This week for Travel Tuesday, I am going to do something a little different and take you on a Skydiving Adventure! First, for those who follow my blog you may already know this, if you are newer you might as well know, I am a bit of an adventure junkie. Once for my birthday I decided to get myself a gift, okay who am I kidding, I always buy myself a birthday gift:) But this time I bought myself an adventure and something I always wanted to do, Skydiving.
I took with me to watch me jump, my parents and one of my sisters. My mom and my sister are super afraid of heights. My mom wasn't exactly thrilled I was doing it, but she was supportive despite her probably secretly wishing I would change my mind:). I think my sister just came to watch something she knew she never would, and before I boarded the plane, I remember her asking or telling me what items of mine she would acquire should my chute not open:)
My dad, has jumped out of planes countless times, as he was a paratrooper in the Army and even dropped by parachute into battle in Vietnam, so he was excited for me.
First thing after you check in and get your flight time then they give you a jumpsuit and a cute hat, lol. The hat was so not cute!!! I guess I should be glad I got a purple suit, but I would have much rather wore a t-shirt and shorts like my tandem partner.
I thought I would get a bunch of instruction, but after I put the jumpsuit on, they gave me two rules, have fun, and when I was in the air falling to just arch my back. That was it, nothing else:)
|I was so sweaty and hot in this picture from the plane, flat hair, make-up gone,|
but I didn't care, I was completely happy!
So if you can't tell, I was totally all smiles. When I remember back, I really wasn't nervous at all, I seriously was just super excited. I had no second thoughts, I was just like, lets do this!
We had a while on the plane while we climbed. This is Utah, so we climbed and flew over mountains and it was really more of a sightseeing tour. I was loving it! Truthfully, the plane was a little hot, since there was really not any air conditioning and it was summer. Most of the people jumping the time I went were solo jumpers, just a few tandem's. I had a video filmed of my skydive, as well as all the pictures. A few of which I will share with you.
He gave me a few more instructions just before we jumped, he just said whatever you do, don't pull the orange cord on your straps. I said, what does the orange cord do? He said, it releases you from me.
I said, no problem I'm not pulling the cord...
I remember this moment, I was at the door of the plane, it was our turn to go. You wait until they count you off to jump. You would think maybe right at this moment, I would be looking at the ground saying what am I doing. But no, I remember exactly what I was thinking, don't pull the orange cord on my shoulder:) and let's get going, this is awesome!!!
When you first come out, you sort of roll out, like a somersault. It's awesome, I can't even describe the feeling. Then when you finish the roll, you just sort of spread your arms and legs out and you feel like you are flying. There is no lurch of the stomach, its just pure awesomeness and feeling like you are weightless and really flying.
Why did I pick Ogden Skydive? Well they were the highest drop jump I could find. We jumped somewhere between 18,000 and 19,000 feet. I have the exact height written somewhere but I can't remember where I put it while I am writing this:)
I've done bungee jumping and let me tell you, Skydiving is so much better!!!! Bungee jumping is over in an instant and it is really jerky and hurts the neck. Skydiving is completely relaxing and exhilarating (to a point, I'll explain below.)
I wanted to show you the pictures above because you can see the beautiful Great Salt Lake in the background. The mountains were behind me and the valley below.
With this particular Skydive, you get to free fall for 1 minute. That is the other reason I picked this one, because others I found had a much shorter free fall.
Really, if you get a chance to do this, take it! It was amazing, I loved the feeling of flying, looking at the ground and all around as we dropped!
I told you, I was completely all smiles the entire time! How could a person not be, right!
I loved the free fall, it was better than I ever could have imagined. I knew during those 60 seconds or longer I could get addicted to this. (Well if I could afford to do it more often.)
Funny thing, as you come in closer, you can hear people on the ground talking, quite well actually. I thought that was funny for some reason.
I mentioned above that it is completely relaxing and exhilarating, except for one thing. That one thing is right when the chute opens. Immediately, the free fall stops and you feel this sudden jerk in your crotch area. Where the harness immediately pulls on you as the chute is pulling you upward and your body is still falling. Ouch, that was a painful moment! But not so painful, that I wasn't still loving it.
Once the chute opens, you have another about 6-7 minutes of drifting in the chute. It is just as awesome! Not quite as thrilling as the free fall, but more of just awe.. It's then you recollect what you did, and what you are doing. True, I was excited when I looked up and saw that the chute opens. (I'm sure everyone has that moment of relief, even though I didn't really doubt it would open.)
Then you start coming in for the landing. I am not experienced, although they did have me watch the group before me land, so I would know what to expect. But even I know the guy taking me had missed our landing. See in this picture you see a rocky field.
Well the actual landing strip is all grassy and flat, no rocks (It was behind us). Well instead of turning us around and taking us in for a second try of the landing, he decided to go for it, and when he pulled the chute down, I realized I wasn't going to have the landing like I saw others do.
I only tell you this part, because it was my experience. But let me assure you this is not common. (I just have bad luck with things:) I also tell you this because it is the truth, but if your thinking of Skydiving, please don't let this next part keep you from it.
Our landing didn't go so well, we hit the ground hard, really hard. There were rocks and thorns, and the instructor decided to save himself for the fall and he landed on top of me.
The video shows the crazy rough landing. I know he was embarrassed he missed the landing and how it went. But I had so much fun I didn't even care, not right at that moment:)
I unhooked myself, and walked off (figuring I'd walk off the pain) to see my family. Long story short, I later found out that I fractured my tailbone in a few places.
However, aside from breaking my butt, it was great! I loved it, and I would definitely do it again and again if I have future opportunities!!! (But if I do it again, I might just want to go through the course, so I don't have to rely on someone else for the landing, I think I'd rather do it myself:)
When I landed, my dad handed me a pair of his Paratrooper Wings (pictured above). Obviously I didn't earn them like military personnel do, but I believe it was his way of telling me congratulations and giving me something that shows we share a type of experience. I'll keep them forever!
So, if Skydiving has been on your bucket list, do it!!! Why wait until you get older, just schedule it when you can and go. I guarantee you will love the experience, the rush, the adrenaline, the awe of it all. You will be amazed!!!