About ten years ago, I watched my dad jump out of a plane at 145mph. Ever since that moment, sky diving has been at the very top of my bucket list and at 21 years old, I am able check it off. I finally picked a day that worked for both my dad and I, did some research on where to go, made the appointment and prayed for good weather. To me, sky diving is one of those things where people say they want to do it, but never actually go the extra mile to pursue it. That is why I made it a priority to take a chance and experience this opportunity for myself.
For the longest time, I’ve had a close friend that was willing to experience it with me but every time I mentioned it, she would never follow through or take initiative. So, the only person left that I knew I could count on was my dad. So, as a Christmas gift, I treated my dad to his fourth time in the air. At 59-years old, he did not hesitate, for a second,to say yes and there’s no other person in this world I would have wanted to experience this with for the first time.
I’m not afraid of heights, but my knees tend to get weak when I look down and notice how high I actually am. My mom, who is deathly afraid of heights, was convinced I would chicken out. But, she was wrong. I never give up on something I truly want and after waiting 21 years, driving almost two hours and waiting five hours just to get up in the sky, I knew I was going to jump no matter what. Sky diving is free falling through the clouds. At 15,00 feet in the air, you lose sight of any land. Therefore, I knew I wouldn’t have a problem. I had the privilege of being tandem with the owner of Skydive Sussex. Although, to my surprise, as he was buckling up my harness he tells me, “It’s your lucky day, I’m coming out of retirement for this jump.” I was a little confused by what he meant as well as concerned because as a first-time jumper, I wanted to make sure I would get to the ground in one piece!
Due to the weather, wind and clouds, sky diving can be a hit or miss. So as it was our turn to board the plane, the owner announced a wind delay because of how rough it was up in the sky. During that delay, I was so anxious but not once throughout the day was I the slightest bit nervous. As we were approaching the plane, it all hit me and this sensation of pure adrenaline was running through my body. I was the first in line to jump, therefore my dad, was a few people behind me. During the plane ride up, I was overwhelmed with excitement, I couldn’t believe I was actually going through with this. Who would’ve thought voluntarily jumping out of plane at 145 mph would be a form of enjoyment? When we were close to reaching 15,000 feet, my dad called my name. As I turned around to look at him, I had the biggest smile on my face. At that moment, I knew I was my father’s daughter. For my dad and I, jumping out of a plane was never out of the ordinary. I felt like I made my dad proud as he watched his daughter fulfill such an exhilarating, unforgettable moment.
As my instructor and I crawled to the edge of the plane and I watched the two professional divers jump out before me, I knew I was going to have the time of my life. The videographer was hanging on the side of the plane capturing every moment and expression on my face. I felt my instructor rock back and forth but couldn’t hear him counting down. At that moment, I braced myself for what was about to come.
The fall from the plane to the ground took about 70 seconds. Within that 70 seconds, I knew the wait was well worth it. Would I do it again? Absolutely. My advice to anyone – If you are given the opportunity to exceed your limits while on this earth, choose to sky dive. There is no better way to explain the feeling when you are simply free falling!