Jumping Out of Planes
For the past three years my friend Morgan and I dreamed about going skydiving. Each summer we would plan on going and then it would never happen. We wouldn’t have enough money, since we were poor college students. This time Morgan found a half-off skydiving groupon for Chattanooga Skydiving Company, just an hour and a half from where we live. We convinced another friend to join us and decided the offer was too good to pass up, it was now or never.
Driving down to Chattanooga I tried to not think about skydiving as much as I could. I didn’t want to get anxious and nervous about it for the fear of backing out. It wasn’t until we arrived at the airport that the nerves began to kick in. Next thing I know the three of us are signing our lives away, marking initial after initial that we agree the skydiving company is not liable for anything that happens to us.
Our tandem skydiving instructors suited us up, went through some instructions and then it was off to the plane. I volunteered to be the first to jump. We loaded up in the plane and took off up to an elevation of 10,000 feet where we would be jumping. My instructor and I were sitting on the ground of the plane and the two other pairs had chairs to sit in. We reached 10,000 feet and my instructor began to open the door for our exit. Since we were on the ground he just had me scoot to the door on my butt and stick my feet out of the plane.
On my way towards the exit all I wanted to do was grab the sides of the door to protect myself from falling out. While the air was whipping through my shoes, I had to hang on to my harness and trust that the instructor knew what he was doing. The instructor just leaned a little forward and then before I knew it we were free falling at 120 mph through the air.
For the first 10 or 15 seconds the rush is overwhelming trying to adjust to the cold temperature and powerful wind. Breathing was a little difficult in the beginning because the wind made my mouth so dry. After getting adjusted, the experience became everything I imagined skydiving to be. We free fell for about 30 seconds and then pulled the parachute. That’s when I was really able to enjoy the scenery where you could see for miles. The instructor let me steer the parachute and taught me how to spiral through the sky.
I landed safely on the ground with my hands and legs still shaking from the rush. A hour later my friends and I were completely exhausted after we calmed down. I can’t wait to go skydiving again. Next time I would like to jump at 14,000 feet so I will have a longer free fall.
Here’s a video from my skydiving adventure. Enjoy the face fat rolls from my goggles and the wind beating on my face!