Monday, April 21, 2008

Yup, Skydiving!

There's always something! I went skydiving this past weekend! That was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life! I've always wanted to do it, and finally got the chance!

I was a little surprised that I didn't feel scared -- I kind of thought I'd have a little bit of fear in the back of my mind, but it just wasn't there! I think I've just been wanting to do this for so long, I was just antsy with excitement! I had some butterflies on the way up, but I think those were mostly the excitement. I couldn't wait for that door to open! I kept envisioning what that would feel like -- to be staring out the open door of an airplane, studying the quilt-patterns of farm fields and roads down below, knowing that I would be jumping out into the wide open air in just seconds.

It was even better than I'd imagined. Before I went, I didn't think I'd scream -- I figured I'd just smile and enjoy the ride. When the door opened, I put my hand out to feel the strength of the 80 mph wind, swung my right foot onto the step next to my tandem instructor's foot, bent my head down towards my knee, and before I knew it, I was leaning forward out the door. Then we sort of softly fell forward into the free, wide open sky... and down we went! I started to scream at the top of my lungs immediately leaving the plane, but they were uncontrollable shouts of enjoyment. It was SUCH an amazing feeling to just fall and have all that room to do it. I fell for about 30 wonderful seconds before I felt a little jerk when my tandem instructor pulled the chute cord, and then I just sat and things got really quiet. It was so peaceful when the parachute opened. It went from insane speed (120 mph falling), and the sound of wind rushing by my ears, to a split second and complete quiet.

So then we floated. My instructor grabbed the toggles and put them out for me to grab onto, and he let me steer a little bit. We did a few crazy-fun turns. That was really a cool feeling. When I'd pull one toggle way down by my hip, I could feel myself start to sort of turn in that direction, then all of a sudden it was like the wind caught the chute and just WHIPPED us around really fast. I got that "elevator stomach" feeling, and it was great! We did a few of those before we had to prepare to land. My tandem instructor was great, and talked me through the whole thing so I knew what was going on. We even landed on our feet!

What an absolutely amazing experience. I could talk about it for hours...

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