Beverly Knauer lives in beautiful San Diego, California, and began low carb in the 1970's. She's taken
several detours from the LC path during the years only to come back to it, realizing it's the only way
she wants to live. Beverly is Chief of Rehabilitation Services for a California Children Services, and is currently
writing a book for children.
"Measure Life by the things that take your breath away...
not by the number of breaths you take."
— Paula Winston
I don't know what possessed me to do it; some people said I was insane.
Normally, I am not an adrenaline junkie. But I had always dreamed of
skydiving, and the opportunity presented itself. My boyfriend and I
were in Las Vegas and heard about a place that offered skydiving using
a tandem jump method. It sounded perfect! So we called, placed a
reservation, and made our deposit.
The fear started as soon as we got to the diving site.
We were greeted with an hour-long video that described all the dangers
inherent with skydiving, explaining in disturbing detail how we could be
injured or killed. We were then presented with a waiver which stated
that no one — not us, not our family, not our friends — could sue the
company if their equipment failed. Less than reassured, I signed the
Next came the practice. We struck poses a few times on a bench, rehearsing
the position we would assume during free fall. It was at this point that
I really began to question my mental health. I could die!
I felt like a five-year-old stuffed into a snowsuit as we donned a jump
suit, helmet, goggles, gloves and a harness. The winds suddenly kicked
up, so we were forced to wait. If the wind blows over 35 mph, they cancel
the jump. Part of me wanted those winds to stay strong so there would be
a good reason for bailing out. I watched the second hand of the clock
sweep by as I paced. My fear escalated proportionately as each moment
passed. The man at the counter asked if I wanted to buy a video of my
free fall. Why not, I thought, as I wrote the check, they could play
it at my funeral.
I met my jump master, Tom — my guide for the tandem jump. I sized him up
and felt fairly secure; he looked intelligent, strong, and completely
sober. My 5,000-tensile-pound harness would be connected to the
parachute system, and to my jump master, with 10,000-pound test bolts.
The winds eventually died down. The moment came, and we got into the
Cessna P206. As we climbed to 14,000 feet, so did my apprehension. It
took us about 15 minutes to climb to jump altitude, every second filled
with soul-searching… I was not sure I would be able to go through with it.
It was almost time to jump, and an unnerving sense of certainty pierced
through me. I didn't think I would die, I knew I would. Could I actually
take the leap and let go? Or should I stay behind where I was safe?
Surely, I wouldn't be the first person to "chicken out."
I put one foot on the strut of the plane, my jump master right behind
me. At the moment he gave me the signal, I stopped thinking… I just let
go. Suddenly, there was no floor beneath me.
Jubilation and exhilaration! I started to laugh from pure joy. The view
of the Hoover Dam, the Colorado River, and Lake Mead was awesome, but
nothing compared to the exhilarating sensations. We were free falling
at 120 mph. Tom pulled the ripcord at about 4,500 feet, and steered the
parachute down while we enjoyed about 5 minutes of quiet, gliding peace.
I had no sensation of falling; rather, it was a sense of complete freedom.
When I hit the ground, I felt incredible elation. I had done it!
I've thought about that day many times since, because it has come to
symbolize those other facets of my life that required change, transition,
letting go. Low carb dieting is one of those experiences.
Losing weight means letting go of the old you as you transform and emerge
into the new you; this metamorphosis involves a release of old thoughts,
attitudes, and emotions to make way for the new ones. This is not always
an easy task, yet we must alter our inner selves to match the physical
The process begins when you allow yourself to release your past identity.
Having choices in life can leave us fraught with doubt. Sometimes we
hold ourselves back from progressing, because we are reluctant to let
go of our former selves — fear impedes our advancement. Only when you
let go of the fear will opportunities for growth and personal fulfillment
truly present themselves. A new beginning starts when we can visualize
ourselves succeeding outside of the box we have kept ourselves in.
Letting go is about surpassing conventional limits and overcoming barriers.
The hesitation to jump out of the plane that day, with all the anticipation
and fear of the unknown, is just like a dieter holding on to her old self,
her "safe place." But once the jump is made, once you have worked through
the fear of the unknown, it will lead to a new beginning — every ending
brings a new beginning. Change becomes something not to be apprehensive
about, rather a concept worth embracing with confidence. Letting go
requires a desire to forge ahead beyond our fears into unexplored
territory, during times when uncertainty would have us hold back.
People often place too much value on their attachments and what they
have acquired, failing to recognize that if they relinquish those
attachments, there is a greater benefit waiting for them. Learning to
let go is learning the real meaning of personal freedom — flowing with
life and its changes, while allowing the fulfillment of dreams and new
challenges to enter. It opens us to our most powerful potential for
living by releasing the doubt we are busy holding on to. It allows
us to be an open vessel, receiving the gifts of an auspicious life
while learning to give up what is taken away with grace… and still
trusting that life already gives us more than we can ever need.
Letting go is as easy as jumping out of an airplane…
Copyright © January 2004 Beverly Knauer and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2004 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury
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