#11, go skydiving, is another one on THE LIST that I have already done (I had to give myself some sort of head start!) It was also another thing on THE LIST that scared the heck out of me. A) I hate heights. B) I hate flying. So why would I think it was a good idea to jump out of an airplane? Well, I wasn’t totally convinced that it was a good idea, not at all. I registered to go skydiving as a surprise for Ollie, he had always always wanted to go, and it was an experience I wanted to share with him. I’ve also heard that once you get over the fear of the experience, that it is truly amazing.
(Ollie and I right after we landed)
We went up to sky dive new england in Maine, signed in, and were authorized to jump! We watched a brief video, not on skydiving safety, but about how we were essentially signing our life away and couldn’t sue them if we died. After which we had to sign a 10 page document saying that in the event of our deaths we, or any of our offspring, are unable to sue the company. It was all very reassuring.
After that we sat around. For about 2 hours. Waiting, and thinking about what we were about to do. I started to panic. Right before we went up in the plane we met the people we would be jumping with (we were jumping tandem so there was someone on our backs). Ollie go this crazy italian hunk with a strong accent. I got a long haired hippie who never wore shoes. My panic increased.
Then we got in the plane. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I told my tandem partner that no matter what, he was to physically push me out of the plane (once you get in the plane there are no refunds!) He happily agreed.
About 10 minutes after takeoff my partner told me to look out the window, saying we were at 7,000 feet. I thought I was going to vomit. Then he laughed and said “we’re only halfway up”. He had a sick sense of humor. In the midst of my panic attack I realized that Ollie was going to be the first one to jump out of the plane. I immediately began to think that if he died, his mother would absolutely murder me. And then before I knew it he was gone. I considered not jumping out of the plane, having it land, and I could just pretend I had jumped. But the moment had come.
Standing on the edge of the plane I have never been so terrified in my entire life. I was convinced I would hit the propellers, or my chute wouldn’t open. And before I could say “DEAR GOD STOP! GET BACK IN THE PLANE!” we jumped.
I was fully prepared to hate the experience. I was convinced that for the 60 second free fall I would have to close my eyes, and slowly count until it was over and my chute was deployed. The free fall turned out to be the best part. It was the closest you can get to flying. YOu are completely weightless soaring through the air at 14,000. It was a totally indescribable feeling. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Needless to say,Ollie and I both survived the jump, and were completely elated. It is an indescribable high, adrenaline coursing through your veins. I hit the ground laughing and launched myself into Ollie’s arms. We had survived. And better yet, we had fun. A lot of fun. It was one of the best experiences of my life. And I’m happy I surprised it to boot.
We didn’t tell a soul about what we were doing. We didn’t want our mother’s (particularly Ollie’s) to freak out and assume the worst. After jumping we went to our mother’s house to show them the videos (people with video recorders on their helmet jumped with us taping the whole experience). As expected they were completely shocked, and also, very happy that we survived 🙂
Thank you for reading! xo Whitney