After being a prisoner in a relationship spanning close to 2 decades, I shouldn’t be that surprised that I had my mid-life crisis a bit earlier than most. After I left my ex, I had bought another house on my own, and a few months later, started dating for the first time since High School. I was 33 years old. The life I lived with him for all those years was a complete 180 from the life I needed to experience.
After doing the online dating thing for 2 years or so, and having had many horrible experiences with men in that year, I decided to take my life back and start having some crazy experiences (outside of the insane experiences I had while dating!). I had done 5 tandem skydives after falling in love after just the first one. I started the AFF program in 2015, so I could get my A license in the sport. Of course I was terrified, but when I fall in love with something, I completely immerse myself in it. I was reading books about fear, about skydiving, reading the manual to prepare for the course, etc. It quickly became my obsession and my life.
As I waited for the skydiving season to start in Maine, I started doing other things that I had never done. I purchased a gun and a range membership. I took the safety course, had some private training, and got my concealed carry permit. I still love going to the range to shoot, I just can’t afford to go every weekend like I did that year. Ammo ain’t cheap!
At the same time, I also got my motorcycle license. I had never even sat on a motorcycle, let alone rode one. But I took the course, and even passed the test in the pouring fucking rain. When I say pouring, I mean DUMPING. It was horrible, but somehow I passed. I already had my eye on the new Ducati Scrambler, so right after getting my license, I went to the Ducati dealer and made the purchase. I was SO excited. I had dreamed of riding my Ducati to the drop zone to go skydiving that summer. Meanwhile, I had also started the AFF course as soon as the season started, and got a few jumps in. Sadly, everything came to a very abrupt stop.
I had a motorcycle accident. It was stupid, but luckily only involved myself. I was coming to a stop, had put my foot down on the pavement, but then as my small hand went to give it brakes, my wrist gave it throttle instead. My leg, which was on the pavement by that time, snapped in a split second as the bike took off with a lot of torque. I stayed upright on the bike, even made a turn, all the while knowing and feeling that my left leg was literally dangling in 2 pieces and the bones were coming out the front. I came to a stop on the side of the road, had no leg to put down, so I dumped the bike on top of me and pushed my way out from under the bike. I joked in the ambulance with the EMT’s, asked them NOT to give me any pain meds (which they had to despite my plea), and I was on my cell phone the whole way to the ER. I was calling people to come take care of my cats at the house and letting my brother know what happened. When you’re single and alone with almost no family (and no family close by), emergencies are even more difficult to deal with. I was so worried about my cats (this was pre-dog….THANK GOD).
I had been lifting weights in the gym for a few years, and training for power lifting. This saved me. The tib/fib compound fracture happened so cleanly, the surgeon told me he had little to no fragments to remove. My bones were extremely strong from weight lifting. This also made my recovery go very quickly and very smoothly. But still, my recovery was one of the darkest times of my life. I live alone in my house and had 2 cats, one of which I had JUST adopted the same week of the accident. I was depressed, frustrated beyond words every day, but had to keep smiling and thankfully my job allowed me to work from home during my entire recovery. I learned how to walk again, and was back in the gym on crutches before I even started PT. The gym is what kept me going. I desperately wanted to get back to where my life left me. I wanted to get back in the sky. As soon as I could walk again, I took up hiking for the first time in my life. I started dating a skydiver. I hiked as much as I could, trying to get my leg stronger and quickly. The accident was in June, I was back in the gym deadlifting in August, I was hiking (and hang gliding!) in September, and started snowboarding in January. I had also started flying in the wind tunnel to train for skydiving. I’m actually quite proud of how I pulled myself out of that very dark place, alone as usual. I was anxiously waiting for the next skydiving season to start. Once it did, I got right back up in the sky and started jumping out of planes. I didn’t quite finish getting my A license after all of that, for a multitude of reasons. I have about 17 jumps under my belt, 12 of those wearing my own rig. I haven’t made any more jumps since then, and I do miss it a lot. But, my priorities have changed now that I’ve been through some (more) real shit.
I had a horrible relationship with a pilot, who turned out to be a con artist and let’s just say I lost several thousand dollars and was left with a dog we had adopted together. So an empty wallet with a new huge expense, meant no more mid-life crisis for me. No more crazy experiences, no more expensive adrenaline sports, no more getting my mani/pedi’s, and no more buying toys for myself (sex or otherwise).
Despite all of this, I wouldn’t change a thing. I believe the motorcycle accident was the universe’s way to forcing me to slow the fuck down. And now that I have 3 four legged souls depending on me every day, I can’t live that reckless, selfish life. Most people “settle down” with someone. I settled down with myself. But the fulfillment I get with caring for my animals, training and doing canine sports with my girl, and volunteering with an incredible dog rescue group is more than enough to make me happy. Some days are very hard doing everything alone, but after all I’ve been through in my 39 years, LIFE IS NOW GOOD. I’ve honestly never felt so fulfilled, despite not having the money I used to and not having the crazy experiences. I guess you could say I’ve learned many a hard lesson, all to land somewhere in the middle.
#midlifecrisis #skydiving #singlelife