Holy crap, I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane today. Kim and I went skydiving today, to celebrate my having lost over 50 lbs.
It started with her friend Enrique, who had suggested it. Kim asked if I was interested, but I said that I’d looked into it before, but was too heavy and couldn’t go. Kim asked if that was still true with my weight loss, and I replied I wasn’t sure. She checked, and when we realized that I was within a few pounds of the limit, we decided that it’d be a great way to mark over 50 lbs of weight loss. The trip was booked, and I tried to make sure I’d go from a little over the limit to well under. This last week was tough, with work travel, and I weighed in this morning at just 2 lbs under the limit. Of course, that was naked in my bathroom, on my scales. When we checked in, their scales read 4-5 lbs over, and they weren’t going to let me jump. Dissapointed. Then, the girl suggested moving the scales to the porch, where I magically lost a couple lbs, but was still (just) over the limit. My clothes were mentioned, and to Kim’s great shock, I was soon in my boxer briefs, and made the cutoff!
After a long wait, we were suited up and boarded the small-ish airplane. I’d been nervous, but as we rode the plane up my nervousness morphed into complete and total fear. I’m not ashamed to say I can think of few things I’ve done that scared me as much as jumping out of an airplane. I was truly, truly, truly scared.
As the plane climbed to 12,500 feet, I watched the houses and roads get tiny, and I honestly considered telling them I didn’t want to do it.
After what felt like about a 7.5 hour flight, but I’m told was less than <15 minutes, the plane arrived at the jump zone. One solo jumper went first, then it was me. As my instructor and I slid towards the door, I was terrified. We rocked in the doorway, and soon I was stepping out of an open door, 12,500 feet above the ground, and rocketing to 120 MPH. Holy Crap.
Freefall was interesting. The physical sensation is not really what I expected. It was fast, and loud with wind noise, but somehow calmer than I expected.
After a 50 second freefall, we pulled the chute, and had 7-8 minutes of flying down. It was cool, and I enjoyed it. Made me want to try paragliding.
I could see Kim off to the side. Her instructor was taking her through a crazy series of moves, spins and such.
Before long, the ground was getting close, and we touched down.
I don’t think this experience will turn me “into a skydiver”, where it’d be a regular hobby of mine, but I enjoyed it and would be interested to try it again since I think I could be more relaxed on the next time…