Tuesday, September 20, 2011

**SKYDIVING**

I. Did. It.

I'm so proud of myself. I've said for years that for my 30th birthday, I wanted to throw myself out of a plane and know what it felt like to fly. Well...now I know...

...AMAZING.

We arrived at the airfield at 10 am on Saturday morning and had to watch a 20 minute video. The last half was prep information, telling us what would happen while we were up in the plane. The first half was letting us know that...well...we could die. That didn't make any of us nervous at all. Uh. Uh.

After the video, we had to wait while a few of the earlier people completed their jumps. It was nice to see them all come back with smiles. And walking back with no broken bones. ;) While we waited to get suited up, Josh and the kids, Coby's family and Dustin joined us.

Avery and Bay practicing for their jumps. :)

Peanut...ever the comedy act!

Luke and Avery checking out the inside of the practice plane.
When it started getting close to our departure time, they called me, Coby and Bek back, to get suited up and to meet our instructors. I was paired with Colin, Bek was paired with Sam and Coby was paired with Avery. I'm still trying to figure out why they paired me with the guy that was a foot shorter than me...because I knew it would make landing a tad challenging...but you'll get to see that in the video. :)

You put your right foot in...and do the hokey pokey...

The instructors cracked up when I told them that the harnesses felt like the world's most uncomfortable diapers.
L to R: Sam, Bek, Me, Avery, Colin, Coby

Bek ready to go and my super wedgie. ;)

Me and my munchkins, while our plane was being fueled up.

The girls, ready to go!!
L to R: Coby, Me, Bek

Me and the Man
Guess we'll never know what he would have spent all that life insurance money on... ;)

Dustin and Bek

Most of Coby's cheering section.
L to R: Maison, Vern, Coby

One last hug from Mommy

Ry cried all morning. She was pretty sure I was going to die.

I forgot to hug Josh...till he called out to remind me. Whoops!


Then it was time to board the plane...and GOOOO! Once we were boarded, reality started setting in. Nerves kicked in a bit and I was trying to hold it together. While in the air, that is when the final preparations were done. Colin had me sit on his lap (yeah, I'm not kidding) and he strapped our hips together and then our shoulders. Then I scooted as far forward as I could, so that I was sitting directly in front of him. The straps were so tight, that I was loosing feeling in my legs a little bit, but I wasn't going to say a thing! I wanted to be securely fastened to the man with the chute!

Yep. Totally sitting on Colin's lap and trying not to feel awkward about it...
There was a lot of teasing mid-flight, as we all tried to ignore what we were about to do. I asked Colin how many jumps he had made and when he said just under 1,000, I felt pretty good. :) Then Avery (Coby's instructor) started teasing that they had just picked up Sam (Bek's instructor) at the temp service that morning. I start laughing and added, "Yeah, he probably worked in a vet office yesterday. He's just giving this a go today."

Then...the plane leveled out...they opened the clear door...the two solo divers that had come along for the ride with us dove out...

...and reality hit me.

I blinked for SECOND and Coby and Avery were gone. I never saw her exit the plane at all. Then, Bek's camera man was hanging on the outside of the plane and Bek and Sam scooted toward the door. Within seconds, they were flying through the air and I realized...I was the only one left.

*GULP!*

There was no time to think. Or be scared. Or back out. Within seconds later, we were at the door, with my toes over the edge of the plane and a couple seconds after that, Colin nudged me out. I closed my eyes as I felt myself pitch forward, but as the cold air smacked my body, I opened them and found myself staring at the ground, 13,000 feet away.

I assumed that I would scream. I assumed that I would yell expletives through the air. I assumed I would be afraid. I was none of that. I was amazed. I was caught up in the experience of flying through the air at speeds that I had never traveled at, before. I was feeling the cold air whipping past my skin and laughing inside at the permanent smile that the speed had plastered on my face. I was enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Then Colin pulled the rip cord, with no warning...WHAT A RUSH!! As we settled to a slower pace with the chute out, I told him how amazing it all was. He released our hip connectors, giving me some feeling back in my legs. Then he released the chest strap, so I could breathe a little easier. At the point, I begged him not to release any more straps...after all, he was the one with the chute... ;) He promised that he wouldn't, and he proceeded to show me how to steer the chute into several spirals, as we slowly descended. As we came in for the landing, he told me to bend my knees, until he told me not to, as he was going to try to land on his feet. I knew this was going to be comical...the whole height difference and everything. But, here...why don't you watch all my fun?


Crazy, isn't it? Here are some of my favorite shots that the camera man got, while we were flying...

"Yeah...so, uh...we're going down there, huh?"

BOMBS AWAY!!

Care to try for a flip?

BEST. PICTURE. EVER.
Upside down...under a plane.

Superheroes!!

See? No warning that he was pulling the ripcord!

Floating in, for the landing.

Colin and I...safely on the ground!
Well, now that's it's over, every one's burning question seems to be, "Would you do it again?"

To which, the only logical response is...

"HELL YEAH!!"

7 comments:

Common Mom said...

Awesome! Me and my BFF did this for our 25th birthdays. Exhilerating. Cold. Amazing. Beautiful. Quiet. Permagrin.

Be glad you saw people come back before you left. We were at the airfield with the Air Force Academy Cadet Stunt Diving Team. We saw 3 people's chutes not open before it was our turn to go up! ACK!

Glad you had an awesome time :-)

Robbie and Mindy said...

I think you are absolutely crazy and awesome at the same time! You'll never find me jumping out of a plane.

Coby said...

Once again...thanks for giving me the kick in the ass I needed to do something I've always "said" I wad going to do. Best ride of my life!

Andrea said...

You are a rock star!! That looked totally amazing! Great pictures and video - what an awesome memory. So proud of you!!

Lacey Sue said...

AWESOME!! Totally beyond awesome!! Super proud of you for DOING it!!! Well done!

Bonnie said...

AMAZING!!! I can't wipe the smile off my face right now! & it obviously had absolutely nothing to do with me! Lol!

Bethany said...

Wowwww! That looks amazing and you got some fantastic pictures! I went paragliding in Switzerland and it was awesome! :D