This is how my first skydive happened.
Friend: So the Pho here is actually pretty good. I’ve been craving Vietnamese food lately. Is that weird? Maybe I’m pregnant.
Me: Want to go skydiving?
So we finished our lunch, drove an hour out to Lodi and paid $100 to jump from a plane. But first, we had to wait. For 3 hours. I passed the time watching Forrest Gump in the hangar. When our turn came up, I expected a long briefing about skydiving and how safe it would be. We had none of that. The guys just showed us how to get into our harness and off we went. The entire process from suiting up to landing lasted all of 15 minutes. Even the plane was ready to go before we finished our little introduction.
The Waiting Is The Hardest Part
It’s absolutely true. For those hesitant to try skydiving, the thought of it is actually scarier than the act itself. What most people don’t realize is that when you see the door open and step up to the edge, you get a rush of adrenaline through your system. The endorphins released by your adrenal gland gives you a natural high, so while your heart might be pumping twice as fast, it’s not so much fear as an excitement. The hard part is all the waiting and overthinking it. Even then, it’s not so bad. I always thought that the plane ride up would be the most nerve racking part, but between the high fives and all the cavemen hooting and yelping, we were already at altitude and the doors opened.
It’s Too High To Be Afraid Of Heights
People’s main objection is a fear of heights. It’s counterintuitive, but when you’re 10000 ft up, you’re so high up that you can’t really see what’s down below. There’s just a lot of empty space. From there, just let go. I won’t try to describe it too much beyond saying that you only get that roller coaster feeling for a few seconds and then it just feels like a big fan is blowing at your body.
Once I hit terminal velocity and adjusted to the feeling of falling, my first thought was, “there’s a bearded guy on my back, and he’s falling with me”. Then I saw the cameraman swing around and we flew towards each other for a close up. That was awesome. About 45 seconds later, bearded guy pulls the rip chord, and then it just stopped. There wasn’t a jerk or an upward pull. It just stopped. And just like that we were gently floating back down to earth. “Welcome to my office.” It was beautiful and I hated bearded guy at that moment.