Today I start checking things off of my ’25 Things To Do Before You’re 25′ list. Well, technically this particular thing I checked off about two years ago, but many people recommended it be added to my list so here it is!
Number 1: Go Skydiving
Let me start out by saying that I am not afraid of heights. I climbed trees way higher than I should have all the time when I was a kid, and I love to rock climb. However, I do get a sinking feeling that seems as if my stomach just dropped all the way down to my toes when I stand on top of a tall building, the empire state building for example, and look down. I realize that there is a foot of glass separating me from a long fall and a sudden stop, and yet i’m terrified that that glass will suddenly disappear. Irrational, I know. But true, regardless.
That being said… I loved skydiving! I would do it again in a heartbeat. There is no rationality behind the fact that I didn’t get that sinking feeling when I looked down out of that plane with the absolute knowledge that there wasn’t glass there and wasn’t ever glass there to begin with. I was indeed going to be falling any second, and from much higher up than a tall building. That should really have been the time when my entire body was shrieking “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!” Because you are actually going against every natural survival instinct your body has at that moment, but I never felt that dread in my stomach.
Maybe it’s the fact that when you are up that high, you start to disconnect with the fact that all those little tiny things below you are actually large houses and cars. They felt unreal to me. Regardless of why, I had a blast jumping out of that little twin engine plane and I would definitely do it again.
My mom was actually the one who gave my sister and I the idea to go skydiving. I ended up going with one of my best friends, Karen, and my sister, Elizabeth. We are lucky enough to live fairly close to a skydiving place in Middletown, Ohio called Start Skydiving. Which is a neatly run and organized place with super friendly jumpers and instructors who will honestly make the most of your experience.
Here’s what occurred from the time we were suited up from the time we landed. Complete with my inner dialogue right before we jumped.
- Get suited up with jumpsuits and meet our instructors.
Hugs for my instructor after a fall well done!
- Commence with photo shoot in our jumpsuits because… I mean… duh.
Because there is nothing sexier than a jumpsuit and harness.
- Receive our instruction and head to the plane.
This is where we begin to look a little concerned…
- Hop into the plane and try not to listen as the instructors deliberately freak us out. Hilariously, I might add.
“Hey man did you finish reading those safety instruction?” “Nah. You?” “Nope. But i’m sure we’ll be fine.”
- Disassociate myself from the situation until the little red light suddenly goes green and the doors are thrown open. ‘Oh… okay, this is actually happening. It’s cool I can totally do this.’
- Watch as Karen steps up to the door and disappears. ‘Oh god! Oh my god. Karen’s dead, i’m never going to see her again!’
- Register that my sister is at the door looking down at oblivion. ‘Nooooooooooo! But on the other hand i’ll get all of your clothes…’
- Position my feet so they hang half way off the ledge, and wonder what the hell i’m doing here. ‘Thanks for this suggestion, Mom.’
Falling. Can’t breathe. Weightlessness. Flying. Freedom.
- Short halt and a slow drift down towards earth. ‘Yay! I’m not going to die!’
What I Learned
What did I learn from this? Not to look before I leap? Face my fears? Do something a little crazy every now and then? Maybe all of them, but mostly I think I learned that there are only so many times and so many opportunities you have in your lifetime to do something amazing, and yeah, a little crazy. So when these opportunities arise, take them. And if you are able to do them with your best friends, all the better. I jumped out of that plane when I was 22. I had always thought, ‘yeah sure i’d like to go skydiving someday’, but i’m not sure I would have stepped up to the plate and actually gone if my mom hadn’t bought us the Groupon (I freaking love Groupon) and said, ‘Go for it.’ Now, looking back, I’m beyond happy that I did it. Especially because this was one of the most common suggestions I received for this list. I’m happy that i’ve done something that many people have only wished they’d done.
My suggestion? Go out and do it. No excuses. Because you never know when it’s going to be too late.
Until next time, explorers, never forget:
Adventure is out there, so never stop exploring!