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Justin Goes Skydiving

A Video Blog

By Justin B. Terry-Smith

September 2, 2013

When someone is diagnosed with HIV, almost immediately a person's mindset changes; the mindset most often turns into a negative way of thinking. I've learned that I cannot let HIV dictate how I live my life, as long as it turns into a healthier way of thinking. Sometimes I know that I fall short of this myself but the only thing I can do is try my best. I urge everyone to try their best in living their own lives. In my past I've always been a person that likes to travel in their own footsteps, and now through that mentality I have the chance to live again. I've decided that I'm going to live, love and laugh freely. I'm trying to get the negativity out of my life, try to love myself and others more even if they speak or think negatively about me. I don't have time or energy to concentrate on that; all I can be is the best I can be.

Skydiving was an amazing experience and I recommend it to everyone. Honestly, I nearly crapped my pants, but I loved doing it. I was so nervous but the hardest part was honestly getting in the air in the passenger plane. The plane is noisy and small and the door was right next to where I was sitting. My head was where the pilot and instruments were. The instructor then straps himself to my back, next the door is opened and you can literally look down and see the ground and you can feel the wind everywhere. The instructor is strapped to my back and we are now half way out of the plane at this point and we lean and lean and jump.

When I was in free fall (falling without the parachute opened) I felt no control and I yelled. When the parachute opened I felt a sense of calm that came over me. I felt the sensation of serenity of giving control to someone without preservation. I gave up my will to another, and maybe I'm not necessarily talking about my instructor but to another. I realized that this life that I have I have to cherish more than I have, because ultimately it is only my own in a physical sense. It was the ultimate high feeling that nobody (except my family) or anything could replicate. All in all I felt free and this is truly the day I let go.

Next....hmmmmm....Bungee Jumping Anyone?.... WE WILL SEE!!!

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See Also
10 Things You Can Do to Enhance Your Emotional Well-Being
Depression and HIV
Feeling Good Again: Mental Healthcare Works!
More Personal Viewpoints on Coping With HIV

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Justin's HIV Journal

Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith, M.P.H., may be one of the most public African Americans living with HIV: He has his own website, and he's even on YouTube. He is a noted HIV and gay civil rights activist and the creator of "Justin's HIV Journal," a popular blog in which he shares his trials and tribulations of living with HIV. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Justin resides in Laurel, Maryland, with his husband, Dr. Philip Terry-Smith, and their son, Lundyn. Presently, Justin is working toward earning his doctorate in public health. He welcomes your questions.
(Photo credit: Don Harris)

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