I feel great about exploring this experience of taking a break from skydiving, AS an experience of my long-term career and life-long participation in the sport.
In essence, taking a break from anything we do long-term… a reinvention of self… a re-creation of life in a new way, RICH with new experiences by the simple extraction of one thing that previously occupied so much time and attention. IMG_3808And make no mistake, I have loved every minute of that occupation… and I don’t mean job… I mean, skydiving occupying every fiber of my heart, being, and literal world for so long. I hear so many talk about their struggle to find something they like, something they’re good at, something they want to dive into that fully. I count myself SUPREMELY lucky to feel like I’ve found that level of passion for multiple pursuits in my life. Skydiving and life coaching, and more and more marrying the two into something new even now, seeing how it all unfolds and what continued contribution I can make by just, for real, being me every step of this way we’re all making uniquely for ourselves. You being you… biggest gift you can give another in my view. Respect. Mel Signature - Transparent
Blue Skies Magazine, Oct 2015 Life Coaching Column #62 Issue #69   “A Redneck Baby Jesus” By Melanie Curtis  
Ok, so who here knows Chris Talbert?
To me, he’s Talbie. Yeah, Talbie! You may also know him as Talbert or C-Tal. I sometimes call him Chris to keep things interesting. Or maybe you know him as the dude who works at Sun Path. Or the dude that might describe something as better than a redneck baby Jesus wearing a sparkly top hat. Yeah, that’s me trying to come up with a Talbert-ism, but really that’s only something you can experience with man himself. When you do, you’ll know. It’s awesome.   Funny, in the turnover our sport sees, many of you may not know that Chris Talbert is also a highly accomplished skydiver. Like, seriously, he’s done a LOT. He’s achieved what many people dream of competitively being a part of the Golden Knights and Arizona Airspeed, and becoming a world champion. Yeah, that guy you see in the Sun Path shirt helping people with their gear, he’s been on the proverbial skydiving road a lot longer than a lot of us. Myself included.   Chris also has already taken a big break from jumping in the long-term trajectory of his skydiving career. A couple actually. Two years one time, three years another. So not only has he had the intense, jump-jump-jump, train-train-train, go-go-go experience, he’s also had the experience of extended time on the ground.   I’m in my first extended break on the ground as I come up on 20 years in the sport with over half of those as a professional. Cool. In it, I’m reflecting. Cool. I’m dancing around the topic of skydiving and how I want it to look in my future. Cool.   11665726_10152859107541502_414166247314320369_nSo I was scrolling through my Facebook feed this week, and I saw that he was back in the air. Chris Talbert was skydiving again. Making jumps out of airplanes after all that time on the ground. Cool!   Given I really have no clue about this whole down-time scenario, the picture of Talbie in a funny 2-way with BK instantly made me giggle good vibes and made me curious how he got there. I wondered what insight he might have that might help me on my own up and down and all-around skydiving path. What did his break look like? What did his break feel like? What motivated him to get back in the air? What clarity did he find for himself and his skydiving inside his time down?   So this morning, I called Chris because he’s not only my friend, he’s also my sponsor with Sun Path… I wanted to follow up with him about an event we were talking about, and I wanted to ask him straight-up about what it looks like further down the path. I mean, that’s what we do, right?
We reach out to those trusted people in our network who know more than we do when we don’t have all our own answers yet.
We ask questions. We inquire inside ourselves while seeking insight outside too. I was excited to talk with Chris, someone who has walked a similar path and has come out on the other side in the ways I think I’d like to too. In this case, it’s skydiving again after a great rest… after a lot of golf… with my long-term relationships oddly fortified in that time down. It’s skydiving again with a pure heart, reconnected to the simple love of flying and flying with our life-long friends.   And that was a big piece of the insight Chris shared with me when we talked… that in a sense he found his way back to jumping for the simple purity of it… that deciding to jump didn’t require a grand plan or greater goal. That he could, moment-by-moment decide to jump, or not. Now… when he wants to jump… he jumps.   Simple.   Pure.
Sometimes it’s time for intensity… sometimes it’s time for ease.
  Both are awesome. And we all get to decide for ourselves which is right for us at every point, whether it’s about our jumping or anything else in our lives.   I’m grateful to Chris for his insight and willingness to share his personal skydiving experience with me, and with you too through me here.   That’s great sh*t. That makes me feel so grateful for and supported by our community. For every unique road each of us is on… sometimes diverging, sometimes intersecting, and because we’re all skydivers… always running parallel in the big picture. Thank you for walking a little bit of mine with me. Not much tops a redneck baby Jesus in a sparkly top hat, but I’d say that does it. Thanks again, Talbie. Tizzle 2.0, out.  

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