6.21.2010

One down Forty Two to go!


Today I fully accomplished the first thing off my bucket list: skydiving

I made a reservation for the 1st of May to go skydiving and have had to reschedule about 10 times. Finally today the sun was shining, the sky was cloudless, and no one had any 
conflicts! 

I met Charlie in front of the West Side Story marquee in Times Square and hopped on the N train out to Queens where we met up with his friend Kyle (who was also going with us!) We packed up Kyle's car and drove to Long Island where the Skydiving Center was located. 
Here's the website if you wanna take a look! 

http://www.longislandskydiving.com/


Upon arriving we could see the air field filled with small planes and 2 big trailers, where we went to register! As soon as we entered we were ushered over to the seats where we had to initial tons paragraphs stating that we wouldn't sue them if we died, 
that it was our own choice to jump out of an airplane, and that whatever happened would be our fault. That was followed by a video from the manufacturer of the parachutes. This man (who looked like a mix between Gandolph the Great and an Amish man) explained how there would be no way to sue the company for any type of malfunction... comforting. 

After signing our life away, we hopped into a van called 'the shaggin wagon' . It was the coolest car I've ever seen. It was a 1980's van that had been completely gutted on the inside. It had brown carpet on the floor, burnt orange carpet on the sides, and patterned carpet on the ceiling. 

We were driven further out on the landing strip and matched up with our Tandem-jumper. Mine was a 6'4'' British man who had dried blood all down the side of his face. He was so hardcore. As he was harnessing me up, he quickly explained what was going to happen (in a complete blur) and then said "got it?" 

Basically what I began thinking was this: Wait... that was it? No class or written test, or recitation back? Are we not jumping out of an airplane?!!?

The smallest airplane I've ever seen pulled up on the runway and I was instructed to sit on the floor next to the pilot with my knees to my chest... right next to the only door. My instructor/tandem jumper man crawled in right beside me (as did Charlie and his instructor).

Our take off was extremely smooth and in no time we were flying over the Hamptons and the Atlantic ocean. It was absolutely beautiful!! We spent about 15 minutes in the air and I loved every minute of it. I wasn't nervous at all... I love flying and I love being up among the clouds!

My instructor tapped me on the shoulder instructing me to come to my knees as he strapped me to his harness... after I had placed my goggles on and had checked all my straps, the instructor opened the door right next to me. There I was facing the wide open air with nothing keeping me inside. 
This is when I started getting nervous. We put our right foot out on the wheel of the airplane, ducked under the doorway and out onto the side of the plane. Then as we were dangling outside the plane, my instructor yelled "NOW!" and we jumped!

The feeling was unbelievable. At first you're falling 120mph and you can barely breathe. I was screaming at the top of my lungs and gasping for breath at the same time; it was exhilarating beyond belief! Once the parachute opened it was as if we were two feathers floating down toward the earth. It was so peaceful and surreal. I was able to steer the parachute for a while as we turned in 360 circles and did flips in the air. 

Half way down, the instructor began loosening the straps connecting the two of us (to make the landing a little easier). However, all I felt was a sensation that at any moment I could become unattached from him and be hurtling towards the ground... not a fun split second :)

The landing was smooth (even though we landed on our butts) and as the parachute lightly fell  around us, I was speechless. All I could say was "oh my gosh!" and giggle uncontrollably!

I DID IT!! I JUMPED OUT OF AN AIRPLANE!!!!!



1 comment :

  1. Wahooo!!!! Congratulations! I love that you have a bucket list...perhaps I should put that on my to-do list. :o)

    ReplyDelete