Friday, August 27, 2010

Marathon Article

As I crossed the finish line of the Friendly Massey Marathon, I was asked, "How do you feel?" In between dry heaves, I muttered something about having raised $1350 for Haiti and next thing I knew I had a reporter asking me questions and taking pictures.

It was for a small town paper, but I was very thankful for the reporter's enthusiastic response to my fundraising and dare2dream journey, in general.  I just received a copy of the article and would love to share it with you:

Here is the article, by Craig Gilbert of the Mid-North Monitor...
with post links (PURPLE) and my notes/corrections (RED): 

A box of Reese Puffs cereal made Toronto's Timmy Boyle run the Friendly Massey Marathon.  No, it wasn't because he was afraid they would go straight to his thighs.  The professional comedian, motivational speaker and father of three, saw a list of cool things you should do on a box of sugary cereal one day in January, and found he had only done two of them.  So he made his own list of things to accomplish before his 37th birthday, which is today, Wednesday July 21. *The date the article ran
[My List]

"I've been training ever since", the self-professed procrastinator said after basically collapsing across the finish line on Government Road, almost exactly five hours after starting. "If I hadn't set a deadline, I never would have done it."
[The Final Results]

"I saw one of my comedy idols, Bob Newhart, before he passed. *To my knowledge, Bob is not dead yet.  It should have read "I wanted to see Bob Newhart before he died...and I did"
[My Bob Newhart Experience]

That was the first dream I guess, before I made the list.  It took that Reese box to push me over the edge."
[My Dreamin' Begins]

He calls the adventure Dare2Dream, and has raised almost $2,000 (now over $2,500) for Haitian relief through it.  Raising a total of $10,000 is dream #11 on the list.
[My Fundraising Video w/Alyssa Milano]

The funds will go to Stillerstrong, a charity launched by actor and comedian Ben Stiller, which is building schools in the earthquake-ravaged island nation.  The name is a play on famed American cyclist Lance Armstrong's Livestrong brand.

Boyle was actually already involved in raising interest for child sponsorship in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere before the natural disaster hit. *True  He had organized an entire comedy tour aimed at raising funds and awareness for World Vision. *Not true.  Although I have worked with World Vision, the referenced tour, on which I performed, was organized by comedian Leland Klassen and was sponsored by New Missions - a relief organization on the ground in Haiti for over 25 years.

"But, I did no planning before I made the list," he said..  "This was the only marathon I had a shot at.  It was the farthest away (to allow time to train) and the closest to my birthday.  So we came to Massey."

He had only been training for a few weeks, and didn't have a steady running routine established, which is recommended when training for a marathon. *Partially true.  I started running in February, but had slowed my pace down dramatically in the weeks prior to the race, due to a bad knee.

"When I got back there (he points to the start-finish line, which was the half-way point for the full marathon, two laps around the course) at 21 kilometres, I felt good, but then I thought 'Aw man, I have to do this again?'", he said.  "Then I hit a wall at 28 km; 21 km was the farthest I had ever gone in my training. *After confirming the length of the beach boardwalk, I have discovered the farthest I'd ever run was actually only 18 km.  That's crazy.
[My Training Problems]

His wingman, brother-in-law Dan Quigg, kept him going through his training and through the marathon itself.  "I had to slow down my training after I hurt my knee," he said.  "I was going to postpone the marathon because that's my default (to quit when any easy out appears), but he (Dan) kept training after going through some stuff.  So I said, "I gotta keep doing this.  His sick run is my healthy run."

"There were people twice my age ahead of me out there.  The respect I have for them now is incredible.  Bungee jumping was the scariest thing I've ever done, but this was the hardest."

