The instructor turned to me and motioned for me to come to the door. I thought to myself, “Just get to the door and see how you feel”. So i shuffled my butt to the door in a crab-walk fashion. I got to the door and i remember exactly how to position myself, position my hands. Proper position for your hands when at the door, is to have all four of your fingers on the outside of the plane and your thumbs on the inside with one hand on the floor and one on the wall. This is procedure is so that in case you panic and freeze, the instructor only has to peel your two thumbs off instead of all your finger in order to push you out. Pretty creepy, i know. But i guess if you have to deal with that on a daily basis, you gotta go with what works. Understandable.
I thought for a brief second, “Nope, I can’t do this!!” I just needed a few more moments to get in the mindset. What will get me in the mindset? “I need something NOW. I got it”. I have to be ok with This being my last moment. I have to be ok with dying. “Am i ok with it?” If i die today, will i have any regrets? Is there anything someone will find that will be discrediting or embarrassing? Is this an ok way to die? As opposed to being hit by a drunk driver or being eaten by a debilitating disease. Yeah, this is pretty cool. And i guess i don’t have anything to hide that my friends don’t already know about me. “Ok, i think i’m”…”Jumper #2!!…Are you ready?”. “Where’s the camera? I want to make sure i’m looking at it when i do this. There it is!!!” I nod my head, “YES”. My instructor yells to me, “Jumper #2…Go..Go..Go..Go”. “One more breath…Here i go… Oh, fuck, i’m gonna die”. In this split moment of mortality, i realized…I’m ok with death, i’m ok with dying.
Out i jumped…The feeling of being thrashed around and endless falling seemed to take forever and yet last only seconds. Once i felt things settle and slow down somewhat i realized i didn’t do anything that they taught me with regards to proper form. Not a thing and yet i was fine. A voice came over my walkie talkie telling me to look up and notice my lines tangled. My chute DID open but some of the lines were entangled. “I remember this..I remember this”. Kick my legs out in a spinning motion like in a child’s swing and twirl out of it. “IT WORKED”! I spun two whole revolutions and i was fine. My instructor came over the radio again. He said, “Good job, jumper #2, welcome to the skies buddy”. I let out a yell so loud charged by an entire life of fear, WOOO HOOO!!!! FUCK YEEEAH!!!
I completed all of my checks with my instructor over the walkie talkie successfully. He then told me to have some fun and enjoy myself for a bit. I pulled my left toggle and veered to the left. Then did the same with the right. Then i pulled both toggles and came to an almost complete stop mid-air. Once i released them i began another freefall for about a second. “Ewww”, my stomach just floated up into my chest, similar to a roller coaster feeling when it drops you. “Ok, we don’t need to do THAT again”.
After playing around i realised something, If there IS a heaven and my mom is up there, this is the closest i will ever get to her. Just her and i up here. That’s when i said under my breath, “Hi mom. I miss you like crazy”. “Look what i’m doing, look at ME, mom”. Knowing full well in the back of my mind she would surely be horrified and tell me to get down immediately. Ha ha ha.
I hadn’t noticed i drifted so far away. I looked around and i could see in people’s back yards. Some were Bbq’ing. Others were swimming in their pools. I let out some more yells of gratitude. I could see them looking up at me. How many times do you think they hear that in a week? They must be like, “There goes another one”.
I started toggling and steering my way back to the airport. My instructor was quite helpful and very precise. I couldn’t find the airport if my life depended on it. But he knew exactly where i was and he was able to guide me back on track.
I found the airport and i was coming in “hot”. That’s a term used for coming in fast. My instructor walked me through the entire landing. He assured me if i follow all of his instructions i will have a smooth and safe landing. I’m approximately 50ft. From the ground when i hear “get ready to flare jumper #2”. 10ft. From the ground and i hear, “Aaaaaand flarrrrre”. I flared nice and slow almost to a complete halt 3ft. from the ground and managed a tippy toe landing. FUCK YEAH!!!
I was so high with excitement and pride, i kind of just stood there looking around, stunned. Everyone on the ground was telling me to grab my chute and get the fuck out of the way. “Huh? What? Why? Oh right”, there were 4 more jumpers coming in. I totally forgot about everyone else. I grabbed my chute as fast as i could and ran from the drop zone.
People on the ground were asking me, “How was it?” I told them “It was awesome! Just completely awesome”. That’s when the ground crew told me if i want i can go back up in 10 minutes. The last payload was heading up for one final jump. I was like “Ummm ahhhh, ok sure”. So i went inside to put a fresh chute on and have a quick peek at my photos from the plane. There was a camera mounted under the wing taking rapid photos as you jump. I couldn’t wait to see what i looked like. Pictures are up!! Hurry hurry. Ewwww, theres my pictures. I looked absolutely terrified. Not the most impressive look i’ve ever had on my face. I can’t hang THAT up on my wall. Fuck that!!. Ok, I definitely need to go back up and do it again. I need that trophy shot.