That morning I had climbed up the mountain called Pedra Bonita (Little Rock) where hang gliders jump off the edge of a cliff to a 1600 ft drop over Tijuca National Park.
The tandem flights require you to literally run and leap off a wooden platform into the abyss.
Standing on the edge of the wooden ramp, I surveyed the stunning expanse of ocean and the city below. I was in Rio, staring at the most amazing view and shaking in my socks.
After much much deliberation I took the plunge. My knuckles were white but as I left the ground my face broke out in a spontaneous smile.
I was weightless. The crisp wind hit my forehead and bit my lips.
On my way down, I looked down on the lush canopy of Tijuca park, Sugar loaf Mountain in the far distance, the cloud enveloped statue of Christ the Redeemer and hovered over the Atlantic Ocean before landing on a small strip of soft sand called Pepino Beach.
1600 ft in 7 minutes. 7 minutes that felt like 70.
7 minutes that I will remember for a while.