Thursday, June 28, 2012

Punching Fear In The Face \m/

I took a flying leap yesterday and punched fear in the face, otherwise known as skydiving.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a fear of heights. I don't "do" Ferris wheels, ski lifts, or climb trees and even the occasional escalator will cause me to freak out. But after reading "Divergent" by Veronica Roth last year, I decided that life is too short to allow fear to keep me from trying new things. 

I've always wanted to skydive but have been afraid. Thanks to my Mom, who paid for me to go as an early birthday present, I had the chance to overcome that fear yesterday.

 Here's my experience in pictures and song titles because that's how I think - either in book characters or song lyrics. So here ya go - ENJOY!...

Photo: :)
I'm here. Got my DAUNTLESS shirt on and am channeling Tris becasue there's no way Four would be doing this. ;) I've also just signed my life away or at least promised not to sue should I plummet to my doom. Awesome. "Again" ~ Flyleaf

Photo: Getting ready.
All harnessed up & can NOT for life of me remember a word the instructor has just told me. I'm thinking that could be bad but we'll see. "Chasm" ~ Flyleaf 
Thumbs up must mean I'm not scared. This is me, not being scared. It did occur to me that once again I'm completely outnumbered being the only female. "Bad Company" ~ Five Finger Death Punch

I think the harness is a good look for me, don't you? *SNORT*  "I'm Sexy and I Know It." ~ LMFAO

Yeah...this plane is NOTHING like the brochure. That one was way bigger and showed several smiling people sitting comfortably in the back. This is the smallest.plane.ever! No seats and I'm facing backward sitting on Don's lap so he can strap me in at any minute which is not awkward...not in the least. 0_0  It's very windy and the plane is pitching left to right and it occurs to me that if something does happen, only 2 of us have actual chutes. Great. I'm also thinking about Leah (a book character) from "Such A Rush" by Jennifer Echols and wondering if this is the same kind of plane she flies.* "Jump Jump" by Kris Kross

There is no photo for what happened next...the door opens, a blast of cold air sweeps in and the first jumper goes out. Don yells in my ear that it's my turn and my brain splits in half. The adventurous side is yelling, "LET'S DO THIS!" while the rational side is yelling, "Nah, I'm good right here, thanks!" 

Don signals it's time for me to put my legs outside of the plane and I freeze. He told me I might have to use my hands to lift my legs and he wasn't joking. So, I'm trying to lift my legs and they too have started yelling, "NO! We are the parts that are supposed to stay INSIDE the plane! Remember?! Please keep arms and legs INSIDE the ride at ALL TIMES!" 

I manage to get my legs out and glance down just in time to see my skin do that rippling thing you see happen to people's faces when they're skydiving. It's really gross and I'm glad I did not have to see my face like that. 

Don rocks us back 2 times and on the third time we fall...and we're falling, and falling and I'm surprised at how LOUD AIR IS and oh yeah, I can't breathe! I literally can NOT take a breathe and panic sets in. My chest hurts and I don't know if it's because of the air pressure, the harness being too tight or what but I am convinced THIS is how I will die. Then Don pulls something and we jerk back and everything goes silent. "Free Fallin" ~ Tom Petty

The chute opens, Don hands me the reigns and starts unhooking stuff. I try not to think about what or why he's unhooking stuff while we're still airborne but focus on the view which is AMAZING! It is a little disconcerting though to look around at everything so small and look down to see your legs just dangling there. "Paradise" ~ Coldplay

 While we're up in the sky doing our thing, Don decides to show me how to do spins. I failed to mention to him that me + spinning in circles = things that end badly so I said, "Hey Don, I'm gonna need you to stop doing that because it will make me puke."  He was cool with that.

Landed like a BOSS! And then proceeded to fall over backward, landing flat on my back with my legs up in the air. Lovely. It was actually quite funny and Don told me that in all of his 11,000 jumps, that had NEVER happened before. Leave it to me to be the first. "It's Gonna Be Me" ~ 'NSync

Another thumbs up! "Survivor" ~ Destiny's Child
These guys were waiting for me. "Good Feeling" ~ Flo Rida

This is Don...colorful flight pants and all. "Groove Is In The Heart" Deee Lite

And there you have it. I'm so glad I took the plunge and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.  Thanks Mom! 

*A HUGE "Thank You!" also to author Jennifer Echols and her son. She and I were tweeting yesterday and they were kind enough to find out for me what kind of plane Don pushed us out of - a Cessna. You guys ROCK!


  1. You are so awesome!!! Thanks for sharing this experience with us!!! DAUNTLESS!!!

  2. I have always wanted to skydive! That is so awesome that Divergent inspired you. :)