For as long as I can remember I have always said on my 30th birthday I would go skydiving but despite the already paid deposit it didn't feel real as xenologue and I headed to Ogden-Hinckley airport. She and fallenpegasus came along for moral support but I was quite surprised when Alex mentioned that she now wished that she were going as well. When I had told her on the phone a few weeks earlier that I was going skydiving she had made me promise that I wouldn't harass and nag her in the hopes of her going with me because she wasn't.
I was rather surprised at her change of heart. A few quick phone calls to reneg on a promise she had made to her roommate and suddenly she and Mark were signed up to go along with.
Mark went first and it was something else waiting on the ground for him. It took about 18-22 minutes for the plane to head by the drop zone and with the glare of the 1:00 sun I found I had a better vantage point laying flat on my back watching very tiny specks falling out of a very high airplane and watching for the chutes to open.
Alex and I got suited up next and with much joking with our instructors up we went.
The flight up was fantastic and I mentally checked myself to see if I were nervous at all. Honestly I wasn't. Not at all...until the doors opened and the first guys blew out of there. I and my instructor were next. It happened so quickly...but we were kneeling at the open door and we rocked once, twice and OUT AND ARCH!!!
They say it's like flying, not falling.
holy crap I sure FEEL like I'm falling!
How come I am FALLING?!?
When is the falling sensation going to stop?
I am still FALLING!!!!
DON'T LOOK DOWN, I'M NOT LOOKING DOWN, LOOKIT, I'M LOOKING EVERYWHERE BUT DOWN!!!
(I'm still falling.)
Don't throw up. (I'm still FALLING!!!)
Don't do anything to mess up this guy on your back.
Don't scream, don't grab anything,
(I am STILL FALLING!!!)
Hey, there's the video photographer who is smiling and giving me the thumbs up.
Why did I pay extra for him?! I don't want ANYBODY to see this and I am STILL FALLING!!!!
That falling feeling NEVER went away until the parchute finally got pulled.
My ears hurt so bad I thought my head was going to split in two and I hoped that it would because maybe it would feel better.
My instuctor told me I could take the goggles off and look around but I found I couldn't move.
I was furious with myself, my ears wanted to rupture but once that horrible plummeting feeling stopped the view was incredible. I wanted the parachute part to last a lot longer than it did. Being petrified wasn't enough, I had to collossally screw up the landing as well, making a rather neat dirt explosion as we hit and then I just wanted to lay on terra firma for a bit. Not a chance because the video guy came running up, Mark was there, Dad was there, Alex was coming in (with a perfect landing,) and I wanted to go crawl in a hole somewhere.
Like I told the video guy, I'm glad I did it. I'm super glad I did it. I don't think I need to do it again for a while.
Not tomorrow anyway. Knowing me and my penchant for proving things to myself I may actually go back in the next 30 days to do my Level II tandem jump.
After talking with the instructors for a bit and telling them about my ears and lack of breakfast they think maybe that was my problem. I'm suprised but they told me it's easier on a full stomach and there are 1 in 15 or 1 in 20 with just major problems with their ears pulling stunts like that. Next time bring a lot of gum.
Listen to me. I'm planning the next time. I'll just refuse to acknowledge myself as a wuss and I'll go back until I love it. Not quite sure what I learned here today.
On the plus side of things Alex mentioned how much material I had already gotten out of the experience and she's right. I'm already planning on how to use the live action footage and cut it in and out of an animated short which will be posted on my LJ. I've got new stories to tell (how Jeanette discovered she's a big terrified wuss at 13000 feet and how her brother and best friend AREN'T.) We'll see.
Glad I did it.
(I'm still falling.)