Tumbling Toward Earth #skydiving

Before the JumpGood news, everyone. I survived!

The usual question I get is: How was it?

Short answer: Terrifying.

I did a tandem jump, meaning I had an experienced skydiver hooked to my back to handle everything from exiting the plane to landing us safely. Good thing too, because all instruction fled my mind once I was staring down at the patches of green and gold that make up our landscape. But, as I learned after our jump, my instructor is a quick thinker in emergency situations, demonstrated in this article just the week before. Thankfully, that didn’t happen on my turn.

The flight up had my usual nervous smile plastered to my face. It seems the more terrified I am, the bigger the smile gets. About halfway up, my instructor said, “See those little cars on the freeway? When you can no longer see them, then we’ll jump.” Egads!

Then it came time to make our exit. The instructions were simple: Sit on the edge of the plane, hold onto your harness, tuck your calves up under the plane–

And suddenly I’m tumbling.

SkyEarthSkyEarthFlippingThisWayThatWayThisWayThatWay, and good grief, I think I’m going to puke. BTW, I get motion sick fairly easily. I can’t even watch my husband play first-person shooters without feeling queasy.

Finally we level out. Gorgeous landscape sprawled out beneath me. I took in the mountains, the fields, the fact that I couldn’t make out any buildings… For a full minute of free fall at 120 MPH.

It was glorious.

But boy, did my mouth get dry. I’m not sure if it was me smiling or me screaming, but the air rushing past my face certainly made sure I wasn’t drooling on myself.

My instructor tapped me on the shoulder then, and pointed upward. I craned my gaze to take in flare of orange and yellow blooming above our heads. A hard jerk yanked me from horizontal to vertical and the harness went taut. “Good news!” my instructor said. “Our parachute deployed.”Return to Earth

We coasted down after that. He even let me pull the steering cables. I screamed as we made sharp right then left turns. When it came time to land, I realized the condition of my core when I couldn’t quite lift my legs up to waist level. But I didn’t break a leg, so I came away unscathed this time. You can bet your booty I’ll be working to strengthen my muscles though.

The second question people ask is: Would you do it again?

Yes and no. I wouldn’t mind going again for the experience, though I’d probably pop some Dramamine ahead of time. But the time and money investment is fairly hefty for my already crammed schedule. Plus, as soon as I was out of my gear, I was thrust back into Mamahood with a sick Babyzilla. I didn’t even get a good look at the pictures from the GoPro. Thankfully, my best friend offered to handle that for me.

There. I have crossed an item off my bucket list.

What’s the most terrifying (in a good way) experience you’ve had? What type of things do you have on your bucket list?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

26 thoughts on “Tumbling Toward Earth #skydiving

  1. Brave woman. I use to want to do that when I could get around better. Just think for a moment you were a bird even if you did piggy-back,lol.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  2. Sounds fab!!! Skydiving appears in one of my stories in my book. I seem to have captured your emotions without stepping out of a plane 🙂 You are braver than me. Well done!!!

  3. Jennifer Koehler

    I think it’s so cool that you did something like that. I would be far too terrified. 🙂

  4. What an amazing experience. And how awesome that you were able to cross something off your bucket list.

    I think if I were to attempt such a thing, that I would scream all the way down…at least until I passed out from terror. 🙂

  5. I can permanently cross that off my list, as I also get motion sickness. (Mostly in the head rather than the stomach.)
    Glad you survived, enjoyed, and crossed it off your list.
    I’m not a thrill seeker, so just getting on a plane of any size is terrifying enough.

  6. Way to go! I had a panic attack on a rock fin in Arches. Heights have increasingly bugged me with age for some reason. One big item on my bucket list is to someday to a long solo backcountry hike.

  7. I get physically ill on roller-coasters, so I can’t imagine skydiving turning out well. But good on your for facing it and trying it!