Running the marathon is the fourth accomplishment on his list.  He had previously gone Skydiving, Bungee jumping and conquering ("attacking" is a more applicable term) his greatest fear, claustrophobia.
[My Bungee Jump] [My Sky Dive] [My Greatest Fear]

Sitting on the grass in front of S. Geiger Public School and barely able to move, he breathes to his wife, Heidi, that he is glad she's there to drive back to the Big Smoke.  *I was glad she was there, but she doesn't have a she wasn't getting behind the wheel anytime soon 

His sister, Michelle Quigg, was videotaping for his blog. *Complete Video & Pics to come

"I wouldn't be able to accomplish any of these dreams without (my wife)." 
[My Supportive Wife]

Other goals on the list include performing live on The Late Show with David Letterman, having lunch with Stiller (his comedic idol), learning to drive a 1,000 cc Yamaha street bike, becoming a contestant on Survivor, dancing with Ellen Degeneres and visting Sweden.
[My Invitation to Stiller] [My Survivor Audition] [My Ellen Vid] [The Yamaha Vid]

To learn more about Boyle, Dare2Dream and his brand of clean, inspirational comedy, visit and click Dare2Dream at the top of the page.

"This dare to dream thing has already changed me, I have driven through walls," (Not literally) he said, "But to have it affect my kids too?  My 12-year-old daughter came Bungee jumping with me.  I wouldn't have done that when I was 12.  The more I accomplish, the more I affect other people.  So, if there's something you want to do, go do it.  You'll never regret it."


Thanks to the Friendly Massey Marathon for an amazing experience and to Craig Gilbert for taking the time to report about it. 

The deadline has passed, but the dreamin' continues.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Raising $10,000 for Stillerstrong

Dream #11:  Raise $10,000 for Stillerstrong.

Why $10,000?  Because it's low enough to be reasonably achieveable and high enough to make it "dream" worthy. 

On May 1st, I hosted a night of comedy & inspiration called "Seriously Funny", at which I performed my stand-up comedy, spoke about the Dare2Dream adventure and "attacked my greatest fear" (Dream #8).  The evening raised $555 for Stillerstrong.

On July 18th, I successfully ran my first marathon (Dream #9).  It was an awesome mental & physical challenge but it also, due to many generous dreamers, raised $1875 to builds schools in Haiti.

On July 24th, I had the immense privilege of hosting Dr. Dale's Comedy Magic Show.  I was surprised and very grateful to see Dr. Dale had put a small donation box at the back of the room, in support of my dream to help children in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.  Not sure what to expect, I was thrilled to find $33 had been given.  Every little bit counts!  

To date I am proud to say that $2,463 total has been raised.  And, although the "deadline" for my Dare2Dream adventure technically passed almost 2 weeks ago, the dreamin' continues!  You see, there is no such thing as a deadline for dreams and...the work in Haiti is far from over.

So, with 3/4 of the goal still to be reached, I've begun brainstorming other ideas to fulfill this dream.

Idea #1:  Create the most amazing fundraising video...ever!

Well, by merging the heart of Stiller's campaign (Stealing great ideas) and the heart of Alyssa Milano (The queen of Twitter & humanitarian efforts)...I have done just that.

Enjoy, and pass it on.  Thanks....from me and the kids in Haiti.

Of course if the video doesn't work...we move on.

Idea #2:  Bake sale.


Friday, July 30, 2010

BUNGEE - Part 2: Parlez-Vous Bungee?

The day started like any other, “Hey kids, we’re going to Quebec!”

Okay. So, packing the family up for a day trip to another province isn’t exactly a regular occurrence at our home. Of course, knowing that the sole purpose of our journey would be to jump from a 200-foot tower just made it that much more unique.

With my birthday fast approaching, Bungee Jumping remained one of the few unfulfilled dreams I’d be able to check off my Dare 2 Dream list before the initial deadline passed.

Now, I had known for sometime that I would be experiencing my first Bungee at Great Canadian Bungee at Morrison’s Quarry in Quebec. But, I hadn’t been able to figure out how and when I was going to be able to make it happen.

Enter Heidi.

My wife came to me, quite out of the blue actually, and made an intriguing suggestion. She’d take a day off work, we’d pull funds from our “family time” budget and, bringing the kids with us, we’d turn my “dream” into a family outing.

