HEY, I do have faith!

Folks, I am NOT a religious man in any way, shape, or form. People that I know, and care about are, and they let me know regularly that they are praying for me. You know what’s ironic? Whether they believe me or not, I do truly appreciate them for saying so. It shows how much they care about me to take the time to add me to the list of prayers.

My reason for not believing, though, is easy.  Having faith in something that has no proof just makes no sense to me at all. There is just flat too much evil in the world for me to believe.

BUT, this is NOT a post about religion! It’s a post because I used the phrase, “He just has to faith!” today….

First a bit of a back story.

Back before I rode bikes like I do now, in fact June 2005, my buddy Dave suggested we go skydiving. He has cousins who are professionals, live at an airport, and are happy to take rookies like us up in a plane. So one morning, Dave and I took the day off and headed south for Kapowsin for our training

Dave and Tony

We were not there for a tandem jump! OH NO! We were going for Accelerated Free Fall (AFF). We would climb to 13,000 ft, and jump out of a perfectly good plane. Two professional skydivers would jump with us.  We had handles on our suits for them to grab ahold of if necessary.

If all went well, we would do everything on our own, pull the cord, and be guided in for a landing via walkie-talkie. If not, well they would grab our asses, and make sure we landed.

Now I will tell you, I was NOT the best student.  I tried hard. And practiced all I could, but I just never got the stepping out of the plane correct. I am pretty sure I almost got scratched from the flight, but in the end they let me go.

Sure as hell, I messed up as I left the plane, I should NOT be upside down here!

I really shouldn't have been upside down here!
I really shouldn’t have been upside down here!

However, they got me straightened out, and sure enough, I stuck the landing!

Skydiver Stroh sticks the landing
Skydiver Stroh sticks the landing

Dave had a successful jump as well, and I am pretty sure there was a beer or two had afterwards to celebrate.

So what does this have to do with anything?

Well, one of Dave’s cousins is Luke Aikens, one of the premier skydivers in the business.  He was instrumental in the Red Bull Stratus Jump, as well as assisting with Iron Man 3 (when people were falling out of the plane.) The man has over 16000 sky dives, as well as BASE jumps and Wing suit flights. In short the man is the god of free fall.

Today, Dave posts that Luke is going to jump 25000 feet without a parachute! The long and short of it is he is going to hit a 100′ x 100′ deceleration net to catch him. I will go on record that I think he is nuts! And I mean that in the most complimentary way. I do love his explanation that it is just like catching a raw egg in an egg toss.  When you are good at it, you can throw the egg a LONG way and it doesn’t crack!

However, a friend of mine said this was a good example of darwin in action.

My answer was, “Nope, he has faith!” Not faith in god or a deity (Though, in full disclosure, he might, I don’t know him personally) But, more importantly, he has faith in his skills and in himself. He KNOWS he can do this. He has trained, done the math, and can fly like no one else. There is no doubt in his mind that he can do this, and he will!

In a MUCH less dangerous way, I am the same way.  When I head out for a ride, be it to work or the RAMROD


know my legs will bring me home! I can climb anything you throw in front of me. Headwinds piss me off, but I will pedal just as long as they can blow. In short, I have complete faith in my abilities on the back of two wheels

Editors note: this does NOT include motorcycles! I am NOT a good dirt biker!

It also applies to work. No matter what people, technology, or Murphy’s law throws at me, I will not ONLY get the class done; It will be done on time, the students will learn, enjoy the class, AND be ready to rock on the job! The Shairf, and old college buddy, always told me, “Anything can be done, the impossible just takes a little longer!”

However, just for the record, the reason I have so much faith in myself, is because I have proved it time and time again! When you have a track record of coming through whenever you are called, you start believing in yourself more and more. HOWEVER, one better damn well continue to prepare as he always has, otherwise he will let himself and others down.

I have complete faith Luke will pull this off! I can only wish he would where a shirt from Firefly, the series, “I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar!”

Like the wind buddy! I can’t wait to see him pull this off!  Dave and I might have to go for beer!

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