A guide on achieving life goals
to become better people,
improve our quality of life
to become better people,
improve our quality of life
and enjoy every moment to the fullest
LIFE LIST: SKYDIVE
When? August 2001
Where? Wild Wind Skydivers
Why I wanted to do this- For as long as I can remember
How I paid for it- I used the money from my open house from high school
What I would do differently- Nothing!
Something I would recommend- ABSOLUTELY! I really think every person should jump out of an airplane at least once, it is an unbelievable experience!
Would I do it again? I don't know about that....I think I would like to, but I would really have to trust the person I jump with. I don't think I would call and make an appointment ever again but if someone surprised me or really wanted me to go with them I would seriously consider it.
Was it life changing? OF COURSE! I relate everything to skydiving, if I was brave enough to do that I feel like I can truly do anything. The day I gave birth, I was SO scared about the c-section and my husband kept saying "You can do this, you've jumped out of an airplane, this is nothing". So it really changes your outlook on life.
Would this make a good gift? For the right person, it would be an incredible gift-and you would be awesome! I would not even consider it for a person who has not expressed a strong interest in going skydiving.
My SKYDIVE story-Aside from my major undertakings like getting married, having a baby and finishing my B.A. my greatest, proudest, most favorite and certainly the most courageous accomplishment was jumping out of an airplane when I was just a puppy of 18 years old. I decided when I was about 14 years old that I was going to go skydiving one day, maybe I saw it on tv or something I don’t remember specifically. I do however remember specifically telling my dad that I wanted to do it one day and he probably assumed that I would forget or the desire would dissipate when the reality of how dangerous and just plain terrifying it really was, as he simply said “if you do, don’t ever tell me”.
In May 2001 I graduated high school and left for
the day after my open house, I returned home just in time to celebrate my 18th birthday. I was an adult with money in my bank from my graduation party, what else would an 18 year old do-I bought a boxer puppy, I bought stock, I got a tattoo and decided to spend the rest on the only other thing I wanted to do in life-jump face first 10,000 feet in the air back towards Earth where I originally came from. Paris
Without really thinking too much about, I picked up the phone book and found the closest skydiving company in Michigan, again without too much thought I picked up the phone and very calm and cool I left a message stating my name, number and intent. When they called back, it became very real. It was June and I picked August, I needed time to let this one sink in. I did have one thing in my favor to ease my mind though, my faith in God. Months earlier I was in a terrible car accident and I figured that if it was time to go, the Good Lord would have taken me then.
The day came and the only people that knew about it were my mom, my sister and my friend Shannon who drove with me for support. With me I brought a change of pants because I thought ‘if I have the guts enough to do this there’s no way I’m walking away with unsoiled breeches’. I didn't really feel nervous or excited even on the hour ride to the jump site-because I didn't think there was any way I would actually go through with this! I was the last one to arrive-you know, just keeping it casual. So they told me that since I was last I would be the last of the seven tandem jumpers to jump, which was great news, with this I assumed I had another 5, 6, or even 7 hours. Apparently I didn't do very well in science class as I was under the impression that it was very time consuming to jump out of an airplane.
We watched a 20 minute video, then the professional skydivers pulled me aside and told me that since I was the only one jumping alone, I would go first. Ok, no biggie, I probably still have another 3 hours or so of training. They said they would show me how to land once we got in the plane. So here’s what I was thinking; that we would get suited up and pretend to jump out of the plane while it was on the ground over and over again until I really got the hang of it, of course there would be a lengthy training course attached-this could be quite hazardous to my life living!
So we suited up and the videographer, my tandem guy Dave, the pilot and myself hopped in the plane, and I thought ‘good we’re all going to practice together, this is very official.’ Then the pilot fired up the engine and we took off. ‘What an elaborate practice run….’ I thought...then we began ascending higher and higher….’hhhmmmm’ “are we jumping now?” yes this actually came out of my mouth, remember I was a fresh adult of only 3 months. “well, we’re not wasting plane fuel sweetheart” I was enlightened. This was ok, every time we climbed another thousand feet I looked out the window and thought ‘alright I can jump from here.’
We reached ten thousand feet and they opened the door, my how my outlook rapidly changed. I was sitting on my Dave’s lap since we were already hooked together and he scooted us over to the open door. Our legs were dangling out of the plane in the cold air and at this moment I experienced such an extreme fear that I could no longer speak, never in my life will I forget that exact feeling in that moment. I knew that I had lost my ability to speak because I wanted to tell Dave that I had $1,100 in my bank account and would give him every penny of it to NOT PUSH ME OUT OF THAT AIRPLANE.
Too late. He hurled me out of that plane so fast like he had a hot meal waiting down below. We were doing somersaults in the air at 170 miles/hour-I did not know this would happen so I started screaming bloody murder. I knew I was going to die. My final thought was ‘I just paid two hundred dollars to kill myself-how stupid’. Then the first shoot opened. ‘I was going to live! Tremendous!’ This was when I started screaming with sheer joy and excitement, what a true thrill! Now I could enjoy myself, so I spread out my arms wide like a flying squirrel on a nut high.
‘Hhhhmmmm’ I thought to myself ‘that videographer is looking at me funny, he was looking at me funny in the plane too…’ So I looked down, down would be at my body not towards the ground as my eyes were parallel to Earth, I looked down ‘oh my God, my nipples.’ Apparently by diving at such an accelerated speed my tank top and bra had been thrusted underneath my breasts. Now, I know this sounds a little unrealistic but thankfully I have the video to prove it and as soon as I can 1.get it off vhs and onto a disc and 2. have someone edit pasties over my nipples I will post it. What makes this so hysterical, aside from the basic fact that I can truthfully say that I went skydiving topless, is that before we jumped in the plane the boys told me to tuck in my shirt so I “wouldn't get a boob shot”.
I pulled up my shirt, deciding to worry about the bra later, and then Dave pulled the second shoot which literally stopped us in mid air. It was the strangest feeling in the world, to just be standing on air, motionless hundreds of feet off the ground. Of course this was thrilling and to date the most exhilarating adventure I’ve ever been on. I don’t know if there’s anything that will ever top it, but I kept my cool. What I really wanted to do was to shout and giggle and say ‘WOAH’ emphatically over and over again, but with it just being the two of us in the entire universe of air it would have been awkward. It’s unexpectedly quiet and slow moving, it seemed to take forever to meander our little feet back to solid ground.
When I landed I saw my mom, she said she came up because she wanted to see me one last time just in case. I’m glad she was there. I never did tell my dad but about five years later my grandpa accidentally let the cat out of the bag. It was for the best, sometimes it’s easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. He would have been hysterical if I had told him beforehand but by this time it was all said and done and I think he actually thought it was kind of neat.
This was one of the greatest things I’ve done- but a once in a lifetime situation for me. Ironically, I think that this is the cause of my newfound fear of flying-more on that later. I think this is a must for every single person in the world to put on their life list. Male/female, old/young, rich or poor-this is the biggest rush imaginable.
Was this life changing? Heck yes it was! It gave me a craving appetite for adrenaline and propelled my adventurous spirit rendering me eager to live my life to the fullest.