That was awesome. (My wife is so smart).

Then, my 12-year old daughter, Aliyah, approached us, quite out of the blue actually, and expressed her interest in possibly Bungee Jumping with me.

That was awesome. (My daughter is so…brave?)

So, I called up GCB and made an inquiry into open spots for…“Tomorrow”. Despite the last minute request, they were very accommodating and our time was booked. I was so excited I couldn't sleep...but, then night time arrived and I got tired.

Wednesday, July 7th. 9:00am. With a French-English dictionary in one hand, a map in the other and a Tim Horton's bagel in the other, we were on the road to Quebec.

The drive was relatively “normal” for a family road trip. The kids kept themselves amused with episodes of Transformers, while Heidi and I spent the time staring lovingly into each other’s eyes.

Since I’m the driver, it really is amazing we arrive anywhere safely. I guess our love force field protects us.

Anyways, about 30 minutes into the drive, Heidi’s lustful gaze was momentarily broken as a shiny object on the dashboard caught her attention. I wisely used that opportunity to make sure I was still in my lane…and to ask Aliyah about her shoes.

My concern was that she was wearing her slip-on flats, instead of runners. That concern was justified, but it was too late to change her footwear. So, seeing as I was still safely within my proper lane and the shiny object had vanished, Aliyah went back to watching Optimus Prime shoot at Megatron and I resumed my silent game of seduction with Heidi.

Not long after crossing the border into Quebec we turned into Morrison’s Quarry. You’d think a bunch of rocks would be “blah”, but it was actually quite stunning. The scenery is certainly one of the reasons that Great Canadian Bungee is considered one of the five best Bungee Jump facilities in the world. The huge white rock cliffs surrounding a blue, crystal clear “lagoon” creates an absolutely breath taking environment.

We parked our car and walked to the Bungee office/hut where Aliyah and I filled out a form (478 pages less than Skydiving)...

...and were weighed.

Having arrived earlier than scheduled we were prepared for a long wait but within a half hour our names were called and our adventure officially began! After kissing Heidi and Connor goodbye (for what could’ve been the last time), Aliyah and I joined the group being led up a long winding path to the Bungee bridge.

STAY TUNED FOR BUNGEE - Part 3: A Leap of Faith


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

BUNGEE - Part 1: Bungee? I'd Rather Jump From a Plane!


“What? You mean now?”

Standing at the edge of a 200 foot tower, even if it is overlooking a beautiful crystal clear lagoon, is slightly…intimidating.

Now, despite how logical that may sound (after all, 200 feet is kind of “up there”), I will confess, for a brief moment in time, I actually thought leaping off would be an absolute breeze.

I would simply walk up to the edge, crack a joke or two and then…voila! I’d dive headfirst into the vast expanse below me.

I mean, really. Not more than a month earlier I had travelled up to 12,500 feet and hurled myself from an airborne aircraft (as opposed to an un-airborne aircraft…which provides a very different experience).

Twelve THOUSAND, five hundred feet! That is 62.5 times higher than the piddly little distance now standing between me and the water below.

Moments after surviving my first Skydive, I actually remember verbalizing to my friend Steve that I should have gone Bungee Jumping first because, after what I had just experienced…

Bungee Jumping is for kids.

How wrong I was!

In fact, here is the truth. At the point of no return both experiences provided a genuine sense of hesitancy (with a hint of “Are you crazy!”). However, the prospect of diving into the clouds attached to another man was not nearly as freaky as diving off a 200 foot tower attached to cord.

I know it sounds weird but let me try to explain…

You see, Skydiving produced some sort of eerie disconnect from reality that Bungee Jumping didn’t.

“Why is that?” So glad you asked. Here is my theory…bearing in mind that, in school, Science wasn’t one of my strong suits - along with Math, Language, Geography and History for that matter.

When I was in the doorway of the plane, I was completely aware of how “stupid high” (in the sky, not in the head) I was. But, I was SO high (in the sky) it actually became a surreal moment, rather than a real one (hence the word “surreal).

