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.”
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?