And That’s When He Pushed Me Out of the Plane…

19 Jul

Yesterday was a pretty memorable day in the life of me. I went and did this:

How do you land this thing?

A few months ago, BuyWithMe (see LivingSocial or Groupon) had a mega super awesome discount on a tandem skydive jump. Since I had always thought it would be a great idea to throw myself out of an airplane from 9,000 feet in the air, I bought the deal. Alcohol may or may not have been involved in this decision making process. Then I used my amazing powers of persuasion to convince to unsuspecting friends two go with me…

Look at those innocent faces...

Until Sunday I wasn’t all that nervous. There were a few shots of nerves or doubt here and there, along the lines of , “Hey, you’re a smart girl. Maybe it’s not such a great idea to chuck yourself out of an airplane for fun.” But I quickly crushed those niggling thoughts. Positivity baby!

But I did eat a Dairy Queen blizzard on Sunday just in case something should go horribly wrong. I had another one tonight in honor of my survival.

Monday morning I woke feeling… calm. Completely and totally calm. I met up with my friends and we hit the road, as the jump site was in Middle-of-Nowhere, Virgina. Shockingly, even though I was navigating, we did not get lost. I can say with complete confidence that it was a first.

Once we found the jump site (it involved bumbling down a dirt road, it felt like home) we all said our last words leaped excitedly out of the car and toddled off to our fate.

Do you know what the best part of skydiving is? It’s not the plane ride, or the jump, or the landing, it’s filling out all the paperwork and knowing that you just signed your life away. There were some 20 separate caveats that we had to initial with words such as, “In the event of death, the organization will not be held in any way responsible…” Really comforts your nerves.

Don’t we look thrilled to be signing our lives away? Once the necessary documents were signed, sealed and delivered it was time to put on our sexy jumping outfits:

Is it too late to back out??

The planes were tiny. And I mean teeny-tiny. At 6’2 I could barely squeeze my legs or linebacker shoulders into that damn plane. They only take two jumpers (plus the jumpers’ instructors) up at a time and there were three of us so I bravely stupidly volunteered to go first.

Hey you in the orange, please don't let me die

No thank you, I don't think I'd like to get in your death contraption

After that, it was up, up and away! Being in the air is honestly the most terrifying part of the whole thing. You’re chilling next to an open door, wind whipping past, thousands of feet in the air, strapped to a person you don’t know from a hole in the ground, wondering if you might plummet to your death shortly. I was trying really, really hard not to think about how high up we were and kudos to my instructor who was working to distract me by holding a conversation. Of course, I was so anxious about the fact that I would be momentarily hurling myself out of the plane that the conversation went something like this:

Instructor: “So where do you work?”

Me: “At a company. Um, are we going to hit those power lines?”

Instructor: “No, don’t worry we’ll be fine. What do you in your free time.”

Me: “Run. Um, is this really safe? I mean do people die? Maybe we should just land this plane back on the safe, solid ground.”

All too soon I was tapped on the shoulder and told to lean my feet out the window for the jump. By far the seconds right before you jump are the most heart-stopping. There’s nothing to hold onto and your feet are dangling over the side of Cessna that is bumping along with the worst kind of turbulence. Your stomach is somewhere in your feet and you can’t hear a damn thing because of the engines and the howling in your ears. Looking down at the ground you literally kiss your behind goodbye.

And that’s when they push you out of the plane. I remember very little of the free fall. I remember the instructor pushing me hard in the back and suddenly my heart was in my throat and I was screaming and swearing like the kitchen staff at a restaurant.

The free fall lasted around 30-45 seconds. Then the instructor pulls the chute (to any future sky-divers, this part hurts. So. Much. I was so happy not to be a guy at that moment), you’re jerked roughly back up a few feet and then start the leisurely return to land.

Hey I think I see my house!

By this point I’d recovered from the shock of what I had just done and thoroughly enjoyed the ride back to earth. The instructor did a few whoop-di-dos with the parachute and the view was absolutely incredible.

But then you have to land. The landing part is not so fun. Mostly because I made the rookie mistake of wearing shorts.

Is it too late for a wardrobe change?

My instructor shouted at me to put my legs up so I didn’t break them upon landing. I told him I was a runner and kind of really needed those things. Then we smashed into the ground.

Dear ground, I could kiss you!

It hurt, but I didn’t realize how much skin I had ripped off my thigh until later that day. Still I felt like a bad ass after that. See Exhibit A:

Do ya feel lucky punk?

After that  I got to chill and check out the massive, oozing wound on my thigh while my friends jumped.

Quick! Where's the brake?

SO about this landing thing...

We were all pretty happy to make it safely back to land.

Which way to the booze? I need a shot!

In all honesty, it was the coolest thing I’ve done in a long time! I’m so going again once I win the lottery put the money aside. I had the jump video-taped but this complicated invention I call a computer doesn’t want to load it at the moment. I’ll continue trying, but at least this way I have more time to prepare myself for the embarrassment that it is me on video, on the internet.

In other news

Pretty please go vote for me to be digitalrunning.com’s next running columnist. I may not be the best writer but I sure do have other talents. Like getting my hair caught in a tree.

It takes five seconds, all you have to do is click here and then click the “like” button at the top or bottom of the page. If I win I’ll obviously have to do something ridiculous to celebrate. Suggestions are welcome, but I won’t shave my head. I just had highlights put in thank you very much!

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6 Responses to “And That’s When He Pushed Me Out of the Plane…”

  1. Gustavo GetLoose Rodriguez July 19, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    LETS DO IT AGAIN!!!!!!

    • feetoffancy July 20, 2011 at 7:56 am #

      Just as soon as my behind heals from Monday’s landing.

  2. Jess (In My Healthy Opinion) July 20, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    Oh my gosh, that’s SO cool! I don’t think I could ever skydive.. I’m a big wuss. Congratulations though..it looks amazing! 🙂

  3. feetoffancy July 20, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    It was amazing! You build it up in your head to be considerably worse than it actually is. The adrenaline is going so fast right before you jump you’re barely aware of what you are doing.

    If you’re nervous about skydiving, try something like bungee jumping first. Although, I was more nervous about bungee jumping than skydiving, but for most bungee jumping is easier!

  4. katie July 20, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    I did this a lot when I was younger, but your pictures really make me miss it. How awesome!

    • feetoffancy July 21, 2011 at 9:27 am #

      Did you jump in the area? I want to go again and Skydive Orange has been recommended to me by a few people.

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