Even though I could see the earth, through the clouds, it was as if the planet was too far for me to gain any true sense of what role thousands of feet could play in the cause and effect game I was about to partake in.

Effect: Body-bending crash, causing death.
Cause: Falling 12,500 feet.

I believe traveling to my jump location in an airplane erased any sense of real perspective. I simply went too far…too fast.

That’s right, Science teachers. Write this down in your text books (with proper credit given):

“Being detached from the natural sensory stimuli one experiences when distancing themselves, proportionately, from something else leaves a person with a skewed reality.”

For example, the mode of transportation one chooses in order to travel across Canada will directly affect their understanding of how far they went.

Having flown many times to the West Coast I can assure you making the trip by air creates, albeit in perception only…an alternate reality. Without fail, every first night after completing that journey, I would end up lying in bed absolutely fascinated by the concept that I woke up in Toronto and am going to sleep with an entire continent between me and my family.

Of course, lest you think I’m some sort of 24-7 philosopher, this type of super-deep reflection wouldn’t happen until I had finished watching a few episodes of Gene Simmon’s Family Jewels. (Please note there is no direct connection between the theory I am espousing and KISS’s front man. I’m just being transparent with my evening routine.)

So if Skydiving is like flying to B.C from T.O. then Bungee Jumping is like walking there.

Although highly ashamed by it, I will be the first to admit that despite my 37 years of being Canadian, I’ve never crossed this country on foot (and yes, I feel I’ve let Anne Murray down). But, if my theory is correct then I’m assuming after doing so, Canada would seem…in body, mind and spirit…HUMONGOUS! And, rightfully so.

Now, obviously you couldn’t fit Canada between the Bungee bridge, which I was standing on, and the water below it but, after walking the long winding uphill path and climbing some stairs, I can honestly say when I got to the launching pad and looked down…unlike Skydiving…everything felt VERY far and VERY real!


Wait. Before I jump, let me take you a few moments back in time.

The day started like any other, “Hey kids, we’re going to Quebec!”...

GO TO BUNGEE - Part 2: Parlez-vous Bungee?


Monday, July 19, 2010

Live Before You Die!


“Sit down son. Come take my hand.
Look me in the eye. Take these words.
Promise me you’ll live before you die”
                               - Bon Jovi

Dream #18: “Backstage at a Bon Jovi Concert”

Mr. Jovi. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Mr. Jovi?

Let me explain.

A long time ago (in the mid-80’s), in a galaxy far, far away (unless you live on Earth), there was a young boy with big dreams. He just didn’t have the courage to pursue them.

His name was Timmy and he was a little…different. Now, don’t get me wrong, he was well-liked but no one ever considered him “cool”. No wait. That’s a lie. There was that freckly kid who stored boogers in his braces. He thought Timmy was pretty awesome.

Anyways, Timmy journeyed through the already awkward teen years, seemingly intent on increasing the awkwardness, by living a few years behind everyone else in the areas of fashion, trends and especially…music.

When others were listening to Bon Jovi, Timmy was listening to The Beach Boys (not that there is anything wrong that). However, Timmy secretly liked this Bon Jovi. The hair. The energy. The name “Bon”. What an awesome first name.


Timmy often wondered if he would ever get the opportunity to meet Bon and utter these words,

“Mr. Jovi. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

25(ish) years later…I have yet to have that pleasure. And even though, at some point over the last quarter century, I discovered that Bon Jovi’s first name is actually Jon, I’d still be incredibly honoured to have that experience.

Now, having said that let me bend your mind slightly.

I am a fan of Bon Jovi but very few people would ever know. You see, although meeting Jon Bon Jovi would be a dream come true, I don’t know the names of all of their albums or even how many they have. There are no Bon Jovi T-shirts in my closet, no Bon Jovi posters on my wall and no Bon Jovi tattoos on my body. In fact, I’ve never been to a Bon Jovi concert and my tiny music collection isn’t even home to a Bon Jovi CD.

