There’s nothing quite like having to sign a piece of paper which reads, ‘may result in serious injury and/or death’ to make you question your sanity. Initial here, here and here and you’ve signed your life away. Signing along the dotted line I waved away all liability but also all my nerves. It was quite a surreal sensation, I went from suffering anxiety induced nausea to utter calm in the blink of an eye. I suited up, in a very unbecoming jumpsuit and little rubber hat. I lay on the floor demonstrating to my instructor that I could get into a safe position for free fall. I posed for photos in front of our tiny 50 year old plane. Climbed into said cramped vessel and I sat happily staring out at the view as we climbed high above Nevada. Calm. Not a grain of fright or worry in my body.
If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it. ~Toni Morrison
It was only when my instructor threw open the door next to me to reveal the 10,000 foot drop that I felt a fleeting moment of concern right in the pit of my stomach. This soon passed, I grabbed my feet and swung them out and under the wing. As I sat perched and hanging out of the plane I posed for pictures, waved and smiled and the camera and admired the view far below me. The entire time feeling complete serenity. At some point I crossed my arms across my chest, threw my head back and Dallas (my instructor) leapt from the plane. We tumbled through the air, doing at least one somersault which gave me a great view of the aeroplanes underbelly and we fell. 5,000 feet at 120mph. We free fell for almost one minute but to me it was over in a second, the parachute was up and we were laughing as we soared above the desert. More smiling and waving at the camera as Dallas pulled some tricks and got us circling through the sky. I kicked my legs and enjoyed our jaunt amongst the clouds. We landed with a bump on the gravel and it was over.
I doubt it’s possible for a human to come any closer to the sensation of flying than sky diving, it was an utterly magical experience and I can’t wait to do it again.
“If riding in an airplane is flying, then riding in a boat is swimming. If you want to experience the element, then get out of the vehicle.”