Mission Beach will always have a special place in my heart because it is where I conquered my fear of heights and saw a cassowary for the first time. The cassowary is a peculiar looking animal that dates back twenty five million years ago.
The reason why the locals care so deeply for these birds is because they are vital to the ecosystem. When they swallow fallen rainforest fruit whole, digest it, and poop it out, the seed will eventually grows in to another fruit tree. This ultimately keeps the rain forest healthy by inadvertently planting new life.
The first time I saw the bird I didn’t know what it was, so the words “dinosaur chicken” came to my mind. Once I learned the real name, “dinosaur chicken” ended up being my personal nickname for them. This cassowary was fond of the fruit tree near the chair I was sitting in.
The rainforest surrounding Mission Beach has excellent hiking trails and even areas to have a nice cool swim.
While walking along the beach front of St. Kilda, Melbourne, I’d consistently see people falling from the sky with their blue and yellow striped parachutes billowing in the wind. I began to wonder what their view was like because to me they looked like tiny floating ants.
Shortly afterward, I stumbled on a Youtube video of Will Smith talking to an audience about his skydiving experience. He said something that really resonated with me, “The best things in life are on the other side of terror.” I realized that I wanted to enjoy the best things in life and prove to myself that I can face my fears. So even though heights terrify me I literally took a leap of faith.
The feeling of free falling in the sky, looking out at the expansive view and feeling the cold air ripple over your body is life changing. The blasting wind is so intense, it drowns out every sound you make. Your stomach goes up your throat and every muscle in your body feels like fire. It is the most fun I have ever had.
When you do something as extraordinary as jumping out of a perfectly good plane, you come out of it changed. My mindset now is such that nothing can stop me. Now that my biggest fear is conquered, the sky is no longer a limit.