Monday, July 13, 2009
My skydiving experience was kinda unplanned and I have been downplaying it the entire week. My husband and his buddies had been planning this for the past month, and I was in the shadows stating the entire time that I wouldn’t do it. Part of me wanted to do it, and part of me was “Heck yeah!!” I didn’t want anyone to discourage me from my decision, and I wanted to do this because it seemed like a fun experience, something in my life that I can say that was crazy, and wild…and memorable. I had finally made my decision to join the group this past Wednesday. We had made the drive to Perris Valley Skydiving this past weekend, and it was a beautiful, warm, and a clear day for skydiving. Saturday morning I had been cool and calm the entire time even when we had to fill out the mindless forms and waivers when you’re basically signing your life away. To be honest, sitting in that room and signing all those legal documents were logistics…I was already set on making my jump. My tandem partner, Jim Wallace, was super cool. He didn't coddle me, but I definitely felt safe with him on my back. I figured, "He values his life just as much as I do so I don't think he'll let me die,” and it helped that he was the owner of the facility, too.
I think when I got scared the most, and the fear overcame me was when I was up in the plane…maybe at 5000 elevation, and where they start filming me, and asking more questions to me. In my head, I’m saying “WTF, why are you talking to me…don’t you know I’m paranoid? Like for reals…I can’t believe I’m doing this.” I really felt like I was going to barf…and I couldn’t turn back, and chicken out at the last minute. The instructors are singing some cheesy 80s song, having a blast, they really make you feel part of the group…someone you can trust your life with. I was second out of the plane, and it all goes by in a blur. I barely remembered the instructions that Jim had told me, but he reminded me again as we went down. He was really great and comforting during the entire experience. My heart probably skipped a beat or two as I was freefalling. I've never felt such intense wind or speed as I did that day. From what I can remember most is that one moment when you’re looking down from the plane, and about to descent 13000 feet to Earth at 120 mph….the world is yours, and that was a pretty intense feeling. You overcome all fears, and just embrace the experience. There aren’t enough words to express this feeling, but it was “awesome."
It's been 2 days since the jump and I still don't think I've come down from that experience. Words can't capture the exhilaration, courage and fun that I had that day. I will never forget getting suited up, wondering what is going to happen to me, the 10 minute plane ride and just that feeling of knowing – I’m going to jump out of a plane! I will never forget standing on the edge of the plane and seeing clouds below me. There was a quote in the restaurant that best summarizes the day – From Da Vinci: “Once you have tasted flight, you will always look to the heavens, for there you have been and there you will long to return.''