On Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 for the big 30th, I did one of the most terrifying things in my life… I went skydiving!
For several years, I told myself that was something I would never do. It seemed way too crazy to jump out of a working airplane and risk my life like that. I always thought if I were to do anything crazy, then it would be bungee jumping.
It wasn’t until about six months before my birthday, that I thought about skydiving. I wanted to do something unforgettable for my 30th birthday that I would never forget. And one I will remember for the rest of my life. I wanted it to be something that would completely take me out of my comfort zone and push me to my limits. Skydiving kept making the wildest sense.
I pondered it for quite some time. I thought there was no way possible I would have the courage to be able to do such a thing. The thought of it alone made me sick to my stomach.
As time went on, I began asking friends if they would be willing to face this fear with me for my 30th birthday. Not a single person had the willpower. I was able to find someone to join me in this foolish escapade and we booked the reservation in Miami that same week.
We decided to stay in Ft. Lauderdale for a few days to celebrate my birthday. The best option at the time was to skydive in the early afternoon as soon as we got to Miami from the drive down from Tampa. Once the day came, we left early that morning and drove straight down to Miami. When we were about an hour away, we both became quiet. I was sick to my stomach during that hour while looking up at the clouds. Neither of us could believe we were about to jump out of a plane in that pretty sky above us.
Once we finally arrived to our destination, we walked into the small office building to sign in. I remember at the time, I wasn’t able stop thinking about the fact that I could die today. It was a terrifying thought to have on my mind. I felt ill. I wanted to cancel.
To make matters worse, the lady at the desk told us to hurry up and watch their video. As well as fill out the paperwork, because the weather wasn’t looking so great. I thought, really?! You’re going to rush me through this process and tell me I need to hurry up because the weather doesn’t look good!
We watched a brief video that lasted a few minutes. If I had a dollar for every time the guy said “death”, I could have paid for the trip. That video caused my fears to increase. I wondered if I should have taken all this as a sign that I shouldn’t go through with it. I wanted to walk out. We already paid and purchased video/pictures; I didn’t care though, I wanted to go home.
Two guys then came over to us to help us put our gear on and made a few jokes to calm our nerves. One of the instructors came in with an enormous book, and said he needed to read the manual on how this works. His funny, yet horrible jokes did help relax me a little.
After all our gear was on, we walked outside to get ready to board the plane. While we were waiting, I paced back and forth contemplating everything. I had a moment where I felt like I was living in a nightmare. It didn’t seem real that 10 minutes from then I would be jumping out of the airplane I saw ahead of me. The nausea then came and I was in tears. I walked away from everyone so no one noticed. During my “moment”, the camera guy came over to film me. He wanted to have a short interview about how I felt before and after I jumped.
Shortly after, we boarded the plane with a few other people. Being on that loud, small plane was the calmest I ever was at the time. The whole side of the plane was a window that they pull open. We watched the altimeter on our wrist increase to higher altitudes. We knew once we were close to 12,000 ft., and then it was happening. I was completely silent on the plane. It was a surreal moment.
When the time came, it happened so fast that I wish now that it lasted longer. They opened the side door, and one by one we each jumped. I did the tandem skydiving since it was my first (and most likely last) time doing it. I was second to jump. The girl in front of me jumped alone.
I remember watching her jump right out of that airplane, and how fast her body flew away. That alone was unbelievable to watch. I wanted a moment to contemplate doing this. Thanks to my instructor, I didn’t have time to make that decision if it was the latter of not going through with it. He pushed me out the door so by the time I finished those thoughts, I was falling out of an airplane.
Yet, I couldn’t stop smiling. I smiled while screaming at the top of my lungs. Free falling through the sky! As soon as I felt that drop in my stomach, my arms were out and I was flying. I was flying through the clouds! I couldn’t believe I was actually flying! Wow, that moment was so exhilarating. Nothing in my life could compare to that one moment. The cameraman jumped with me, snapped photos and gave me a high five saying “You did it!”
My instructor then spun me around. I had my arms and legs wrapped around him because I didn’t trust that we were actually attached. It made me feel better to know if something were to fail, I’m holding onto him for life. I went from flying to drifting down with the parachute. It was a beautiful sight to see. I saw downtown Miami and the Florida Keys. He directed us down to land safely within five minutes.
The smile never left my face the entire day. I felt on top of the world! I felt like I could face any fear and do anything at the time! I would highly recommend skydiving to others, and to cross it off your bucket list. It will be one of the most incredible, exhilarating experiences you’ll ever have! Check out my video below….