In an attempt to fill this blog up, I’m going to describe the ever so thrilling adventure of skydiving that I went on this past summer.
But first, some advice.
Skydiving is expensive (about $200+ depending on where you go) so if you’re going to do it and money isn’t pouring from your bank account like water pours from a river (wow how poetic Megan, nice job) definitely try to get a Groupon deal. It makes life a little better to know you’re getting a discount when you might potentially fall to your death in just a few hours—I swear.
For the life of me (or shall I say you?)—do not eat before. Unless you have great motion tolerance or live off adrenaline, you will feel nauseous after (what do you expect you just fell 14,000 ft from the sky). Post-fall when you’re on the ground again at best you will feel slightly dizzy and nauseous (like my friend Carly), at worst you will dry heave and puke anything you try to eat for the next 24 hours (like me).
Pro-Tip—check the weather forecast. They won’t fly the plane unless there’s a guarantee of clear skies because it’s pretty much a health hazard to let you jump during then (think about how the hell they are going to help you land when you can’t even see where you’re landing through the clouds).
Finally, don’t think about it. If you’re going to skydive—do not plan it weeks or days in advance. You will syke yourself out. That’s what always happens, isn’t it? You tell yourself that you’re going to do something, something potentially dangerous a week in advance. Then one night as you’re laying in your bubble bath dread sinks into the pit of your stomach and you feel like you just might hyperventilate because who knows death might be imminent should you jump off that plane. Then, you cancel and so do the rest of your friends because they’re scared out of their minds too and then you go on with your boring little life having never experienced the ever amazing adrenaline rush of jumping off a plane and plunging toward the Earth.
Anyways, given the fact that I live in Southern California I had two options when it came to where I wanted to skydive. LA county or San Diego County. Both are great but given the fact that I was currently staying with a friend in La Jolla we decided that perhaps San Diego County was a better idea.
The company we went to was Go Jump in Oceanside, a small airfield in the northern most part of San Diego County that provides a beautiful view of the ocean when you’re up in the plane and falling from the sky.
When we first got there (me and my two friends), the skies were slightly overcast and so they told us that we might not be able to jump today. Disappointment was apparently what we were headed for. But luckily for us, after waiting an hour and a half the skies cleared up and the Sun decided to show its face.
Now, the plane that they put you in is small. It’s not some big aircraft that you take flights on. I couldn’t even stand up straight and I’m only 5”6. You strap into the safety gear, get attached to an instructor and are quickly escorted onto the plane before you can think twice about it and say “GET ME THE HELL OUTTA HERE!”
So, once in the plane and you fly all the way up to 14,000 Ft. one instructor throws the door open and then you realize (if you haven’t already) that you are flying in a plane that has its. Door. Open. Colour me terrified.
When you’re at the edge of the plane, you sit half in and half out with the instructor counting down to three before they throw your bodies out the door together. But let’s be honest, it’s more like they fully throw you out at “2” so that you don’t grab the door for dear life at three and panic.
Falling through the sky is one of the most thrilling experiences ever. It’s as close to actually flying you will ever get (unless you grow wings, which I find is highly improbable). There’s this moment where you reach maximum velocity, and if you remember your AP Physics classes, you know that that is the moment in which gravity stops having effect for just a moment. So far a good 10-15 seconds you feel completely weightless in the sky, free of gravity and your weight for the very first time in your life.
Than gravity comes back and you feel a hard pull on your stomach and all of the sudden you remember you’re plunging toward the Earth.
If you do anything during this time, just remember to keep your eyes open. You won’t regret it. The view is amazing. The experience is amazing. And if you’re an adrenaline junkie like I am, you’ll want to go again right after.
The instructor you’re assigned to is honestly the person who will basically dictate your experience. You put your actual life in his hands and pray that he/she knows what they’re doing. Besides that, if they’re especially dope (like mine was), once they pull the parachute they’ll let you steer and do crazy tricks. It’s rather brilliant.
The moment you touch the ground, there’s this euphoric feeling of “oh my god, I’m alive.” In my case, I ran toward my other two friends and we stayed in a group hug for a solid minute or two. The ecstasy of being alive is a thrilling one, and particularly addictive—which is probably why I signed up to go sky diving again a month later. Hahaha…oops.