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Defy Gravity - SkyDive
Sports & Adventure: Australasia

Why were you inspired to do this?

Inspired or terrified, they can be so very close on the emotional scale. I guess first, skydiving is one of the big items on all the 'things to do before you die' lists and allows me to check that 'SkyDive' box. And by definition it fulfills that yearning for adventure and living on the edge. Next, it was a friend who set up the skydive so it is a bit of a dare. The challenge has been made. I can't back out. Finally, for me, this is an ultimate expression of living outside my comfort zone. It is a test of overcoming fear. Will I pass?

What were 3 things you did to make this happen?

Say Yes to a good friend's offer.

Pay attention while they are teaching me how to open the shute and land.

Breath Deep, Let Go and..... Jump!

How did you feel once you had accomplished this?

Happy to be back on the ground. Overcome with adrenaline and a new appreciation for what it means to feel alive. Possibly a better understanding of the word, vitality.

Additional notes and tips:

Here's the story. A good friend calls me at work on a Friday around lunch time. He asks "Are you free tomorrow to hang out". As I'm busy with work I don't really pay attention to what he's saying. He mentions something about getting out of the city for the day and renting a car to go upstate. I give a distracted but obligatory answer of "yeah, sure. I'm up for whatever. Just tell me what time to be ready." We work out times and as I'm ready to hang up he says. "Great so we're all set to throw ourselves out of a perfectly good airplane. See you tomorrow." And hangs up. It finally hits me that the plan is to go skydiving. I call him back immediately and say "Whoa, I'm not so sure I want to do this?" Good friend that he is says "It's too late. I've booked the car and put down a deposit with the dive school. You're In. See you in the morning." and again hangs up. So we do the 2 hour journey from New York City to upstate New York to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. When we arrive at the so-called 'dive school' their office is less of a school building and more of a school bus in the middle of a field which appears to have a landing strip on it. Picture the movie 'Fandango'. As you might imagine, I'm not overwhelmed with confidence as I sit in the bus watching the instruction and safety video. As we are waiting the weather turns and rain clouds cover the sky. Relief! No jump today. Well, not so fast. They tell us to go have lunch because it should clear in the afternoon. It rains all through lunch but just as we drive up to the 'skydive bus' a ray of sun shines through the dark clouds. Time to get in our jump suits and get on the plane. As the plane climbs to jump altitude of 13,000 ft the nerves begin to twitch just a little. Several of our fellow jumpers and new friends have done this before so they are veterans and will jump first. The jump door opens and one by one they exit the plane. I see that many are adding a more adventurous back or front flip to their plane dismount and inquire with my tandem partner about doing the same. Front flip it is! Just stay in a tuck position for 3 seconds after we leave the plane and we'll be golden he says. Now I'm on my feet and next in line. As I step up to the door the man who was just 2 feet in front of me is nothing but a black spec thousands of feet below. I'm a little floored by this as the blank look on my face might suggest. I look right to see the camera diver hanging on the side of the plane waiting for us to jump. At this point, I've gone numb. A vaguely remember hearing my tandem partner count "1-2-3-JUMP!" Then I'm in a rolling tuck free fall which I come out of, as instructed after the 3 count and am hit with a chaos of wind and velocity which is hard to describe. Terminal velocity of 125mph. As I get my bearings, it feels like an odd mix of thrust and weightlessness. The ground seems a great distance away but approaching fast as my altimeter spins patiently. An eternity of 55 seconds later it's the critical moment. Pull the shute, a hard jerk up and back, and... silence. We're now hanging in the air a couple thousand feet over teh ground slowly floating down to the landing strip. I'm not sure which feels better the chaos of free fall or the peacefulness of this glide. For sure, the moment of ecstasy is when we slide onto the ground safe and sound. This was definitely a life moment to be cherished. All the better for having experienced it with a great friend.



1/9/2011 8:03:47 AM

Congratulations, we have linked your story on the My Life List 90 (#40) to inspire others. Thank you so much for sharing this great story.

7/15/2008 7:30:44 PM

Wow mate what a great story. Thanks for sharing. Having jumped myself you have perfectly summarized the incredible experience of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.. A must for everyones life list.

Why do you want to do this?

Inspired or terrified, they can be so very close on the emotional scale. I guess first, skydiving is one of the big items on all the 'things to do before you die' lists and allows me to check that 'SkyDive' box. And by definition it fulfills that yearning for adventure and living on the edge. Next, it was a friend who set up the skydive so it is a bit of a dare. The challenge has been made. Finally, for me, this is an ultimate expression of living outside my comfort zone. It is a test of overcoming fear. Will I pass?

What three things will you need to make this happen?

Say Yes to a good friend's offer.

Pay attention while they are teaching me how to open the shute and land.

Breath Deep, Let Go and..... Jump!

What is the biggest barrier to your achieving this?

Happy to be back on the ground. Overcome with adrenaline and a new appreciation for what it means to feel alive. Possibly a better understanding of the word, vitality.

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