Over the past two weeks, me and three of my best friends embarked on a journey around the world to explore the north and south islands of New Zealand. With a camper van, a backpack of clothes, and an open mind this trip turned out to be not only a bonding experience between mates but an experience filled with life lessons that I plan to share with you all and compare it to School Comfort Zone.
The adversity we faced and how we bounced back
The journey started at the Orlando International Airport where we would encounter our first piece of difficulty. 30 minutes before our boarding time we were notified that our flight had been
Had we missed the flight, we would miss our connecting flight and it would ultimately set us back multiple days. Like a navy seal team, we all had our role to make sure that we made the flight. With minutes to spare, we felt the stress leave our bodies as we stepped on the first flight to start the trip. In hindsight, overcoming this adversity worked out in our favor; reducing the
We indulged in a mix of activities on the North Island which included white water rafting, golfing and fighting the various microclimates. Thereafter, we made our way to the Franz Josef glacier where we would find our next piece of adversity. Our activity was a helicopter glacier hike which included an hour helicopter ride up to the glacier and then a 2-hour hike around the glacier. With the fast-changing weather, we were unsure if the hike was going to happen.
Once we geared up, we made our way to the helicopter with the hopes the rain would clear. Within three seconds of sitting down our pilot called off the trip and we were distraught. Little did we know that after we reschedule the flight and cancel the hike, we would not only get a discount but it turns out that none of us was excited to hike up a glacier for two hours. Simply landing on the snow-covered glacier and taking a few photos was perfect enough. Every time we thought we were set back it turned out to work in our favor!
Taking a leap of faith
The latter part of our trip included taking a huge leap of faith on two different occasions, bungee jumping, and skydiving. Let me put the moment in perspective for the first day. It is an hour away from the bungee jump, every negative thought is going through your head, how tall is the bridge really? Will the ankle strap break? What happens if one of us doesn’t make it? Needless to say, the nervous energy was coursing through our veins, which we tried to mask with loud pump-up music. Once we arrived at the jump site, I took a deep breath and became oddly calm. I visualized how I going to plunge 150 ft off the bridge. With my turn next, it was “go” time. There was no turning back and I knew in the back of my head once I completed this nothing was going
to stop me moving forward. So I took the leap of faith trusting the ropes to hold me. It was one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve had in my life. Until the next day….
After a whirlwind of emotions from jumping off the bridge, we weren’t finished. The next day we planned to skydive from 15,000 ft. This was the real test of controlling my emotions. With similar feelings running through my mind I tried my best to channel that nervous energy into excitement. Once geared up and the safety briefing was completed, we were ready to take off. In our climb to 15,000 ft, the views of Queenstown distracted me from how high we were actually flying. Within 20 minutes, it was time to jump. The plane door opens and the first two tandem divers go out.
So what happened next?
With my feet dangling in the air for what felt like an eternity, we made the jump. Floating through the air, I was in a state of pure bliss. Overlooking the mountains and the city the rush of adrenaline and excitement was indescribable. Once the parachute engaged I felt the sense of relief as we made our descent. Touching the soft grass reminded me of the first time I laid in my grandmother’s front yard in Wisconsin! Truly unbelievable! It was at that moment where I learned a really valuable lesson.
Segue to School Safety
Now as a school safety consultant I am not asking anyone to take a helicopter through inclement weather. Neither am I asking to step off a bridge, or even jump out of a plane. But, what I took out of this 2500 km journey was every time I stepped out of my comfort zone, I grew. We felt there was more that we could accomplish and we craved the next challenge. The worst part of every stunt was the negative thoughts we had preluding to the event. We were a team throughout every step and made these decisions as a team. I now take this trip with me everywhere I go in and in every aspect of my life. I can’t help to compare it to School Comfort Zone every day.
Whether it’s conducting presentations to school principals and district members or asking someone out on a date. The worst part of every crucial situation you go through are the moments leading up to it. If you can visualize the positive outcomes and suppress the negatives you too can also spin adversity into a positive and take that leap of faith to better your school.