Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh Yeah, and...

...we went skydiving. How have I not mentioned this?

We got 2 gift certificates for tandem skydiving from our good friends Mike and Jenn when we got married. We put it off for a long time, but they expire this year, so we finally made the call. We were jittery the whole drive down to Toledo. Upon arrival, they gave us each a 5 page (front and back) document to read and sign. The first thing we had to initial said "I acknowledge that skydiving is dangerous and I could die. If I die this skydiving company will not be sued." We didn't even bother reading the rest. What else was there, really?Just signed and handed it over.

We had arrived early on a Saturday morning in June. So we had to wait around a couple of hours for the fog to burn off before they were going to take anyone up. Even after I signed the “I might die” paper, I was relatively calm. The staff seemed really nice and professional. I had accepted what I was doing. They walked us through some light training, which basically said to have fun and hold our legs up when we land otherwise we’d slam into the ground face first like a cartoon. And that was fine with me.

Then after the sun came out, the skydive girl came up to us and said, “Alright, who wants to go first?” My hand was in the air before she had even finished her sentence. I always prefer to go first when I’m nervous. Gets it over with quickly. So I suited up, kissed my Hubby goodbye and squeezed into the world’s teeniest plane with my tandem-guy (his name was Scrub), my camera girl (her name was Wendy), an independent jumper, and the pilot (I don’t know their names.)

As we taxied out to take off, I marveled at the fact that I was still relatively calm. Even after we took off and I was looking out the little window, I still felt good…excited even! I checked the altitude… 2,000 feet. All the houses and trees were getting smaller. “What a view,” I said to myself. I checked again…3,500 feet “This little plane isn’t so bad,” I thought. I checked again… 4,500 feet. At that point, the pilot announced that he would open the hatch to let out the independent jumper, in a couple minutes, who had just come along for the ride. I was like, “Uh, ok.” Mind you, I wasn’t strapped to Scrub yet. And he had the parachute. And there were no seatbelts. I was just sitting there.

At 5,000 feet, the pilot reached over and opened the hatch, and it got loud, and it got windy, and the guy jumped out. And it finally hit me. I mean it really sank in. “Ohmygod, I’m about to jump out of a plane. I could die!!!” Then the pilot closed the hatch and we continued to climb. I was out-of-my-mind terrified. I was trembling head-to-foot.

At 7,000 feet, Scrub told me to assume the position so he could harness me in. I obeyed. After he checked that we were good to go, the pilot reached over again, flung open the hatch, and Wendy backed out, and hung off the side so she could get a shot of us. She must really have a pair on her letmetellyou. Scrub and I scooted up, he yelled at me to put my foot out on the ledge…

And let me pause right here folks, because that was probably the hardest thing I have EVER had to do. Scrub was yelling and pointing to the ledge. And I wanted to obey, I did, but this other voice in my head was screaming too, and louder. “Don’t put your foot on that ledge! Because YOU     WILL    DIE!!!” It was quite the internal struggle, I watched in slow motion as my foot finally reached the step, shaking all the way. And just then, Scrub pushed away. And we were off

In all truthfulness, I'm glad I did it. It was a fun experience. After we let go, there was really nothing else for me to do, so I just spread my arms and enjoyed the 45 second freefall and a 5 minute slow coast to the ground from 10,000 feet...and lived.

I counted 6 different mountains from that height. And after the parachute went up, it was completely quiet and very peaceful. Scrub gave me a panoramic view of the area. I really wish I could figure out how to upload the movie we got. It’s quite something. Ah well, at least I have some picts.

When my mother saw this picture of Geoff, she asked if he screamed like a girl, he replied, "No. I screamed like a man."


Emily said...

Wow and WOW!!!!

Rebecca said...

That is awesome beyond belief.

jenn said...

yey!!! I am so glad you guys went. And I am sure that Geoff screamed like a girly man : )

The Gill Family said...

I can't believe you guys actually did. congrats. can't wait to hear carla's account. hahah