|Wow! Those First Two Jumps!|
By Adele Hutchons / South Africa - email@example.com
My husband was lured into skydiving by a friend, and I transformed from being overprotective towards him and thinking he was crazy, to begging to go do it myself. I enrolled in the course and spent a Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. training for the "Big Day". Here's how I experienced my first jump!
We arrived at the Drop Zone around 1 o'clock, and spent only about 30 minutes waiting around, booking loads and getting our gear. We were on the first load of the day and I was the only "First Timer" on that plane (with hubby neatly cuddled in beside me, just to make sure I got out, I suppose). This was also my very first time flying...seems I've been doing a lot of firsts lately!
Two happy campers - Adele and her hubby
We geared up, were checked, given a quick overview, and checked once again. As my luck would have it (not ever having flown and all) I was seated to jump first which left me sitting in the open door. At this stage, strangely enough, I had no feeling--not even fear! I was as calm as I would ever be and will ever be again. I constantly looked down at the ground growing further and further away from us. At 1,000 feet we were told to "check" again and the JM once again checked (after which I felt reasonably safe! I can safely say "I have been checked") At 3,500 feet I was told to put my feet out the door!
And...here comes...my very first intro to skydiving!...
WOW! So many times before did I ask about that wind and nobody would answer. It could possibly be that experienced divers are either used to it or they just rather leave that out of the conversation! I found myself forceless against that wind. I had to step onto the wheel of the plane and put my hands on to the wing strut (I think). I just couldn't--the jumpmaster was pushing me OUT and the wind was pushing me IN! At one stage I shouted that "I am going" and got the feeling they thought I didn't want to. It's not that I didn't want to--I couldn't! Only on the second try did I realize how important it was to be aggressive towards that wind, but we'll get to that later.
The JM and a little bit of me eventually won the battle against the wind and I was on the wing - clinging for dear life - I wouldn't let my foot go of the wheel and felt real uneasy - Really clumsy you can say! Before I even got the GO, I thought that I wouldn't be able to handle that hang on the wing and I let go. But thanks to a wonderful JM, he saw it coming and threw my one foot still on the wheel, away from the plane as I let go! The rest is all just a haze. I felt the pull of the chute opening and without realizing that I had line twists, instinctively, (thank you, God!) I pulled on the risers. As I did, I felt myself swing around. Only then, the picture started clearing and man, what a picture!
WOW! Looking up at the perfectly good canopy, the air around, the view, as far as the eye could see, there were no words, big enough to describe this feeling -- Quiet, with only the assuring sound of your chute in the air above you holding that air you so desperately rely upon ! I did my canopy control tests and still very wary of how far and wide this thing could swing me, I slowly descended back to ground. Of all those jumping, I was the last to land. Although not making my exact spot, I thought it was close enough--I landed in my dropzone only about 30 meters off the exact spot--on my bum! But sooooo soft--It couldn't have hurt a baby! I was so excited about that first jump that we went straight in and booked a second one.
I got into that plane, expecting to feel the same "no-fear" feeling, just wanting to concentrate on my exit. OUCH! As soon as that plane took off, my heart fell to my knees--this time I forgot to leave my butterflies on the ground. I was no longer innocent to what happens up there: I knew how strong that wind was, I knew how fast you must exit, I knew how high it was. There were just too many things going on in my mind. At every "altitude call" I had to force myself to look down.
Those butterflies had such severe mood changes that I moved from feeling nervous to feeling absolutely sick and I found myself questioning "WHY". I looked out the window again and weighed up the odds: I'm perfectly fine, why would a sane person with a perfect life jump out of a perfect plane?! I was shaking like a sick dog and I think our JM could read all these emotions right there in my eyes. Even the thought of turning around crossed my mind once --or twice--or three times!
As with time, that altimeter didn't stand still and soon we were at exit height !!! I was second to go and when he told me to move to the door another "me" took over--I wrote that scary picture of how high we were right out of my mind and I chose not to answer those very "sane" questions! It was this "me" that wanted to skydive and I was gonna do it again, and this time, perfect!
On exiting, the wind once again caught hold of my body, and for a split second the fear took hold of me, but I realized this was not a girl's playground and no one would treat me like it was, especially not that wind! I pushed myself out of that plane with all my might with no help from anyone. I got hold of that wing strut and let both feet go!
It felt sooo good once again to be in control and against all expectations, I was able to hold myself - it's almost like water - your body becomes pretty weightless and I realized that before, it was my MIND - my "sane" mind telling me that I would fall off. I held on, looked back towards the JM and he gave me the GO, and before I knew I was there again to that place I don't have words to describe...peace!...peace!...peace!
It was just me and the sky and this absolutely beautiful chute above me.
Again, I landed well within the DZ but once again on my bum. I flared so hard that my legs automatically lifted up on doing so. (The girls may have the guts, but they still don't have the muscles!)
I'm still running high on the adrenaline I experienced! I have this amazing medley of emotions inside me and I'm trying to process the feeling of absolute fear combined with the feeling of absolute peace and just how good it made me feel! All I know for sure is that I'm hooked!
I pushed myself to my limits and I made it! There is no better therapy than that! If I can push myself as far as I had to up there - I can do anything! Nothing can compare with what you feel when you skydive, and I'm just lucky enough to be one of the ones who is able to experience this--To be able to challenge and push myself beyond my "own" expectations - WOW!
I'm addicted and although I only jumped yesterday, I'm already counting the days to our next jump. I never want to stop this experience and I'm in awe of God's creation all over again! I became part of it for a few moments - hanging in mid air - smelling the air - watching birds far away--and that view! I hope "WOW!" will do as enough explanation!
If I, who had never put my foot on a roller coaster or flown before, can do it, then anyone else can! Although it is called an "extreme" sport, there is nothing violent about it! The intense challenge to yourself within, and the reward, are worth it. Those few minutes it will take you to touch down will leave you absolutely breathless!
On reflecting last night, I told my husband that I could have bought myself a very expensive Wonder Bra with that money - But, then again, who needs a Wonder Bra if you have the balls to jump out of a plane?!
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