And if you are in your early 40s, I guess you don't know what a jump feels like.
It's an acrobatic sensation as your body does an uncoordinated 180 that brings you into free fall. After you've worked up to a certain point, your body wants to reach out. The lower the bar you've jumped, the more you feel like you are about to fall, but the more you feel like you can go higher. I had to use a lot of hand signals to the other team members that I wasn't sure I could do it.
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I was getting flustered. But I forced myself to go higher. Then I realized I could move my head a certain way. By now, you are laughing. I am not sure if anyone laughed, but I do know that the team was more afraid of me than I was of them. I was the guy who jumped all over the sky, but they were more worried about me than I was about them. The way you feel is not as important as the fact that you have done it. The only way to really prepare for free-fall is to practice doing it several times. Just like you might have to do a few backflips to prepare for doing a high bar, if you didn't practice jumping over the highest bar in the country, you'd never know it.
You think that if you are one of the greats, the bar is too tall for you. You go up to the bar and give it your best shot. The bar might be a little too high for you. It might be much lower than you expected. It might even be the same height you thought it was. You have to go up to it and try again. You think that if you are the greatest, what could anybody do if the bar is too high for them to keep on jumping rope.