People call skydiving the thrill of a lifetime, but in reality it’s so much more than that. The first time I was hauled out of a plane it was beyond blissful, there was thrill of course but mainly I was in awe of the beauty. After my second tandem (jumping strapped to an instructor), I knew it was going to be a part of my life I could never leave behind. I couldn’t really pinpoint what I loved so much about it until I got into STP or the student training program and had many more jumps under my belt.
It is about a 15 minute plane ride up to 14000 feet. That is the altitude we jump at. That is a lot of time to think about what you are doing and raises some anxious feelings. Once the door opens and you start moving there is no time to think of feelings. You set up at the door and the moment you jump out it is silent. Like sticking your head underwater. No thoughts just you in that moment. Complete freedom. That is my favorite part. Your body knows what to do you just ride the hill until the wind starts pushing up on you. Then your mind kicks back on and you can do flips, turns, side sliding, floating, tracking… the possibilities are endless.
It is very important to remain altitude aware by keeping an eye on your altimeter. Always remain aware of the altitude you are pulling or releasing your parachute at. Once you deploy your canopy and after you control check to make sure you can safely land it you get an opportunity to really enjoy the scenery. The world looks different when you are falling 120mph toward it. Appreciate how small you are in that moment but the big things you can accomplish.
I would call my first tandem the most blissful but all of my jumps have amazing aspects to them. When you make the decision to get your skydiving license you trade in that blissful obliviousness for blissful awareness. It is a different kind of bliss because you are in control and responsible for yourself. You know how to respond to malfunctions and no one else can save you but yourself. It is a beautiful realization and to still be able to feel the pure love and joy from this sport is courageous and satisfying. I had a scare with my rig being too loose and as terrifying as it was I just wanted to get back up on a plane and free-fall to feel again what I loved so much about it. So I did. It was the best decision I could have made.
If you are adventurous and haven’t tried skydiving I recommend it! You might fall in love like I have. It can be a gateway into base jumping, wing-suits and so much more. Be warned it is a whole lot of fun and is not a cheap hobby! The price of true freedom is high. I encourage you all to get out of your comfort zone and truly live!