Friday, November 7, 2008

Toe Placement and Billowing Cheeks

As most of you know (that is if anyone reads this), I have been wanting to go skydiving for awhile. You also know that I am the biggest whimp in the entire world. So, whenever I would find someone with the same crazy desire to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, we made plans, plans fell through, everyone was happy, especially me. It was perfect. I really thought that I wanted to jump out of an airplane, but as it turns out, I was all talk.

One day, that all changed.

A new girl was hired on where I work, Candi, and one day we were talking, getting to know each other a little bit while waiting for patients to arrive. Somehow the subject of skydiving came up, and how we both had been wanting to go for a long time, but plans always fell through with other friends. So, naturally, we made plans to go. I wasn't worried. It never worked out before, and I had no thoughts that it would actually happen,
just like every other time

Again, one day, it all changed.

I received a call, asking me if I was doing anything on the 6th of September (the date is burned in my brain). As the 6th of September was a few weeks away, I didn't have any plans. At the end of the phone call, I had plans, definite plans (we had to put down a deposit). It was also Candi's birthday, so there was no way I could back out.

This time was different.

As the days grew closer, my butterflies in my stomach slowly changed from random, fleeting thoughts, to permanent residents. I never allowed myself to think about what I was going to do for any length of time because if I did, I would stop breathing. Nearly every night I had dreams. Not just dreams, nightmares. I read everything I could about what to do if the parachute didn't open (not recommended), and this led to more dreams.

Then, "one day" turned into "today".

I woke up shaking, and then, I couldn't move at all. I asked mom to call the airport to check on the weather (I ignored looking out my window). Turns out the weather was PERFECT for skydiving, a day that every skydiver hopes for. Great. I really did have to jump.

Bright colors filled the sky as we walked into the airplane hanger. 6 in all. I watched them all float around, turning left and right, and just a few minutes later, I watched all 6 of them land (safely), with smiles on their faces. I took my first real breath of the day then.

After watching the amazingly scary "prep" video (really all it talked about was legal paperwork you had to sign and what all of the legal jargon meant), Candi and I were pulled out of the TV room, and started putting on our harnesses.

It all happened so fast.

Soon, I was taking off in an airplane, but I wasn't going to land in it, I was going to jump out. I was surprisingly okay with this.

I was, dare I say, excited?

As we climbed up to 12,500 feet, all I could think about was opening the door and jumping out. However, I wasn't dreading it like I thought I would, I was looking forward to it.

Before I knew it, the door was open, and we were all taking turns jumping. I saw Candi disappear out the door, and then it was my turn. All I could think about was my toe placement and maintaining the "banana" position. I didn't once think about that fact I was actually jumping out of an airplane.
I was flying. We flipped and floated and I forgot to breathe (again). It was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. The lake was on one side and the mountains on another. And then the videographer was all I could see, and all I thought about was how bad my cheeks were billowing out. And then, we pulled our lifesaver, the parachute, and it opened. Then, Blake (awesome instructor) let me steer. We went left, then right, then left again (I was very creative), and then, we did a flip. with the parachute. That was more scary than jumping out of the plane. Way too soon, Blake and I were coming in to land (he made me relinquish my control of the parachute). And we landed, and I didn't die.

And now, I am
counting down the days

saving my pennies

until the next day that I willingly jump out of an airplane again.
So, now I'm more crazy than before and a little bit less of a whimp.

Better believe it.

Watch my amazing adventure here

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