Jump + Swim.

Day 25. 

I can't even believe that I am here. Still.

Seven days ago we were all pushed into the deep end. They call it "Crash Week," and it's no joke: days upon days of grisly clips of tragic airplane crashes, mechanical failures and a few heroic evacuations. After every clip, the instructor would flip on the lights and ask us what we thought had gone wrong with the doomed flight. Sadly enough, more often than not, the major element was human error.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Through these terrible events, we have learned painful, but important lessons. Brace positions, clear evacuation commands and emergency procedures have saved so many lives, even in catastrophic crashes. Air travel is safer than ever before*, and still about 2,000 times safer than driving.

And so we prepare for the absolute worst. Evacuation drills, expedited deplaning, smoke-filled cabins, medical emergencies and self defense. And it's exhausting: physically and emotionally. The seriousness of our training and the high stress of passing drills brought more than one tough trainee to tears.

But yesterday, we did it. We passed all the emergency exams, tests and drills. Will a rush of adrenaline I jumped down an evacuation slide and out of Crash Week.

Today, we learned how to serve beverages and how to push the service cart, while listening to light-hearted stories from the instructors. The mood was light and the videos from Crash Week seemed like a million years ago. We even joked as we left the classroom for the day, chanting, "Release seat belts! Get out, go, go! Jump and swim!"

This stuff is ingrained in us now. Seven days ago, we didn't think we could do it. This week proved that each and every one of the twenty-seven people in this class is equipped to save lives.

None of us will ever forget what to do if the unspeakable were to happen, but we might accidentally forget to give you a napkin with your soda.

Safety is who we are, service is what we do.



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