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Written by ripplefan2 on 26 Jun, 2007
A couple of years ago my friends and I decided that we needed to do something spectacular with our summer; something that would go down in history. Somehow the topic of skydiving came up and that seemed to be the winner. I am one of…Read More
A couple of years ago my friends and I decided that we needed to do something spectacular with our summer; something that would go down in history. Somehow the topic of skydiving came up and that seemed to be the winner. I am one of those people who said that they would love to go skydiving but never really planned on coming through on that desire. It just seemed too scary. But after a quick hype up conversation, we were all committed to going. The night before we all went out for a drink and the actuality of the jump hit me like a ton of bricks and I started to freak out. I mean, jumping out of a perfectly good airplane! But after A LOT of Jack Daniels, my fears subsided and excitement flowed through my veins like lava. Unfortunately the next day the feeling of excitement was blanketed with fear. We drove out to exit 69 on the Long Island Expressway to Skydive Long Island (www.skydivelongisland.com). One the whole ride out, my friends were psyching me up (since they were fine with the falling idea) and getting me ready. When we finally arrived on this seemingly abandoned airstrip, we knew there was no more turning back. When we entered the small building and paid our $190 fee, we were brought into a back room for training and legal things. We watched a 30-minute video about what to do correctly and incorrectly and then watched legal stuff about how if we died, our families couldn’t sue. It was really encouraging to hear over and over how we might die. When we were finally finished with the videos and signing disclaimers for our lives, we headed outside to wait for our names to be called. We waited for what seemed like hours because the plane could only take four or five people up at a time and there were twenty or thirty people before us. When our turn finally came, the fear came over me like a wave. The instructors are pretty good at calming you down and relaxing you, understanding the fears. My instructor’s name, Wayne, was supposedly one of the best instructors there and walked me through everything that was going to happen. As we boarded the plane, the realization of the possible impending doom was freaking me out. We were the last ones in the plane, Wayne and I, so that meant we were the first ones out. At our jumped altitude of 13,500 feet, the doors opened and the sight below dawned on us. In all actuality, the sight below didn’t look real; it looked like we were floating over a giant picture. Wayne and I scooted ourselves to the door and my feet went immediately sideways due to the winds. Wayne told me that we were going to rock back and forth and then go on three. He went one, and then we were away. The initial fall felt like when you jump off a diving board at a pool, and then you immediately feel like as if you are floating. The wind in your face and encompassing all of your body is a strange and wonderful feeling. You feel as if it might be hard to breathe because the air is rushing by too fast, but it is like breathing anywhere else. The free fall lasted for about 40 seconds until the 120 miles per hour rush stopped short when the chute was pulled open. This was a unique feeling since the harness pulls up on your legs and "neather" regions. But as we floated down from 1,00 feet above the Earth, we saw for miles in every direction. Please do not let my story effect your decision about skydiving because I can’t wait to go again. It was amazing. As we were approaching the land, Wayne asked me what I would like to do for a landing. See, a lot of people early were coming in by landing on their butts and he suggested running in instead. I said fine, that seemed a lot better and less painful. However, Wayne was shorter than I am and miss judged my height. As we came close to the ground, he tapped my shoulders and my feet went down but because of his misjudgment, my right foot plummeted into the ground at a speed of probably 40 miles per hour. We both immediately spun over and over on the ground and as we came to a stop, I realized that my foot was in a bad way. Wayne asked how I was and tons of people came rushing to our aid. When the initial adrenaline rush vanished, my foot was throbbing. As they brought me back to the instructor’s tent, I was regaled with stories that everyone had been through; from broken feet to near death experiences. I was immediately accepted as a kindred spirit among these sultans of the skies and it was a unique experience. In the end, I ended up with two broken bones and three months of different casts and doctors and rehab. But I will do it again in a second because the thrill of the chase is to die for. No matter where you go, New York, California, Australia, Europe, South America; anywhere, please try your hand at defying death through the art of skydiving. Close