    I can’t divulge anything from my bucket list. They’re all very dark and not for the faint of heart. 😉

  8. I saw your picture on Instagram and thought you were insane. 😉 I’m afraid of heights, so I’d never be able to do that. Not even with an experienced ski diver strapped to my back. You get major kudos for this.

  9. Congratulations on doing something I won’t be doing. Although if given the choice between my last trip to the dentist yesterday and skydiving, I think I would rather go skydiving. I thought I was going to die in that dentist chair.

    My days of thrill seeking are essentially over as far as I’m concerned.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  10. Well done brave Loni. My bucket list does NOT include that…in fact I’ve probably left it too late to start one. (And I’ve either done them – white water rafting – or never will – visiting Macchu Picchu.)

    As for scariest, that is why skydiving is a NONO – I’ve been terrified on a ferris wheel and the runaway train ride at Disneyland. Scared myself skiing too, but that’s a different story.

  11. Awesome! Love the photos (getting a bit superficial here but LOVE your hair). As you know, I went skydiving years ago and it was amazing. Though I’m glad I went tandem because, I missed the cue to open my parachute and the instructor had to do it. Um… Still. Amazing. I’ve never gone again and I regret that. Perhaps I will. I’m so glad you experienced this. 🙂

  12. I have no words…I mean sure, brave and crazy come to mind, but really, I think, WOW! You’re just amazing and inspiring. Lots of people say, “One day I’m gonna” but then never do it. You did and that’s just freaking awesome!

  13. Wow – I can’t believe you get motion sickness and still jumped out of a plane! Well done to you. That’s a really impressive feat and something to be insanely proud of.

  14. Good for you, Loni! How cool. That would be the only way I would ever attempt skydiving or anything like that, with someone who knows what they’re doing strapped to me. Hmm, I wonder if I could get that for my life….

  15. You are an adventurer and much braver than I’ll ever be. Thanks for sharing, so I could live it through you. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  16. Wow, what an experience! The “Good news!” quote made me laugh. Yes, I’d say that was definitely good news. That moment of sitting on the edge of the plane would have done it for me. They wouldn’t have been able to pry my fingers off the sides. If I were ever to do something like that, which is highly doubtful, I’d have to do it tandem like you did. The motion sickness might be a problem, too. Glad you landed safely and I hope Babyzilla is feeling better! Thank you for sharing!

  17. You crazy, brave critter! I’ve done indoor skydiving, but you’d never get me to jump out of a plane. Hell, you can barely get me on one as a passenger.

    • I probably would’ve tried indoor skydiving a long time ago if there were a place in Boise. It was one of the first things my husband looked up when I mentioned jumping out of a plane. 🙂

  18. Sounds like a fantastic experience! Awesome!

  19. I’m so glad you’re okay and the trauma didn’t scar you for life. Yay for checking something off your bucket list! I don’t have one, but if I did, skydiving wouldn’t be on it. Way too scary! I hope your little ‘Zilla gets better soon.

  20. Jill Gannaway

    It was an exciting experience. Thanks for letting us join you! Good blog!

  21. Yikes! After reading your description and the mention of motion sickness, I’m not sure if I could do that. This guy I know makes sky diving sound like such and effortless endeavor, but then again, he is the adventure-seeking type.

  22. Wow! Congrats on surviving. I kind of want to do it, but I know I’ll be terrified. Probably the scariest thing I’ve done so far is a microlight flight in Africa. I spent the first bit of the flight in sheer terror, but as soon as it was over, I wished I could do it again.

  23. Oh Wow! You are one brave lady. You even made me think for a brief moment that it might even be fun to do one day!

  24. OMG! I could never imagine doing this. I don’t even like the sensation of having the elevator dropping out from under me. I can’t eve imagine how you worked up the nerve to do it. Congratulations on surviving.

  25. Is it weird that the idea of being harnessed to a stranger is almost as terrifying for me as the idea of jumping? No, don’t answer, I’ll just pretend you said “No, of course not!” It sounds like an incredible experience. Congratulations!

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