equipment. As for taking my act outdoors, that does seem to be the ultimate goal for the truly hooked. I could not ask for better result. I am not gonna lie; there was a point i wanted to give up due to how frustrated it can be. But i have been told taking baby step and yes eventually i achieved wall climbing for beginners. Wall climbing has been added to as one of my regular activities beside going to fitness doing cardio and lifting weight. My next goal would be outdoor rock climbing. But to get me there, i need a lot of practice. One day i will be able to…


Leitner, Sara F., & Leitner, Michael, J. (2012). Leisure Enhancement. Sagamore Publishing.

Stiehl, J. (n.d.). "Climbing Walls: A Complete Guide," (1st ed., p. 11).…...

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