I am my brother’s trouble-maker

Posted on 2 min read 128 views
I am so proud of my brother, Mike. Three days ago, he and I (along with my new neighbor, Tarl, who appears to be up for anything) decided that jumping out of a plane from 13,000 feet was rational. And to make it more interesting, we tossed conventional wisdom out the window and opted to jump SOLO instead of strapping ourselves to the bellies of professionals.

Now, we had to take a class for 4 hours to become familiar with jumping technique, flying technique, and among other things, malfunctions (all 12 ways the jump can go terribly wrong). I’ll be honest; I was gung-ho for a solo jump until I understood that jumping out of the plane was the safest thing I would do, and even questioned the instructor on our preparedness for taking on such a big responsibility in our very first jump. He thought we were ready for it, but it was my brother who was completely sold on bypassing tandem for solo. That’s why I’m so proud of him. He got crazy. (I’m so glad we got to share something so extreme together, bro. Love ya.)

Thankfully, I exited, flew and landed perfectly. According to Jumpmaster Vanessa (who’s jumped 4,000 times), “Sweet jump, dude!”

Sky Dive San Diego Jumpmaster Vanessa and Jon Graves
Things didn’t turn out as well for Mike or Tarl.

Prior to my jump (I went first), I soaked our jumps and chutes in prayer. I neglected, I guess, to be more specific with landing, though. (I can’t help laughing right now.) Mike jumped, flipped and flew his way to 5,000 feet before deploying his chute, then floated his way down to 50 feet or so in nearly the ideal landing spot. Unfortunately for him, he forgot to “flare,” what you do to put on the brakes of a parachute, and at 30 mph, bounced and skidded to a stop. (Still laughing. Sorry bro; it’s funny.) You can see his landing here.

My brother, Mike Graves
Tarl followed Mike’s momentum in the opposite direction and missed the landing strip entirely. When he finally came down, it was nearly half a mile (or so it seemed) east of the facility and in the middle of a bush on the hillside. (Tarl, you earned some serious comic points with that one. Nice work dodging the rocks.)

In the end, it was probably temporary insanity that overcame each of us as we looked out the small door at 13,000 and thought, “Yeah, this is a good idea.” But we did something a very small percentage of skydivers, let alone the world’s population, have ever considered doing. We jumped solo instead of tandem our first time out. I love it. It was an amazing experience, and I have to tell you……each day since I’ve thought about going back.

God must have a huge smile on His face. I’m enjoying myself again. I love you, Lord. Always. JG

From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.
Love always.
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5 Comments
  • bluetaterbaby
    March 31, 2008

    I’m so happy for all of you!!! That’s amazing! I’ve been praying for y’all and so eager to hear how things turned out. What courage! Gives you a whole new perspective on how great God is; He doesn’t even miss the fall of a sparrow! Simply awesome! It’s so good to feel the excitement and joy in your words! Have a fantastic week!

    God bless,
    Joan

  • Anonymous
    April 1, 2008

    So cool!! God’s angels were with you. Have fun you two!

  • 60 toes
    April 1, 2008

    Sounds like a great jump. I am impressed you bypassed the tandem, that was a bold move.

    The free fall is awesome, I agree.

  • MusiqisLife
    April 1, 2008

    Just for the record…I bypassed the landing strip on purpose so I could enjoy God’s creation a little more up close. Who knew God made bushes so soft and hillsides so reaxing! 🙂 Seriously though, praise be to the LORD who sustained us all with minor mishaps and injuries and thank you very much John for inviting me to tag along! Pick a day and we’l go back for Level 2!

    In Him – Tarl

  • Anonymous
    April 2, 2008

    You guys are nuts with a capitol “N.” So, I suspect I’ll enjoy sending myself a similar note when we all jump TOGETHER!!!!!!!!!!

    Dad

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