Where Is My Bloody Parachute and Other Insightful Thoughts on Skydiving

Morning from the great state of Nevada!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, I know that I sure did! July doesn’t seem to be going any slower, and the weeks are ticking away.

In continuing my summer adventures, I decided to go skydiving in Lodi, CA with some friends. Needless to say, I’ve never been one to put my life on the line and leap out of an airplane. I much prefer keeping both feet on the ground, even if only via bike wheels, and the thought of bungee jumping, skydiving, or any other seemingly idiotic adrenaline rush activity had been something I just was not interested in.

I’ve spent the first half of 2011 practicing  patience in a wide variety of areas from work, to school, and especially my relationships, and it seems that the latter half of the year will be spent being a little more spontaneous and living life to the fullest before my commitments overtake me. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to get out and do something adventurous that I wouldn’t normally do, and so off we went!

The simple thought of diving out of an airplane at 13,000 had me rattled to the bone, but in the company of loyal friends it seemed like I had no choice but to grab life by the horns and suck it up. Onto life’s lessons!

  1. The Anticipation – By far, the worst part of the adventure was rotting in the plane as we slowly made our way to 13,000 feet. We’re cramped in a stuffy space that was designed without head room in mind, and I’m surrounded by a handful of other foolish people, many from different countries, getting ready to leap out of a plane like a bunch of baboons. Talk about stress! A pattern I’ve noticed in life is that the anticipation of an event is usually when we psych ourselves out, especially when it involves the unknown. And all too often, the anticipation is worse than the action itself. I’ll admit it, I wasn’t terribly tickled to be sitting in a plane getting ready to plunge out the door, never mind the fact that I wasn’t entirely convinced that my chute would actually open before I was turned into jelly on some forsaken meadow in Lodi…
  2. The Act – After nearly 20 minutes of flying, we finally reached the appropriate altitude for plunging to our impending doom at the hands of our captors (our tandem conspirators who thought skydiving was the coolest thing since sliced bread). All of a sudden the door was thrown open and my friends started disappearing, basically being tossed out of the plane with their tandem counterparts like dirty laundry. Ironically, I had been hell-bent on going first, so that I didn’t have to witness everyone leaping out of the door, but of course I had to go dead last. So much for that plan… Not more than 45 seconds after the door was thrown open and people started jumping out, it was my turn. We waddled toward the door, where I thought we would have a second or two to collect myself before leaping. Boy was I wrong! I’m pretty sure we didn’t even stop, we just kind of leaped out of the door and off we went! The insane shock to your system is hard to describe but it involves not breathing, a ridiculous adrenaline spike in your system, and watching the ground rushing up at you. A mile is a very long way to fall, but boy was it awesome!
  3. The Post Action Awesomeness – Once all was said and done and we were all safely on the ground, it was hard to talk about anything else. Everyone had a blast sharing their different experiences and fears. My tandem dude decided a backflip would be fun while falling, which was quite the rush, (as if falling out of a plane wasn’t enough!) Overall, it was an amazing bonding experience that wouldn’t have happened if I had just stayed home on my couch.

Lodi Skydiving

Seeing as how the adventure was a total success (and I walked away in one piece), I would definitely say that that counts as an epic win in my book! Onward and upward to the more great adventures before the end of summer (Donner triathlon, half Ironman, white water rafting).

Often in life, the adventures that we get the most out of are also the ones that scare us the most (traveling to Italy by yourself for 2 weeks anyone?). What’s your favorite epic adventure?

Picture credit. Picture credit 2.

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10 Comments

  1. My rush was hearing the phone ring hoping it was our son, not the funeral director, and seeing the look of relief on mom’s face. At the sake of losing some macho status, I was very happy to hear that you were safe, too. Do you remember my advice on DDAS? Well, please remember that next time you even think about skydiving, bungie jumping, live alligator wrestling, or pulling for Ohio State.

    Dad

  2. Well I’m glad I could bring some relief to the Vegas household, even if it was at the expense of some undue stress. As far as DDAS, I feel that pulling for Ohio State would be a far more grievous sin than even considering live alligator wrestling. The Volunteers beat enough ‘Gators that I wouldn’t even be interested in squaring off with one :-D

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