Holy smokes, you guys. Talk about radio silence. Note, I started that last sentence with “sorry for” but I’m working on not apologizing for everything all the time, so now I’m just declaring radio silence. Sweet.
Remember when we talked about emotional hangovers? Right. Totally in the thick of one of those right now.
We wrapped up Sun Sessions: Oceanside yesterday and all I can really say is this:
holy. fucking. shit.
I’m going to be processing this for a bit, but I can tell you this much: starting Planet Green Socks was absolutely 100% a good decision.
If you haven’t seen them already, you can check out our Day 1 Recap here and our Day 2/3 Recap here. Overall, the event was a smashing success, even though Mother Nature had it out for us with a couple late starts and one completely worthless jumping day.
When I woke up on Friday morning, it was a completely foreign feeling. Normally, on the morning of an event, I would be a bit nervous, if not completely gutted with anxiety. I want SO badly for the events I put on to be epic and amazing for everyone, which duh, is completely natural. And if anything, I’d say I’m even more driven to make sure events are flawless now that it’s my company on the line. But in all honesty, I wasn’t nervous. Ryan was staying with us for the duration of the event. We first started toying with the idea to put together a camp and take it around the country in September, and we had been in near-constant communication since I quit my job and started Planet Green Socks.
We were prepared. I have an awesome team. All of the ducks were in a row, and there was absolutely nothing to worry about, even with the clouds trying to threaten our good time. We stopped for coffee, hit the road, realized we were wicked early, stopped for more coffee, and then went to the DZ.
First of all, real talk, I was super nervous about the idea of including jump tickets in the registration fee. I was worried because, on the surface, it looks like this camp is ridiculously expensive. Most skydiving events are anywhere from free to $200-300 before jumps, so to ask for $550 up front was a bit worrisome.
But you know what? Working with Tsunami Skydivers of Oceanside was a breeze. We agreed that I’d close out the balance for the jumps made at the end of each day, and as a result, the check-in process in the office on the first day was effortless. Fill out a waiver, get your gear checked, and be on your way. We had 23 people in and out of the office in 15 minutes, ready to go to the briefing. No checking account balances, no worrying about putting money on account at the beginning of the day, no leaving a credit card in the office. It was already sorted out, and I think that set a really nice tone for the day. Once the last load took off, we settled up and I was out of Rich and Kristine’s hair. So easy!
As everyone was milling about after the briefing and waiting for load one, I started to feel pretty much all of the feelings:
Proud, if that’s even appropriate, because watching Ryan, Andy, and Mike do their thing and be their awesome selves was inspiring to watch. I know I had nothing to do with their development as coaches, but I couldn’t help but be stoked for the participants, as I knew they were in extremely good (not to mention, world-class) hands.
Grateful to have the opportunity to bring these people together in a fun, safe, and respectful learning environment.
SUPER STOKED because it was already going so well, and we hadn’t jumped yet.
And of course, a feeling that I can’t really put into words. As load one loaded up and taxied to the runway, I was waving and blowing kisses (no shit, just like my Grandma would do) to the jumpers at the door. As the load took off, I swear I got some non-existent Oceanside dust in my eye, because I had a little moment.
It was happening. What started as a loose idea on a picnic table four years ago was actually happening. It had blossomed into this very moment – watching a plane full of awesome humans take off for the first jump of our first event. This wasn’t just an idea, a website, a PayPal screen, or an event registration list anymore. This was the real deal. And as I stood there in my unicorn hat, clutching my green clipboard, I just watched the plane until I couldn’t see it anymore and soaked it all in.
That feeling, whatever you want to call it, was exactly what I’ve been chasing all these years. To see dreams realized, goals on their way to being achieved, and creating an environment for people to hopefully be able to experience the same thing.
It was so rad to meet people from drop zones all over the country, people I might not otherwise have the chance to meet. I was inspired by their progress, their excitement, and all of the good vibes.
I saw something on Facebook last night about how some status updates read like Oscar acceptance speeches. I giggled because after any event that I’m a part of, I vomit gratitude like I’ve got food poisoning. Totally guilty.
I’m not going to stop with the gratitude though, so I’ll share it here:
- To our participants: I can’t put it into words, but you guys actually, legitimately mean the world to me. Your energy is awesome. Your jokes and comments were hilarious and your progress was inspiring. You guys are the reason I get to wake up and do what I do every day, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I can’t wait to see you at future PGS events. Thank you for being here, for bringing the energy, and for keeping things safe and rad. #calmitdown #heartbeatpants
- To the coaches – Ryan, Andy, and Mike: You guys are my heroes. I could watch you coach people all day every day, and I would do so gladly. Thank you for your rockstar coaching and flying skills, your patience as we got things rolling, your contagious enthusiasm for what we’re building, and for your guidance as we get Sun Sessions off the ground. Working with you guys is an absolute dream and I’m so thankful to have you guys as a part of the team. WATCH OUT, WORLD!
- To our hosts, Rich and Kristine Grimm (and the Oceanside team): Thank you for taking a chance on us and letting us come take over your drop zone for a weekend. Your approach to how you do business is refreshing, your cooperation with our antics was very much appreciated, and your willingness to do whatever it took to make the camp keep going is something that definitely doesn’t go unnoticed. Most of all, thank you for the words of encouragement and guidance as the camp progressed. I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off this event series, and I know we all look forward to coming back to Oceanside very, very soon. BIG HUGS!
- To my husband, Barry: I fucking love you, Mr. Williams. Seriously. None of this would be possible without your support, encouragement, and understanding. Thank you for being you, for believing in this dream, and supporting it 110%. It’s been a long road to get here, and I’m so grateful to have you by my side for every single moment of it.
- To my BFF Katherine: Your brownies are melty and delicious, and beyond the support you provided at Sun Sessions, thank you for being my Boss Lady Partner in Crime. It’s so much fun experiencing all of these changes together as we both carve out our own path in the world. Love you, SB.
- To everyone who texted, emailed, called, sent FB messages, virtual high-fives, etc: Your support means the world to me. Thank you for cheering me on, sharing the love, and spreading the word about Planet Green Socks. I might not always reply super speedy like, but know that I see everything you send and it keeps me going. You guys are amazing.
And of course, I’m sending a lot of love to Adam and his family. I know he was keeping an eye on this event this weekend, and I think we did his legacy proud. Hey sir, let’s work on strengthening a relationship with Mother Nature, shall we?
So thankful. So emotionally hungover. And so fired up about the future of Planet Green Socks. WOOP WOOP!