Believe me, I am well aware that my position on the “Fan-Meter” is right near (or at) the bottom, but let me say this: Bon Jovi sits in a very unique place in my life.

In January, I compiled my Dare2Dream list. In it were 18 dreams that I desired to fulfill by my next birthday (July 21, 2010). These were the cream of the crop. They were the 18 things that were deeply ingrained into my, “That would really be awesome!” section of my heart.

One of those dreams is to “Go Backstage at a Bon Jovi Concert”, and it truly would be awesome to meet Jon and finally utter those words from my childhood,

“Mr. Jovi. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

I love music. I really do. But, the few CD’s I own are dust collectors and I fail miserably at games like “Name that Tune”. Music, unlike baseball or comedy, has simply never been a defining factor of my life. Yet, somehow, Bon Jovi is etched so deep into my being that I’ve included meeting him on this list of dreams.

That, I believe, says something about the power and magic that is Bon Jovi.

A few days ago, a friend surprised me with tickets to “The Circle Tour”, in Toronto...on July 21, 2010.

That's my birthday! I almost fell of my chair. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be able to attend this concert. I’ve been practicing “Livin’ on a Prayer” for years in the car and I can’t wait to belt it out in the Roger’s Center.

In 1993, I was in that very stadium when Joe Carter hit a homerun to win the World Series for the Toronto Blue Jays. It was, by far, the most electric experience of my life. Now, I can’t promise “The Circle Tour” concert is going to take that #1 spot, but I am expecting it to at least challenge for 1a.

However, guaranteed, July 21, 2010 would become, “The Most Awesome Birthday of my Life”, if I was to get the opportunity to fulfill Dream #18 (not listed in any particular order) and say,

“Mr. Jovi. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Have a good one,
Dare 2 Dream,

*Update:  My birthday was AWESOME!  The show was incredible!  You gotta love those video screens.  Didn't meet Mr. Jovi...but the dream continues...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Running for Haiti

I am two weeks away from attempting the most physically demanding dream on my Dare2Dream list.

Dream #9: Run a Marathon

On July 18th I will be participating in the Massey Friendly Marathon in…Massey.

“Where is Massey”, you ask? It is about six hours north of Toronto.

“Why Massey?" Because it’s friendly and I don’t think it’s high on the list for Kenyan my chances of winning are much better.

Actually, I have absolutely NO chance of winning…short of wearing my roller skates (which I have considered). In fact, at this point…I’m not even convinced that I’ll be able to finish the entire 42km distance.

But, believe me, if I don't it won't be for lack of trying.  I have been training and have run more often (and farther) in the last 5 months then I have in my entire life. As a result, I’ve learned so much about myself, my physical limits and my ability (and willingness) to push through “walls”. It has already been an amazing journey, but I can’t stop here. I have to go to Massey.

My brother-in-law, Dan, has been training as my running partner. This will be his first marathon as well, but he’s definitely more ready for it than I am. So, if I do end up falling flat on my face at any point during the race, he’s been ordered to save himself and finish on his own.

Now, I’ve been asked over 1,257 times (if my memory serves me correctly) how I would feel if I couldn’t finish the race. My answer is always the same. I’d be disappointed. However, I’d probably be even more disappointed if I never tried.

So, I determined long ago that I would rather end up lying in a pool of sweat, with a number pinned to my back, at the 30 km mark on some street in Massey, Ontario then not go at all.

Let’s see what happens.

However, as satisfying as it would be to make this just another exercise in personal growth, I’d really love to partner this dream with another one on the list.

Dream #11: Raise $10,000 for Stillerstrong

To date I have raised $550 for Stillerstrong (who has partnered with Architecture for Humanity) to help build schools in Haiti. I am obviously still a long way off from reaching my goal, but I’m pressing forward trying to find creative ways to pull it off.

Here’s the plan:

I’m looking for individuals who would come along side me and make a donation amount based on how many kilometres I complete.

