It’s been a mad busy week…with my two machines on the blink, the new workout regimen, and the work catching-up to do, it seems that I’ve pretty caught up with everything in my life.
Now where were we?
Oh yeah…approximately 45 people head to Sky’s The Limit. As we arrived, it seemed we brought the sun’s heat with us also. Most of the time was being spent signing paperwork that says that here’s no suing going on at all, that if I slipped and broke my leg on the ground or from the sky, that it didn’t matter- I’ve effectively signed my rights away. After I’ve used enough ink, I go outside waiting for our turn to pay for additional options during the trip. I decided to get photography and a videotape done. In my mind, if I get all of this done, there’s pictures of me all over the television just in case my parachute fails to open. I could just see the new program now: Splats from the Sky!
After an inordinate amount of time, 4 of us are called to get dressed and get on the plane for our wonderful piece of the sky. Waiting for about 2 hours in the sweltering weather is not something to wish upon me since heatstroke and I have seen many wonderful summers together. So, while drinking water and eating hot-dogs (memo to self: never wish hot dogs given to you by the parachute jumpers as sustenance before jumping from a plane), we’re waiting patiently for our names to be called.
My name, along with three others, are called for our next trip. Since there can only be four clients in the plane at one time, BT and I end up being in the same plane, while Ewedontno is relegated to the next plane. Finally I get outfitted in a nice yellow number, electing to take my glasses off and wear contacts instead. Something about my glasses dropping from the atmosphere does not appeal to me.
We board the plane as I review what the instructions were during the jump:
1. We would be attached to a tandem instructor.
2. We’ll both be at the door of the aircraft.
3. I cross my airms, attach my legs to the plane, and arch my back.
4. The instructor counts to three and on the third count, there we go, off the plane!
We suit up, and my instructor, whose name I have forgotten, makes sure that our attachments are okay. I’m second to get out of the plane, and as I edge toward the door, I wonder why the first passenger and his tandem just saw fit to fall out of the plane like that. The first passenger was really nervous about jumping out, and I didn’t hear him scream, so maybe he’s okay. But why didn’t count? Well, never mind them. We’re headed out now and I am sure we’re going to count and then we’ll be just fine….. One…..
…WHY IN THE HELL AM I IN THE AIR? WHERE’S TWO AND THREE?! AAAAAHHHHHH!
I can’t believe this! I’m in the air, and I can barely hear myself scream! There’s no danger of lack of oxygen here since everytime I open up my mouth I get nothing but wind. Lots of it. The instructor tells me to calm down and breathe through my nose. After a while, the panic goes away because there’s absolutely nothing I can do. I’m dropping, and dropping, I have no parachute, and I have to at least be able to tell everyone I saw something, rather than have the instructor tell me how difficult it is to land someone foaming at the mouth or with lack of consciousness.
As I keep going down at 11,000 feet I imagine that sooner or later, this wonderful parachute would be my friend and would be deployed- sometime within the next millisecond, hopefully. This is when the instructor tells me to look up. As I do so, I see the photographer taking pictures. Well now, I really gotta act cool, so I cheer at him at least resigned to the fact that at least he has a picture of me in case this episode shows up on the news. Once that’s done, the instructor says to hold on, and that it’s time for parachuting. The photographer flies away from us, as the parachiute comes out….
…and that’s when the vidoeographer comes out of nowhere and demands me to cheer. The photography, the rush, the land beneath me, and the conversation being held in the air is fantastic. Absolutely wonderful. For 6-7 minutes of being in the air I have all of this great calm. There is no good reason to be panicking and every good reason to just enjoy the newness of life itself.
The last thing to worry about was the landing. After the 7 minutes in the air, it’s time to lift my legs and land on my butt. “How apropos,” I thought. I’m sure this will be on film too in case I break it and someone needs proof that there’s a reason why I’m in a wheelbarrow for the next month. The landing? Fantastic! The feelings? Tremendous! On film? Oh my yes. This was indeed great stuff.
Would I do it over again? Yes.
Bungee jumping? Now, that’s another story. Somehow being closer to the ground is anticlimactic.
I guess I need to crawl before I can walk. I never learned how to swim, so that’s my next project. After all, I survived the sky, right?