Today I Jumped Out of a Plane

My friend Alina and I decided last summer that we wanted to skydive, well really we agreed to skydive together because it was on both of our “bucket” lists.  We had our jump scheduled for late last fall, but weather postponed it.  Then they closed for the winter before we could find a time we were both free.  So we booked our jump for this morning… Cinco de Mayo!

This place was in Warrenton at DC Skydiving.  They did a great job, but when we first got there we were a little confused as there wasn’t a lot of direction.  We finally checked in, got our shoes on, signed our lives away, and were ready to jump!  My biggest regret of the day was not having a non-jumper with us to take pictures and/or video of our jump.  We left our cameras in the car because we obviously weren’t jumping with them… but I have the images in my mind.

First up was getting harnessed up, which wasn’t anything new for me from rock-climbing.  My instructor was Kurt, who ended up being the lead instructor in our group.  He lined the six jumpers up and gave us brief instructions: legs behind you, arms on your chest straps until we clear the plane, then put them up like someone’s holding you up with a gun.  I was excited at this point, Alina was a little nervous.  Then our group hopped in the plane.  I was situated in the very back, away from the door, so I knew I’d be second out.  While we climbed, Kurt strapped us together and I was essentially sitting on his lap for most of the ride… nice.

When the door opened, I was a little surprised how quickly the first group was out the door and then it was our time.  I gave a quick wave to Alina and then away we went!  As we exited the plane, we flipped over twice which was probably not intentional but fun 🙂  Then we stabilized and enjoyed our free-fall.  This was by far the coolest part of the trip, plummeting toward Earth at 120 miles-per-hour.  Then we pulled the cord and started floating, which was also fun.   I had the tethers so we pulled into spirals going both directions until I felt a little woozy and it was time to land.  My job was to keep my legs up so Kurt could land without lurching forward over me.  It was very smooth and we beat Alina down, so I could then watch her land after me.

After we put our gear away, we were given certificates of completion and were done!  It really was a thrill and I’m glad I did it, however I will say that I’m glad we used a coupon and didn’t pay full price.  I also don’t think I’ll do it again, or at least not seek it out.  Like it was fun but I didn’t DO anything, you know?  I didn’t work hard towards a culminating event or get a sense of accomplishment… like it was a 45 minute, one-and-done kind of event.  I didn’t overcome a big fear or push my physical limits, I just paid a guy to push me out of a plane.  But it was certainly worth doing once and it completes a 2012 goal too!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alina
    May 05, 2012 @ 20:22:46

    Skydiving was so fun today Karen! I’ll definitely do it again … maybe I’ll get certified and push myself out of a plan. Also, the fact that I was strapped to Gustavo from Brazil was a major bonus.

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  2. Cynthia
    May 06, 2012 @ 15:39:09

    Awesome! Kelsey has convinced me to sky dive with her, her roomate and mother the morning of Kelsey’s graduation. Yes I have lost my mind. Did you feel air sick at all?

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    • raysoffunshine
      May 06, 2012 @ 20:26:46

      Oh wow, that’s awesome! I would drink a lot of water before you jump, I had a headache afterwards I think because of that. And yes, YOU will feel air sick… a guy who jumped with us had taken a Dramamine and had on those bands you wear, so I’d suggest both. He said he was fine afterwards though… there was no sinking pit-in-your-stomach feeling, at least for me, which was good!

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