If I can find 240 generous dreamers who would be willing to pledge $1 per finished kilometre and I actually finish the entire 42km, then I will have fulfilled two dreams and made many children in Haiti very, very happy!

Of course
ANY sponsoring amount would be much appreciated!

Would YOU consider helping the ongoing rebuild in Haiti by sponsoring my first marathon attempt? If so...Here’s how:

1) MAKE A PLEDGE (Set Figure or Per Kilometer):

     a. If donating after the race, contact me with your pledge amount via
               i. Comment on this blog post or,
               ii. Email HERE or,
               iii. Facebook at “I’m Daring to Dream with Timmy

     a. Give via your preferred payment method              
               i. Pay Pal via "Donate" Button

               ii. Cash (in person) or,
               iii. Cheque (in person or by mail) –
                        *Make cheque payable to Tim Boyle

Here’s to a great run! See you at the finish line (figuratively...unless you plan on attending the race).

*RACE UPDATE:  I FINISHED IT!  $1775 has been raised so far.  Story and Pics to come soon!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SKY DIVE - Part 4: The (2nd) Most Awesome Experience of my Life

*READ Part 1 HERE, Part 2 HERE & Part 3 HERE

There are some things that are very difficult to put into words. I’m here to say that Skydiving is one of those things.

It is no simple task to capture all that transpires physically, mentally & emotionally, while falling through the clouds, and wrap it neatly into a package of coherent words and phrases.

Although, writing about the experience leading up to the point of no return flowed out of me as free as the fall, the moment between the jump and the landing has left me tight lipped. I have lots to say, but no clue how to say it.

I would say that my Skydive experience has left me speechless, but I can’t because, well…I just finished three short paragraphs describing how speechless my Skydive experience has left me. That may be “rambling”, but it’s not “speechless”.

Anyways, although I am tempted, knowing that a picture is worth a thousand words, to just let the following video and pictures do the talking…I won’t.

Question: What do you feel when you’re falling from a plane on purpose (“on purpose” being the key phrase)?
Answer: Peace

That’s right. Peace.

Now, while in the doorway of the plane, I was obviously hesitant about my decision to toss myself into the sky,

but once I jumped (whether I “jumped” or “was pushed” is a matter of semantics) and cleared the threshold…it was peace.

Contrary to popular belief (including my own) there was no fear. The whole experience was simply too surreal to feel fear.

Fear is what would arise if you fell out of a plane…unintentionally (whether by accident or attempted murder).

Fear is what you feel if it were Christmas and you were hanging outside a 30th floor window of the Nakatomi building knowing that your grip on the wrist of John McLane’s wife was about to broken as her watch strap became unclipped.

The interesting thing about Skydiving is that, despite the fact gravity is always doing its job and you are plummeting at a break-neck speed (I topped out at 235 km/h) towards the earth, never once do you feel like you are falling.

It really is like…you’re flying!

I experienced a breath-taking 6,000 foot, 39 second free fall. It was truly one of the most exciting moments in my life. Interestingly enough, my top two most exciting moments both took 39 seconds. The other one was almost 10 years ago on my honeymoon.

Once the chute was deployed, I went from flying to floating. At one point, Oleg (my tandem partner) and I were completely enveloped by a cloud. Nothing but white! It was absolutely beautiful.

As we passed through to the other side I could see for miles. Now, I fully understand that I live in a metric country, but saying “I could see for kilometres” sounds dumb. Anyways, the point is I could see far. In fact, I’m pretty sure I could see Sarah Palin’s house.

Now, having been on a plane, there was nothing new about being able to see such a great distance, but being able to spin 360 (which I did) and see the horizon all the way around…that’s cool!

I have no idea how long I was in the air. It felt like an eternity, but once I was on the ground it felt like a blur. The whole experience seemed unbelievable. I couldn’t believe I had just jumped out of a plane, and I couldn’t believe that it was over.

I hit the earth butt-first, with a very smooth “sitted” landing.

If it wasn’t for Oleg, who I was attached to, tapping me on my shoulder and telling me to get up (for his own comfort), I think I’d still be sitting in that field.

