Written by nora_yusuf on 31 Jan, 2007
Are you afraid of heights? Acrophobia? Well, I was, and apparently still am. My friends told me that, someone told them that, if you try bungee jumping or skydiving, you’ll get rid of your fear of heights. I did try bungee jumping, and still can’t…Read More
Are you afraid of heights? Acrophobia? Well, I was, and apparently still am. My friends told me that, someone told them that, if you try bungee jumping or skydiving, you’ll get rid of your fear of heights. I did try bungee jumping, and still can’t believe that I fell for that trick. Bungee jumping only enhanced my fear of heights.However, that’s a different story. We’ll discuss that another time. For now, I’ll tell you the story of how I did my first skydive jump. And survived it. I’m proud I did it. Actually, I kind of like it, and might even try it again. But let’s answer the question first. Does skydiving really get rid of your fear of heights? Read on, and make your own conclusions.Fitrah, my best friend, is a daredevil. She’ll try stuff like bungee jumping and skydiving without even thinking, and be contented with her choice. I, on the other hand, am a bit conservative on my choices of adventure. Fit (short for Fitrah) wanted to try skydiving. I decided I would too. Who knows, maybe I would get rid of my fear of height for good. My fear of heights hasn’t really affected my work or my lifestyle. It’s just at some odd times, for example; when I walk on a pedestrian footbridge, I’d walk in the middle, and try not to look at the cars moving below. When I’m on a high place I just feel a bit sweaty and my heart beats or rather pounds faster than normal. I seldom freak out, but usually, I try not to think too much of the height and concentrate on other things. Well, enough about me, lets go on with the story.I knew about this skydive place in Skiatook, Oklahoma from some of my students at the oil and gas training center. They have jumped recently and showed me photos and videos of their jump. I said to myself “It doesn’t look too scary. I’d try it.” I mean, if my students can do it, I should be able to do it too? So, I worked up my courage from there. And the sky jump place had a cool website, showing cool photos, and even sample videos. Marketing can do wonders!The place was ~ 45 minutes drive from where I live. The outfit operates from a hanger that was nice, small and cozy. We watched a video about the safety, technique and legal aspects of skydiving, and specifically tandem skydiving. Basically, you will jump while attached to a “jump master.” The way I see it, if something goes wrong, at least the jump master will know what to do. He has done this umpteen times before. Nothing to fear.After ~ 1 hour of briefing and practical sessions, we were ready to jump. With different styles of colorful jumpsuits to choose from, I finally went with a yellow jumpsuit with “bellbottom” legs. Here is a skydive jump from the old Hippy days of the 1970s. I’d be going down in style.After gearing up with the harness and parachute, we board the Cessna 182 Jump Plane and climb up to 12,000 ft. From ground level, it took us ~ 20 minutes to reach the desired altitude. The plane accommodates 4-5 people. We had a pilot (the plane needs him to fly! ), the jump master (he would know how to inflate the parachute!), the videographer (I wanted my jump recorded so I can show my grandchildren!), another solo jumper who was getting out at 10,000ft, and of course, I, the star of the show. At 10,000 feet the other solo jumper readied himself and jumped. We had more room in the plane to maneuver. Then it was my turn to jump. My moment of truth! My harness was hooked up to the Jump Master just before exiting the plane. The door of the plane opened. The rush of cold air woke me up to stark reality. I was actually going to jump from a perfectly fine airplane, hooked up to a guy I barely knew. I called my mom this morning, talked to my dad too, and my sisters... hmm... who did I miss? I just told my mom and dad that Fit and I were going a very special adventure and would email them the photos of it the next day.Oops... Too late to back away. Both feet were already out of the plane, and the Jump Master and I were off the plane. Flying… My heart was pounding, adrenaline rushing. I actually loved the feeling of freefall. I smiled to the camera. I didn’t want to look too scared when I show the video to everyone back home! We spent ~40 seconds in freefall. We even passed through a cloud. Wind rushed onto my face, distorting it. I felt great.Without warning, the Jump Master opened the parachute. We were jerked up, which kind of hurt a bit, but not enough to deter me yet. Then we spent ~10 minutes gliding down to ground level. The Jump Master did some turns on the way down to reach the landing spot marked with an “X.” The truth was, I got a bit queasy, and sick. I could actually see the ground coming closer and closer. (Actually it was I who was falling closer and closer to the ground!). It was then that I realized how high above ground I was. And it was even higher at the point when we started the jump. Blood rushed to my face, and I had to actually close my eyes. Did you know that the human eye isn't really capable of discerning distance and movement (movement towards or away from you) properly out past about half a mile? It has to do with how far apart your eyes are and this phenomenon called parallax. So, above 2,000 feet, I had no real perception of height. - intellectually I know that I am way up there but my body doesn't really notice until about 1,500 feet. Actually the 40 seconds of gliding and the 10 minutes of gliding were not sufficient for my brain and hormone system to apply the parallax theory that I learned in the physics courses at school and university to induce fear in me. I only opened my eyes when the Jump Master shouted “Chair Position”! We were told during the briefing to brace ourselves in a chair position in preparation for landing. We have to keep our legs high just like when we are seated in a chair. If your legs are too low upon landing, possibilities are you’ll land right on your face, and if you have really bad luck, the Jump Master will land on top of you because you’re still attached together. So, basically, Chair Position is crucial. Keep that in mind if you decide to skydive one day. But, I’m not an expert.At the end of the day, I did the jump. I loved the freefall experience. The gliding part, well, not too much. I would definitely try jumping alone next time (not tandem). I would not really say it managed to extinguish my height phobia, but it was not as scary as I thought it would be. Do give it a try given the chance. It’s an experience of a lifetime, and worth it. Close
Written by portermason on 11 Mar, 2004
Every time I go to Tulsa, I go for a week. Therefore, it becomes necessary for me to tell others that I won't be around. "Where are you going?" they ask. "Tulsa, Oklahoma," I say. And then, every single time, comes…Read More
Every time I go to Tulsa, I go for a week. Therefore, it becomes necessary for me to tell others that I won't be around. "Where are you going?" they ask. "Tulsa, Oklahoma," I say. And then, every single time, comes a confused look, a pause, and "'Tulsa'? Why are you... why are you going to 'Tulsa'?"
