reflecting on one’s life choices

I was talking with Ishmael who I’ve known to be an avid skydiver but I hadn’t spoken with him for a few years.

We were talking about some storms that were supposed to come by. Ishmael talked about how some storms can cause updrafts that can send a skydiver where he doesn’t want to be.

“One guy was skydiving near the lake. An updraft caught him and was sending him very high and very far into the lake. He cut off his parachute to get to a manageable height and then deployed his reserve parachute.”

“Unfortunately, the same updraft send him out over the lake again. He eventually landed a mile or two offshore.”

“A couple of fisherman saw him land, debated whether he needed help, and rescued him before he drowned.”

“There are also downdrafts. This is where the wind slams you into the ground. These can happen near a cliff or the edge of a forest. One time we were landing near a herd of cows. The cows were pissed at the commotion caused by the skydivers and were stampeding in a circle. To avoid the stampede, I went over to the edge of the forest. The downdraft slammed me into the ground. I wasn’t damaged but very sore.”

“I then saw a friend of mine heading the same way. I tried to warn her but the alternative was the stampede. She got slammed into the ground and broke her ankle.”

I didn’t say “You’re an idiot to take such risks for a hobby.” Instead I said “These kinds of things would make some folks reflect on their life choices.”

Ishmael said “No. When you see someone get hurt you think about what they did wrong and how to avoid getting hurt.”

“Seeing someone die makes you reflect on your life choices. That’s why these days I stay on board and fly the plane instead.”

I guess it’s safer?

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