It was pure craziness…and I’d do it all again!

Enjoy the images. They are spectacular. But, please understand that no picture or video will ever truly capture the…


Thanks to Steve for sharing the experience with me!

Thanks to Oleg for getting me to the ground alive!

Thanks to Skydive Toronto for providing the entire experience with great video and pics!  Be sure and check them out. 

Have a good one,
Daring to Dream,

Friday, June 18, 2010

SKY DIVE - Part 3: Yo Joe, Yoga and "Yo! What am I doing?!"

*READ Part 1 HERE or Part 2 HERE

Monday morning. It was overcast, but skydiveable. Steve and I arrived at the drop zone at 14:00 hours. I was in my GI JOE T-Shirt. You can call me Rip Cord.

While waiting for the sky to clear just a little bit more, we were introduced to our Tandem partners. Alex and Oleg.

On a wooden rig, Oleg showed us how we would be sitting in and exiting the plane. He then had us lie on the ground mats to practice our “arch”, which is a very important element of the exit procedure and proof that my regular Wii Fit Yoga routine is working.

In fact, I’m officially submitting a new stretch to the world of Yoga. I call it the “Tandem Sky Dive Exit Procedure”…or “Reverse Rainbow” for short.

With training over, it was time to get dressed. I was fitted for a blue jump suit and a 1930’s football helmet.

I was thinking that a modern day football helmet might provide more protection, but I guess if something went wrong and I hit the ground hard after falling from 12,000 feet…would any helmet make a difference? Probably not...So, it must just be for style.

The hangar was pretty relaxed until a man entered and yelled out something to the effect of “Autobots! Roll out!” With that, the room became alive with activity and in minutes we were heading to the plane.

The stroll to the plane made me feel like I was in Top Gun…only cooler.

However, inside the plane I felt like I was in…a sardine tin!

Actually, that’s not exactly a fair statement to make because there was plenty of space, but we were all pressed together so tight I felt guilty that I didn’t even know everyone’s name.

For the first few moments, there was a little chatter here and there, but once the plane started it’s take off it got pretty silent…except for the deafening noise of the roaring engine. Even from experienced jumpers there seemed to be a sober realization that in a few minutes…well…anything could happen.

With a cool altitude gauge on my wrist,

I was able to monitor the progress of our ascent and I will admit that during the climb I started to get a little nervous. I’m still not sure what brought on the apprehension. It could have been the realization that I knew this was only a one way ticket and I’d be, in a sense, walking home…or it could have been that the seams of the plane were lined with duct tape.

Then at 11,000 feet (exact measurement), the heart rate increased five-fold (an estimate at best), as everyone else, in an uncanny display of unison, began frantically adjusting their straps, goggles and helmets.

The side door was slid open, everyone began shifting forward. The next few seconds was the most intense moment of my life. It was absolutely wild! One by one people disappeared. Oleg, my tandem partner, began screaming last minute instructions into my ear as we edged closer and closer to the door. I could barely hear him as the engine noise was now being drowned out by the roar of the rushing wind.

There is no way to explain what it feels like to be leaning out of an airplane at 12,500 feet, overlooking clouds. I stumbled. Oleg leaned me back. And then…

Go To SKY DIVE - PART 4: The (2nd) Most Awesome Experience of my Life

Have a good one,
Dare 2 Dream,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

SKY DIVE - Part 2: A Storm, A Beard & The Devil


After years of putting it off, the time had finally arrived. I woke up with my heart filled with joy and the sky filled with…clouds! Dark, looming clouds! Are you kidding me?! It could have rained at any other point during the last 25 years, but no! The sky decides to empty itself of every drop of water it has accumulated on this particular day.

Isn’t that just the way it always is.

Noah: “You know what I’ve always wanted to do? Sky Dive!”
God: “Hey Noah, not so fast. You need to build an ark!”

100 years later

Noah: “Finally! The ark is finished. Sky Dive!”
Shem: “I think I just felt a rain drop.”
Noah: “Crap.”

On Saturday, June 12th, despite rain (and lots of it), my friend Steve and I drove up to Skydive Toronto, a drop zone just north of the city. We knew there was no chance of actually getting into the sky, but we decided to take the training and fill out the paperwork so that our next visit would be nothing but air.

Upon arrival we were ushered into a small viewing room to watch the safety & training video. It was informative…and immensely entertaining.

Our video instructor (who we figured, by virtue of the beard, was a brother of either the Idomo pitchman or one of the members of ZZ Top), began the process by telling us that we would die. It was very encouraging.

He then spent the next few minutes making sure that we were well aware of the fact that when we did die it would be absolutely futile for any person, past or present, to sue anyone, past or present, which had any direct or indirect connection to the fatal jump. He assured us that although some bereaving individuals have attempted to take their case to the courts, they ultimately failed. So don’t even bother!

With all the negatives out of the way, it was time to hear about what was sure to be the most exciting experience of our life…until we hit the ground.

Now, I will admit that it was very difficult to focus on the “training” aspects of the video when they were being conducted by a tall lanky man with short shorts and his beard tucked into his jump suit. I kept thinking that he may have been Amish, but then I thought, “Amish don’t fly!”...or do they?

Anyways, with the video segment over, it was on to the fun stuff. Paperwork! We took a seat and waited as two large forklifts, carrying our documents, appeared from the far reaches of the hangar. Every page was worded a little differently but basically each read as follows:

When I die…I won’t sue you.

Signature _________________

I think one of the documents stated that I would agree to give my soul to the devil, but there were so many pages, it really was just a blur. So…fingers crossed.

We paid, booked our next visit and then left…praying for the sun to shine on Monday!

Have a good one,
Dare 2 Dream,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SKY DIVE - Part 1: Virgins, Grandfathers & Daring 2 Dream

Some time ago, I remember having a conversation with an airplane virgin. Please note that I didn’t say “virgin on an airplane”…that is a very different thing.


1. Air-plane Vir-gin (air-pleyn vur-jin) n.
A person who has never flown.
2. Virgin on an Airplane (vur-jin awn an air-pleyn) n.
An airplane passenger who has never had sex.

After I had shared about the joys of flying, the virgin, re-affirming their vow of airborne chastity, steadfastly declared “If God had meant humans to fly He would have given us wings.”

Well, yesterday God gave me Oleg…and I flew!

To celebrate his 65th Birthday, my late grandfather jumped from an airplane…and for the record, he isn’t “late” because of the jump. In fact, he lived to tell of his adventure for another 20 plus years. But, at the time, a pre-teen boy (namely me) was thoroughly impressed with his granddad’s amazing feat and the seeds of skydiving were firmly planted into this wonky brain of mine.

Finally, after 25 years of procrastifearination (procrastination driven by fear), I finally decided that it was now or never. I would, indeed, follow in my Granddad’s footsteps but as a younger man than he was. And hopefully, as did he, I would not only soar in the sky…I’d live to tell of it.

When I added “Sky Dive” (Dream #14) to my Dare2Dream list, back in January, it not only raised a few eyebrows, but very likely the hair on the necks of some. I have quickly discovered that the concept of tossing yourself out of an airplane (while in the air) is a very polarizing subject.

As my jump date approached, two very clearly defined camps emerged among my circle of friends:

The “Awesome I’m so jealous have a great time” Camp and,
The “Are you insane have you gone crazy I’d never do that in a million years even if I was forced to choose between jumping and facing a swarm of horse-sized brain eating jungle beetles” Camp.

Having since overcome my fear, taken the leap…and survived, let me address both camps:

“It was more than awesome, you should be extremely jealous and I had a double great time! I may be insane and crazy but skydiving is not as terrifying as it appears and even more awe-inspiring than you could ever imagine! Everyone should do it once…you will not regret it!”

Go To SKY DIVE - PART 2: A Storm, a Beard & The Devil

Dare 2 Dream,