People want you to have a good reason for going to Tulsa. Especially people from the East Coast. "Why would you ever leave New York City to spend time in Tulsa?" they say. And they think, "Why would you ever leave New York City to go ANYwhere?"
My reason is the Scott Carter Foundation for Cancer Research. It's run by a family I am very close to, the Carters. Their son, Cason, is a friend of mine from college, and Cason's younger brother, Scott, passed away from cancer at a young age. The foundation raises money in his name for children's cancer research. Cason and I and six others started a comedy group in college to raise money for the Foundation. To date, we've given about $10,000 every year since 1997. I love the charity, I love the Carters, and as a result... I... I love Tulsa.
We jokingly refer to this jewel of Oklahoma as "Happyland." This is in part due to the Carters, who treat us like kings during our stay. We stay in hotels for free, get shuttled around by family friends, and eat free at many fine local establishments. But I've come to realize that the Carters, while exceptional people, are not the exception in Tulsa, but the rule. EVERYone in Tulsa is so... well, damn it, they're just so NICE.
They're polite. They say "thank you" and "excuse me." They offer to help you when you appear in need. They compliment your looks. They buy you drinks. They shake your hand. They remember your name. They... they just act like people should act. Are there people in Tulsa who don't fit this mold? Oh, I'm sure, but life is a game of percentages, and this city is winning big-time in the nice department.
So I'm here to spread the word on this fine town. Go! Visit Tulsa! Visit Oklahoma! Be bold! And the next time someone asks you, "Where are you going?" Have the courage to reply, "I'm going to Tulsa." "Oklahoma?" "Yes, Oklahoma." And when they inevitably ask, "But... why?" You look them square in the eye and say, "Because I like nice people, and I like happy places. That's why." Another confused pause will follow, I'm sure, but don't let it bother you. Just do what a Tulsan would do: shake their hand, compliment their looks, and politely excuse yourself. Close
Written by philsinfo on 25 Apr, 2007
The aquarium in Tulsa, OK, is a place to go for adventure and awesome scenery. I was amazed at the beauty that the sea has to offer. You can get up close and even have a chance of touching some of the fish. It's a…Read More
The aquarium in Tulsa, OK, is a place to go for adventure and awesome scenery. I was amazed at the beauty that the sea has to offer. You can get up close and even have a chance of touching some of the fish. It's a good place for the whole family. Please check it out when you travel. Close
Written by Psychedelic Donut on 14 Aug, 2000
Once inside the show you can hear the crowd noise grow from a small growl to an immense rumble as the tension grows and everyone shivers with anticipation. Then the moment we've all been waiting for: Widespread enters the stage without an introduction…Read More
Once inside the show you can hear the crowd noise grow from a small growl to an immense rumble as the tension grows and everyone shivers with anticipation. Then the moment we've all been waiting for: Widespread enters the stage without an introduction and the crowd goes wild. You can feel the electricity shoot out of us. The music starts to kick in, and everyone starts dancing, drinking, screaming, and whooping it up, having a good time.
A Widespread concert isn't the place for the faint of heart, but I'm sure your children would be completely at home as all the people look out for the well-being of everyone else. As the tour grows it becomes a family atmosphere as people connect, and good times are shared by all. Chaos reigns as all move in different directions, shining lights of many colors everywhere, from the stage to the back of the venue. Then it comes to one critical point in the show when you turn around and see someone staring right at you.
Drawn to this person, you feel you have to go over and talk with this perfecrt stranger. Usually you end up sharing the same dreams, a similar direction and, of course, that love for a fine Cuban cigar. You tell them you'll see them later and fall back into the crowd as the music rages on. That beautiful harmony experienced by all that attend a concert like this one is what the show is about. Close
And after the show when everyone files out into the streets, the party doesn't stop. People just convene in the parking lot for a special surprise. Everyone is still filled with this immense energy that the band has filled us with, and we…Read More
And after the show when everyone files out into the streets, the party doesn't stop. People just convene in the parking lot for a special surprise. Everyone is still filled with this immense energy that the band has filled us with, and we can't stop until the police come out and make us leave. America's Youth. Always filled with disregard for authority. Why must they even try to contain us? I guess it's a safety issue or something. But most people ignore it anyway. You can't stop the Panic. They go on and on and on. Some people go on home, and some go to the next show. We went home that night to get rested up before we left our hometown for something we'd never been a part of before. Total Hysteria on the Road. Close