Gliding like a bird in the sky, viewing the beauty from top, the fearful jump into nothing, the height, the letting go – there are so many emotions associated with a simple yet dangerous adventure called skydiving.
I was lucky to skydive long back in the year 2011, but that is a memory I am going to carry for a lifetime. I had gone to see a friend skydive in Wisconsin- Minneapolis border, twin cities, in USA. When I went there I got so excited that I decided to do it myself. It costs USD 300 at that time (with the video obviously).
Things you need to ensure before you sky dive:
- You should not be suffering form any high blood pressure/ previous heart attacks etc. If you need to discuss with your doctor before you do it.
- No alcohol or drugs 24 hours prior to the dive.
- You should be 18 years of age and able to legally sign the waiver and contract form.
- You should be less than 100 Kgs if you want to do Tandem.
Skydiving is an adventure activity and does provide a lot of pleasure but the guidelines and safety instructions should be followed.
Five stages of skydiving
Get ready, wear your safety suit, generally they provide a full body jumpsuit, gloves, socks and shoes, safety glassware and a neck scarf. In USA where I did my sky diving it was extremely cold and proper clothes and equipment was needed to protect myself of frost bites etc.
Signing and agreeing:
You would have already paid for the skydive either online or before getting ready, if not you need to now. Also more importantly you need to sign the waiver and contract forms in wich you agree that you are doing this out of your own choice and if something was to happen to you, you are responsible etc. Also you agree that you have read all the safety instructions and confirm that you are in compliance of that. When I signed my papers my hands were shaking, I had not informed anybody back home and was scared about the fact that something could happen to me.
Instructions and teachings
You will get to know your tandem partner and they will give you all the instructions. You should listen very carefully and ask as many questions as you might have, irrespective of the fact that the questions might sound stupid or senseless to your own ears. They tell you how to communicate, generally by tapping your shoulders and hand signs. Also they tell you the different steps of jumping and what needs to be done during the jump, the glide and the landing. My heart was beating so loud by then, I was sure people could hear it. Super excited to experience this.
You take a small video of why you are doing this and which parts excites you the most before boarding the flight which will take you to 15000 ft. There were four other people who were about to jump with me, two were certified divers, and other two were doing their first jumps. With each one of us was our Tandem partner and the people who would jump just before you to do the video. Throughout the flight you try to calm your racing heart and prepare yourself for the jump, there are simple instructions again given to you, like a reminder. The flight for me was very scary and one of the most exciting part, as you are not sure what is going to happen next. In anticipation you await.
I would say this is the scariest part , when you are sitting on the edge of the plane, with your feet dangling, and you can see endless space below you, the land very very far and you are asked to jump, you feel you were foolish to sign-up.
I had told my tandem instructor to actually push me but sliding through the seat and sitting on the edge made me realize the fun and adventure I was about to experience in my life. You pose to the person who has just jumped for your video and then before even you loosen the grip on the holding one………two…….. three and you fall. (In my case I had to be pushed)
The free fall:
The free fall or fall due to the pull of Newton’s gravity is ‘posing in strangest places and faces” part of the entire experience. You are falling and you can feel the pull from the earth, you can feel the pressure and you need to pose for the video you are making to remember this adventure by.I could hardly pose, my cheeks were pressed and could feel the wind, my hands were frozen because of the cold, I was trying to remember all the instructions and my instructor was making me swing from one side to another. It was a mix of so many emotions, I feel the goose bumps and the pleasure even now after 9 years.
The parachute is opened and you swoosh certain height above and then you glide, like you had imagined, like you had dreamt. You feel light and all your fears vanish, you have let go by now. You are seeing the beauty of the world from high above the sky and you are flying. Nothing can compare these two feelings, you move a little left and right and absorb every emotion and scene in to feel happy forever. It is a memorable place, your own happy place, nothing exists here, nothing bad at least. You feel you are in heaven and it is beautiful to see the world from here.
And just like that 4:30- 5 minutes later you are ready to land, you come down and stretch your legs in front of you and land and slide on you bum to a certain distance before coming to halt with the parachute just missing you , thanks to your instructor. You untie yourself, and post for the video again, giggling like a small kid who had the best ever 5 minutes in the sky. Ever given a chance this is something I would definitely do again.
Don’t wait too long, right now you are the youngest you will ever be, and the oldest you have ever been. Now is the right time. Chase your adventures and chase your dreams. Experience life.
Here is my link to my skydive video: