Since I have informally decided 2012 to be the year of gratitude, let me just start by expressing how grateful I am to be alive considering I jumped out of a plane this past weekend.
It started when Gaby had the crazy idea of going skydiving. Then, she became serious, took it one step further, and created a Facebook event, complete with a detailed lists of prices and available places. I honestly didn’t think I would do it, but after thinking (or maybe not thinking, depending on who you ask) about it, I changed my reservation from “Maybe” to “Yes” My reasoning? Taken verbatim from the event page: “because I know how much I’m going to regret it if I don’t end up doing it” Word.
The weather forecast that morning called for an overcast sky, with 40% chance of showers in the afternoon. I thought to myself how hilarious it would be if our jump was canceled… There goes the courage I had built up over the past 12 hours or so. We left rather early, 5 of us to a van, driving along Highway 48, passing by barns, farm houses, tractors and bungalows, all the while being accompanied by a blaring radio with its futile attempt to keep us simultaneously calm and pumped.
Arriving at the dive site, Parachute School of Toronto, we were asked to sign liability/disclaimer forms, which pretty much state that death is very possible in this activity and we are doing this at our own risk.
After handing in our forms and paying our fares, we headed outside to wait for our turns. We were called in once more to put on the harness and to be instructed on what to do when you take the plunge: arch your body, head back, and hands on your harness, none of which I did when I jumped. It’s hard to remember instructions when you’re up there, yo!
That plane ride was the longest flight of my life. All 4 of us were deep in our own thoughts, each probably concentrating to summon every ounce of courage in our being. I don’t even know what went through my mind at that time, I think I just wanted to get out that door and get it over with. We kept climbing higher and higher in altitude. Seriously, people, 13.5k ft. is a FAR distance to cover and by the time we got that high, all you see is the beautiful blue sky and white clouds.
Before I knew it, we inched closer to the door, and just like that, we jumped. Out of the plane. 13,500 ft. in the air. I feel like I can’t stress this enough.
The next 60s of free fall was actually pretty damn amazing; the fear is gone and all you experience is the sensation of completely losing all control, but still firmly believing that everything will be okay in the end (it’s not like you have any other choice, here).
Coming down with the parachute was my least favourite part. By this time, the adrenaline rush was over and the motion sickness started to hit. It also didn’t help that you had to make wide swooping motion in order to land. I spent the next hour after landing calming down my stomach and catching my breath. Here’s the strange part: I was EXHAUSTED for the rest of the day and the next, I felt like I’ve just finished running a marathon or something. But, it’s not like I did anything strenuous – I just jumped. Euy!
Was I glad that I did it? For sure! It gives me bragging rights and it feels so, so good to cross off an item of the Life List.
Would I do it again? Absolutely not.
Why would you tempt fate for the second time, silly?