Friday, April 18, 2008


From the better-late-than-never file, I want to write about the experience I had a week and a half ago of skydiving over Monterey Bay. It's one of those things that I had always wanted to do, but I kind of got roped into this accidentally. My friend D sent out an evite for indoor skydiving in a vertical windtunnel, and I was down for that no problem. Only a few people responded positively to that idea though, so D was all, "Why don't we just go for the real thing instead?" At that point it seemed too late to say no, so before I knew it, I was headed down south with five other friends to jump out of a plane at 15,000 feet.

I was a bit nervous while we were hanging around at the hangar. This transferred itself to full on panic when my tandem instructor slapped a harness on me and started explaining what we were going to do. He kept saying things like "Okay, when we get to the door of the airplane you're going to get down on your knee like this, and tilt your head back, and..." and all I could think of was "No I most certainly am NOT!" No one else in my group was really freaking out all that badly, but I was going nuts.

They drove us to the drop zone, as we were in the second group to go up, and when I saw the first group open their parachutes and descend from the sky my anxiety faded away because I thought it looked like a ton of fun. Then we got on the plane, and I was fine. I think that's when others in my group started to get a bit nervous however, watching the person before them jump out of the plane really freaked them out I think.

I was the last person to jump out of the plane, and I was just so focused on walking with another person attached to my back that I didn't watch anyone else fall out of the plane or anything. I got to the door and down on my knee like I was told to on the ground and I don't remember being scared at all, just looking at all that ground below me and thinking "Wow, that's awesome." Then we rocked back and fell out of the plane, whee!

It only felt like falling for a second or two, then it just felt like floating with a LOT of wind. I wasn't falling, the plane was going away. Bye plane! It was pretty cold, I wished I'd had gloves or something. 70 seconds of freefall, then parachuting down, which I thought was super fun and would love to try again, to control the parachute and everything myself.

The adrenaline/endorphin rush lasted for several hours afterwards. I was sitting on the concrete in the sun with my friends afterwards, we were giggling at everything and proud of ourselves for doing it.

I didn't get a video, but David did. Enjoy.

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