“Didn’t you jump out a plane once?” my brother-in-law asked. I could hear my sister’s voice in the background saying, “No way!”
Life is death-defying enough. While I realize you’re more likely to be killed or injured riding in a car or on a bike, I see no reason to up the chances by engaging in high-flying hobbies that are hazardous to my health.
When I feel the need to live on the edge, I shop at Walmart on Black Friday or check out the handbag sample sale at Lord & Taylor. To keep my adrenals pumped abroad, I might cross a street in Mumbai, dodging speeding motor scooters, honking tut-tuts and lumbering elephants, or jog down the cobblestone streets of Rome sporting the latest stilettos.
Skydiving holds zero appeal. In 2010, there were 21 fatal accidents — one death for every 142,000 jumps — often from parachute malfunction, the jumper’s mistake or loss of consciousness.
“You’d never get me off the plane,” I told my sister.
“You’d never get me on it,” she replied.
I used to watch the hang gliders near Ocean Beach in San Francisco, gracefully catching the currents of air, floating lightly as I do in water. Then I heard how many flyers were maimed or killed. Icarus came to mind. Hang gliding, it turns out, is one of the most dangerous in-air sports, with more fatalities than skydiving.