Why jump out of a perfectly good airplane? That’s what everyone always asks right? Because I’m freaking nuts? That’s what some people say…
I never thought I would go skydiving. I had been asked a few times before to tag along and I always turned it down. But over the last couple of years, my motto has changed somewhat.
So when I saw a Groupon for a couple’s skydive, I figured I’d get that for Will for Christmas. He’d gone skydiving a few times already and loved it. He was thrilled when I gave him the print out and we set up the jump for Sunday February 8th.
Now I’m going to be straight up here, and tell you that just thinking about going up there made my heart pound like crazy. I’d get short of breath and would feel like I was going to hyperventilate. The month and a half between announcing the Christmas present and the actual jump, I didn’t let myself think about it. Even on the drive up to Titusville, the running joke was that we were just going to Disneyworld. Once we got up there, I went into blogging mode and focused on taking in the details of what was going on around me and taking pictures.
Everyone at Skydive Space Center was really nice! While we were filling out paperwork and waiting to get on the plane, the atmosphere was relaxed and everyone was joking around and had smiles on their faces, which helped keep me calm. Jimmy, my instructor, was awesome! He got me ready to go and made sure my harness was on properly. Since this was my first jump, I opted for the video, so Johnny the videographer was with us too, and he had such an upbeat personality! I really think I lucked out with being paired up with them.
Once we were on the plane, I think I was still somewhat in denial of what was about to happen; I was looking out the window and just taking in the scenery. Jimmy, who was sitting behind me, asked me if I was doing ok a couple of times. He did his final checks on our equipment and went over some procedures again. And then someone casually asked who was jumping first. Turned out that we were. Wait, what?? Holy shit! Here we go! We scooted up to the door, I looked over the edge, and next thing I knew, we were flying!
We had jumped from 18,000 feet, the world’s highest tandem jump, and were going about 120 mph. I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath, which made me panic a bit. But I couldn’t help but smile. Our freefall lasted almost a minute before Jimmy pulled the chute and then we glided for a few more minutes. Gliding was my favorite part. Jimmy pointed out the Kennedy Space Center, Orlando, and south, the way back home to Miami. Then it was time to land, and I did it like a pro! Jimmy told me when to pick my legs up and then when to stand and in a couple of steps we were done.
I couldn’t believe I had just skydived! It all felt like a dream. But I’m so glad I did it. I had a great time and I know Will and our other friends Rory and Sarah had a great time too.
Have you ever gone skydiving? I’d love to hear about your experience!