Skydiving: There's a reason it's on most bucket lists
I went skydiving...
I know you've thought about it, it's definitely crossed your mind. You've probably known someone who's done it before but never thought that you would ever have the courage to even think about it. That's right - I'm talking about skydiving!
For anyone like myself who's not too thrilled with heights, skydiving was always the last thing on my mind. Yes, I love rollercoasters and most theme park rides, but willingly jumping from a perfectly good airplane wasn't high up on my list of things to do before I die.
But, as in most memorable experiences that will arise in your life, the opportunity came knocking at my door after I had moved back home from college and was trying to settle back down at home and get back into the swing of things. While being introduced to some friends of a friend, they all were talking about going skydiving and everyone was so amped and excited to go. Not wanting to be the downer, I piped up and said that I would love to go too. Of course this brought on a whole slew of other emotions of anxiety - is this safe? waht did I sign up for? can I die?
The day finally arrived, and much to my chagrin, more than half of the people who had so willingly raised their arms when first asked to go, sat on the sidelines as I signed my name on the dotted line and got suited up. I was paired up with an experienced "jumper" and was going to go tandem (attached to the experienced person). About 12 people boarded the small aircraft and we were taken up to 15,000 feet. The views were incredible and I was able to see the ocean, all of the waterways, and even Kennedy Space Center. A signal light flashed to let everyone know when it was going to be their turn to jump. Because I was flying tandem, my "jumper" did everything for me. When we made our way to the doorway, I was asked to grab ahold of my backpack straps (I was later told that it's because so many people will actually try and grab back onto the plane!) and after that I had no control!
Having the "jumper" with me was a bit of a relief, as he was able to "let go" of the plane for me because I don't think I could've jumped out of it myself! All of the anxiety, all of the fears, all of the negative emotions were left in the plane as my body plunged towards the Earth! The feeling of weightlessness was like freedom - and the closest to God that I think anyone could ever feel. I was humbled at the sight of how insignificant life on the ground seemed to be. Everyone's always in a rush to go nowhere.
The inital drop lasts about a minute, and the remaining drop with the parachute extended is about 6 additional minutes. As the world got closer, my mind couldn't have been farther away. And when we landed, I was ready to hop right back onto that plane!
I highly recommend the experience and hope that everyone can put their fears aside to at least try it and I guarantee that you won't be dissapointed. If you are in the Central Florida area, I recommend http://www.skydivespacecenter.com/index.html for your experience. Their staff was professional and I was very pleased with their services. I opted for the photography and video for my first jump so I could remember every moment and although it's a bit costly, I highly recommend it.