Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wow, Did I Really Voluntarily Sign Up For This?!?

Ever since I was in high school I have said that I wanted to go skydiving. Each year my birthday came and went, and I did not go. So, this year I thought I am just going to sign up, I'm going to do it! I think part of me knew that once I have kids (still way down the road) I would chicken out. So I talked to all of my family, and I had two takers to make the jump with me.

My cousin Logan (on my mom's side) was just about to graduate high school.

And my cousin Joya (on my dad's side) had just celebrated her birthday.

So in the name of our celebrations, we signed up. Once you sign up, that's in, you're doing it, because they get you to pay when you sign up. We went to SkyDive Carolina in Chester because we had heard great things about it. Everyone was right, they were so great. When we got there we laid out a picnic blanket and set up some chairs under some nice shade trees, and just had a good time hanging out with all of the family members.

Then, Joya, Logan, and I went for our training. I imagined we would have at least an hour of training, but no, we watched about a 10 minute video, and then Peanut (our instructor) said "Any Questions?" Ha! But, since we were skydiving tandem (someone was on our back who knew what they were doing) I figured we would be ok. Two things I was interested to learn was that on a clear day, right before you jump, you are so high that you can see the curvature of the Earth! (There were too many clouds the day we jumped to see this-I think-it all went really fast, but more on that in a minute.) And also that there are two parachutes packed in the backpack and even if neither are pulled at 2,000 feet, a computer in the backpack automatically releases one. So overall, I was feeling pretty safe, and was not nearly as nervous as I thought I would be.

After the training we went back to our picnic for a little while, and then our names were called out over the loud speaker. From this point until we were back on the ground was only about 25 minutes, it all went so fast! We went and put on the jumpsuits. Met our tandem person, they had told us you will never get closer to a stranger, which is true! And then we all three met our videographers/photographer. We all got the dvd/photo package, which I am so grateful for! Then, next thing I knew we were getting in the plane.

This is me getting into the plane. We went in a pretty small plane, it was just the three of us, our three tandem flyers, our three videographers, and then two solo jumpers. The solo jumpers went first, but I was the first of us to jump, so I was right beside the open door the whole way up. At about 7,000 feet my tandem flyer started hooking me to him, and then at 14,000 feet, we were ready to jump!

Me jumping. The person taking the video and pictures actually jumps before you and hangs on to the plane while you jump, I know, crazy right?! Obviously, my training had not stuck, my form is less than professional, ha!

My favorite part of the free-fall was at the very beginning when we flipped upside down and were going all over the place.

This is me during my free-fall, which lasted about 50 seconds. A few seconds after you jump, a small blip is let out (that's what that rope coming up is-not our parachute) that slows you to 120 mph, so you are still free falling, you just don't flip upside down anymore.

Flying high at 120 mph!

When the three of us were walking back towards our family (all lined up on the other side of a fence) we were cracking up because we felt like we were in the movie Armageddon and we had just saved the World or something, ha!

It was great to have family there to watch us, and get to experience this with us!

My mom was taking the group picture, so here is one of us.

Will was much more relaxed after the jump! Beforehand, he was just pacing around looking worried. But afterwards he even said that he thought he might do it in the future. It was such a great adventure, and so much fun. I am so glad that I did it!


  1. Congratulations! I have always wanted to go, too!

  2. LOVE IT! Me, Jacob, Kollin and Kristen went to vegas last year and Jacob suprised me and told me the night before that we were skydiving the next morning! Nothing like a "suprise, you are doing it"! I can't wait to go again. Glad you enjoyed it! Love you!!

  3. I just found your blog! My mom and I were just talking the other day about wanting to try sky diving next year. I need to sign us up ASAP so she (or I!) don't chicken out. Thanks for sharing, this actually made me so much less nervous and more excited about the dive!