Friday, December 18, 2009

Back to the Earth I’m Falling

There is a bunch of stuff I've been meaning to blog about, but haven't been feeling well. Last week in St. Pete I went skydiving! It's something I've always wanted to do, and decided now is the time. I have a video from the jump, but my cheeks are flapping in the 120 mile an hour wind so much that I decided not to post it.

The jump was amazing! First I donned a very geeky looking “jump suit” and immediately wondered if this was the origin of the term “jumpsuit.” I was given a very quick lecture on what to expect, and what to do, and then boarded the plane with Randy, my tandem dude. There were maybe 10 jumpers in the plane, most licensed and jumping alone. I think we got up to about 10,000 feet when some of the lone jumpers started stepping out the door, with absolutely no hesitation. It was a bit scary seeing them through the windows, jumping into nothing and then falling. I actually said “holy crap, they are nuts” and then realized I was about to do the same thing. I kept waiting for the fear to come, the butterflies, the hesitation, but it didn’t. Until I got to the door! I was strapped very tightly to Randy and it was difficult to maneuver to the door. Once I got there, I was immediately terrified! I looked down and could not see the ground because of the clouds, and I think that may have made it even scarier. Jumping blindly, knowing the earth is 13,500 feet below me, but jumping into a cloud. A CLOUD… as in, in the sky. I panicked and started yelling “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!” to which Randy very appropriately responded “Shut up!!” I quickly did, since he had the chute, closed my eyes, and a second later, was falling. The fear only lasted a few seconds. The wind was intense. Much more than I thought it would have been. I had to consciously start breathing, and concentrate on holding my arms out like I was instructed. I guess I kept wanting to look down because I remember Randy kept tilting my head back. The wind was loud and strong, and the feeling amazing. Then suddenly – quiet. Randy pulled the chute, and immediately everything changed. The intense noise quieted. The cold rushing air became soft, warm and gentle. Suddenly I could see everything as I calmly floated down towards the ground. It was beautiful, and serene, and lasted several minutes. I landed, as instructed, with my legs straight out, landing on my butt. The touchdown was so gentle, I was amazed.

When I landed, the camera guy asked if I would do it again. My response was “Hell yeah!!!” The freefall part was so intense, and fast, and new, that I don’t feel like I fully experienced it. I definitely do want to do it again, and may do so in January. When I was given my video, I also got a roll of film that was taken (how antiquated, huh?) I plan on having it developed and hopefully then will be able to post some pics of the jump.

When I got home from Florida, I happily checked off “Skydive” from the book.



  1. Thanks for the wonderful description of your jump experience. I have always wanted to jump from a plane, but there's always an excuse not to do it.

  2. You should SO do it, Diane! It feels wonderful to conquer a fear. I'll even go with ya! Whatdaya say? :)



My Life In Bytes | Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial License | Dandy Dandilion Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates