#19 Skydive

Every time I close my eyes I see the landscape of Boston and New Hampshire spread out before me and I immediately have to open them to avoid getting sick to my stomach. Still, in my late 20’s, I suffer from horrible motion sickness. I can’t read in cars or on trains and only within the last year I have stopped taking Dramamine before a plane ride.

So, yeah, skydiving seemed like a logical item to add to this list.

After Vickie had such a great experience at Skydive Pepperell, I purchased the groupon when it became available and waited. I had to wait because the weight limit was 225lbs and I had to lose more than a few to avoid plummeting to my death. And then I wanted to get at least 10lbs below that because I am not a risk taker.

So, yeah, skydiving seemed like a logical item to add to this list.

There’s a rule of three in improv, but I don’t have a third thing to add here.

So, yeah, skydiving seemed like a logical item to add to this list.

Vincent was kind enough to accompany me and serve as my historian. Having done it himself a few years ago in New York, he had a few words of wisdom to offer, but mostly spent his time trying to provoke me into admitting how terrified I was by making me terrified. I only started to get scared when they handed out two separate waivers stating we could die and made us watch a video in which they also stated that we could die. Thankfully, the end of the video had a blooper reel from the instruction part of the video – which I paid super special attention to. I would not be one of the three people who dies from sky diving every year.

After watching the group before us gracefully glide into the open field, I suited up and met my tandem buddy, Keith, who has completed hundreds of jumps and, at least, eight before me that day. And as far as I know everyone lived because Keith was still alive. It’s skydiving logic, I suppose.

After every strap on my harness was checked and tightened at my request for the sixth time, Keith and I made our way to the plane along with a family of three and their tandem buddies. Of course, our plane had the requisite smart ass who spent the ascent into the sky convincing my gullible ass that I was the one pulling the chord on the parachute. I need to remember to try to prevent the color draining from my face in these situations.

I’m in there panicking.

I was the second to jump. And even though Keith explained to me exactly what was going to happen about five times, my mind blanked. “Hold on here, stick your butt out, cross your arms, lean forward, arms out, legs bent.” It’s so complicated.

And it happened so fast. Before I knew it, I was rolling out of a plane and into the open sky. They say that you don’t really feel as though you’re falling fast, but we were falling at 120mphs and it totally felt that way. After about a minute of free falling, he pulled the parachute and the loudest scream/laugh escaped my mouth – as did my stomach. “It’s cool right. That first three seconds feels the same for me each time as it did for you. It’s like ‘What the fuck?'” Exactly, Keith. What the fuck? is right.

He taught me how to steer the parachute in circles. At 60 degrees and sunny, it was an absolutely gorgeous day and the visibility was incredible. Keith pointed out Manchester, NH (where he lives) and various parts of Northern Massachusetts down to the Boston skyline. It was breathtaking. It took us about seven minutes to coast back down to the ground. Everything looked so tiny and fake. During the free fall it was impossible to see people or cars and all the houses looked exactly the same. The giant field we were going to land in was just a small patch of grass. However, I had spun myself in so many circles I had no idea where I was except “the sky.”

Not dead. Totally normal.

Keith opted to use the slide in angle where you lift your legs and land on your butt. Well, my legs don’t lift so high and I almost broke my other ankle, but I didn’t! I didn’t break anything and I am totally alive! Vincent greeted me with a hug and I couldn’t muster any words. Even though I was only in the air  for a few minutes, being on land felt strange. It’s like when you jump on a trampoline and have weird rubbery legs when you step on the grass. Only the trampoline is the sky and your stomach is somewhere in New Hampshire.

I can’t find my stomach

It was awesome.


One response

  1. Well written honey,its like we went along with you

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