Jumped out of a plane

My cousin wanted to go skydiving for her bachelorette party in March, so that’s what we did. I’d always planned to make the jump at some point, so this was a good reason to go sooner rather than later. I was pretty psyched up until we got to the dive site and started signing all the waivers. I know the company is just trying to protect itself, but it doesn’t help anyone’s nerves when the first thing the guy in the instructional video says is, “Skydiving is a dangerous sport. You could suffer serious injury, or even die.” The first line of the document in my hand also read, “1 in every 20,000 skydiving jumps results in death.”

Looking down from the plane and realizing just how high we were, I almost changed my mind. But the cheapskate in me prevailed – I didn’t want to lose my deposit – and with a little coaxing from the instructor strapped to my back, I released my grip on the side of the plane and pushed off. The next five minutes were some of the most enthralling I’ve ever experienced. Numerous people told me there’s no stomach-dropping sensation in free fall, and they were absolutely right. You just feel weightless as you’re accelerating towards the earth, and you have to fight with the wind to keep your eyes open. The falling lasted for maybe 30 seconds, but that wasn’t the scary part. I was so relieved the parachute opened successfully, but being suspended in midair was excruciating. Objects on the ground were still tiny specks, and I couldn’t even make out which building was the skydive center. I was well aware I was strapped to someone, but didn’t completely trust the harness. All I could do was pray, squeeze the life out of the instructor’s legs, and try not to move too much. Felt amazing to finally touch solid ground.

I got a little lightheaded after learning two seasoned skydivers had a fatal accident the weekend after we jumped. And only six days ago, a dive ended tragically for an instructor who had completed over 9,000 jumps. Sometimes you forget how fragile life is; rest their souls and bless their families. As for me, I might consider doing it again if the occasion arises, but for now I’m just happy I jumped out of a plane and lived to tell the tale. That’s one thing I can check off my unofficial bucket list.





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