The first time I went Sky-diving was 2 years ago. Yes, I jumped out of a plane on purpose? Why? Parachutes need love tooo!
The real reason is going sky-diving was a birthday surprise for my fiancé, Mason. With his families assistance on many levels, Mason was tricked into thinking we were going horseback riding. He had no clue until we pulled up to the airport. It’s been hard to top this surprise.
Sky-diving is something where the idea of it is beyond mental reach. Experiencing it is ten time better than I could ever imagine. As a first timer, I had to go Tandem. Tandem is when you are attached by a harness to a trained sky-diving instructor. This person does all the work, and you go for the ride. I was attached to a man almost 2 ft. taller than me. I’m 5 ft. 4 in. He had to slump over so I could walk with him to the plane. We flew up to 11,000 ft. in a cramped two propeller plane. The doors opened, the open air whipped into the plane, and I was so excited that the instructor had to smack me on the leg to keep me inside the plane……..It was impulse on my part, what can I say?
Free fall at 120 miles per hour is so intense that the brain can not register the time. You fall 6,000 feet in the first 1 minute before the parachute is deployed, and it feels like 20 seconds. It feels like speed floating, and all of the cells in your body are weightless, energized, and alive. One sensation that struck me was the feeling of breathing through every part of my skin, not just my lungs. Higher oxygen levels at that altitude. I guess that would explain why I giggled and laughed the whole time.
When the parachute was deployed we slowly hovered and chatted.
The instructor: “What do you think?”
Me: “That anything I can say doesn’t give this justice.”
Instructor: “You like Roller Costers?”
Instructor: “Hold on and look above the horizon line.”
And then we began to spin. This is where I got a little nauseous. But when I looked at the sky, and ignored the spinning horizon, I felt better. To spin you position one corner of the parachute down by a chord with your hand. How far you pull that corner down specifies the angle at which you spin. I found that out when I had a chance to pull the chord myself and make us spin. We spun as close to horizontal as the instructor would allow me.
The landing was not graceful! I’m so short, and he was so tall………so we fell over when we touched ground. Seeing the details of the ground magnify in comparison to your feet at an increased rate is a sight to see. When the instructor unstrapped he said that he underestimated me and he expected to see me again. I thanked him for the experience, and promptly took off running to catch up with Mason before he jumped.
So, 2 years later, Mason is off on a 1 week cross-country bike trip with his gang, and next Saturday I’m jumping out of a plane…… again. Maybe we will go horse-back riding this summer.
The personal reward of sky-diving was huge! I always loved the idea of flying as a girl. My favorite past-time was climbing the tallest tree, roof-tops, silos, bridges, and cliffs. Anything to get me high up above the ground. Sky-diving pushed me beyond my own limitations and fears. I had to transfer all that anxiety and fear of going splat into excitement and courage. I’m not going to lie, I almost didn’t jump.
Sky-diving was a defining experience for me and I’m just as nervous as before. But I will do it again. Now the more pressing question is: Tandem or Static Line?