On September 8, 2013 my husband and I took the plunge . Out of an airplane. Hurtling towards earth at speeds close to 200mph. We did it! Finally! And I couldn’t be happier, especially since another awesome idea came out of it.
I’ve always wanted to skydive and actually made plans to do it when I graduated high school. It was going to be my present to myself. But no one would go with me and I didn’t want to die–er I mean, go alone. So I bought myself an iPod instead because, you know, that compares to skydiving.
Fast forward some years later and here I am stuck in a vortex of negativity sucking me in more every day. Well, one morning I woke up and the realization that I wasn’t living my life smacked me in my face. Hard. Sick of being an annoying complaining hub-bub of pessimism I vowed to do something about it. And what better way than to make a bucket list starting with skydiving!
This time I didn’t care if it went alone, but my husband surprised me and wanted to do it too. So we made plans to take the dive around our anniversary as our gift to each other, but the weather had other ideas. After a few cancellations, the universe finally decided to give us a glorious fall day and we took it! A week and a half late is better than never.
Going into it, I was most scared about the plane ride, but let me tell you, that was one of the most beautiful rides I’ve ever been on. (See a video of my ready dance). Although, once you get above 6,000 feet it is freaking frigid up there! I thought I dressed warm too. So if you think you’re dressed warm enough… dress warmer. And wear gloves. Man what I wouldn’t have given for a pair of gloves. Oh and the air up at 10,000+ feet is way thin. Way way thin. I felt like I was suffocating (I have asthma though, so that probably didn’t help).
Once we hit altitude it was time. Dun dun dun. I had a solo diver, aka the black bomber, ride up with me who went first. He opened the door, leaned over and fell head first. Head first! Then hey, my turn! No problem… eek. We scooted to the edge of the door with my legs dangling out. It’s a very indescribable moment when you’re about to fall out of an airplane. And one that I think is very personal to every person. My thoughts: Wow this is really happening; hell yeah let’s do it! My instructor held on to the door, swayed one, twice and here we go!
I arched hard, pulling my legs up between my tandem partner’s and tried to make sense of everything. Because the initial drop is very discombobulating. It’s hard to tell which way is up, which is down and where you’re heading. Before I even knew what was happening he flashed five fingers in my face. Five five stay alive. We were already at 6,000 feet; time to pull the chute. I reached down with my right hand, held my left over my head, and yanked. Next thing I know my feet are in my face and I’m being yanked upright. We floated for a few minutes before my tandem partner said I can let go of his arm now. Oops; just holding on for dear life, don’t mind me.
As we sailed above the world so high my instructor asked me what I thought… my words: Holy shit. It’s surreal. Utterly breathtakingly surreal. It’s a 360 degree view you can’t experience anywhere else. And to float above the world like that… you feel so… free. I loved every minute of it!
After a little while, we circled around for our landing. Beats me how these people know where to direct the parachute for landing. But we did it. Cruising in, my instructor shouted legs up, so I pulled my legs straight up in front of me (think sitting position with your legs out) and braced for landing… on my ass. Then he yelled flare, my cue to bring us to a stop. So I yanked the control cords down to my thighs as hard as I could. But man, let me tell you those things hard to pull. Thank goodness he helped. We slid to a nice stop on the grass with no butt bruising! Yay!
All I can say is what a rush! And the next day… ouch. Major soreness. I never realized what a full body workout skydiving is. Guess I had the impression you just jump out of the plane and glide to the earth. Easy-peasy. Ha, universe showed me!
I can’t tell you how happy I am that we went through with it. Now we’re hoping to do something off our bucket list every year for our anniversary. I’m not sure what’s up next, but I know I can’t wait!