Adventure: Sky’s the Limit

Adventure

Our connected bodies rush into the freezing air and are sent hurling down, down towards the cold, hard earth below. For what seemed like an eternity, we are free falling and I can feel the wind push against my face. Kind of like when you have a fan blowing and you position yourself in front of it and say in your best Darth Vader voice “Luke, I am your father”, but at a much faster speed.
    Yes folks...I went skydiving!
    Now, I have never been afraid of heights, but you have to admit that jumping out of a plane -- on purpose -- is not something done on an everyday basis. And I’m sure many people feel why would you even want to do that. Why not?
    Skydive San Diego has their own private runway and grass landing area, so guests can freely come watch the jumpers while waiting to jump.The problem with idle time is you start thinking and over-analyzing everything. Why am I doing this? Because I can. Are you trying to prove something? No, not really. Did you totally empty your bladder in those porta potties so you don’t pee in your pants? Yes. Are you sure there’s no residual food on your teeth for picture taking? Yes.
    As I start to nod off into a dreamy state, I look up and notice the clouds opening right in front of me, exposing the once hidden clear blue skies. The clouds continue to clear as if beckoning us to come up for a visit. I’m chanting “open, open” and voila, the opening is there waiting for us to take advantage. Next thing you know, it’s announced that the next group is ready to go. That’s us…yikes!
    We rush over to put jumpsuits on - not the most flattering cut - and get strapped in very tightly. I immediately try to remember the details from our tandem training: kick legs back, position your body in an arc, hands by shoulders, two taps then hands out in a U, when landing kick feet straight out, when told feet down on ground and stand up. Got it.
    No, I’m not nervous, I’m fine...just fine. Please do not throw up I tell myself. Next thing you know it’s time to go. No time to think, I’m climbing up the ladder into the jumpship, seat-belted in facing the open door and away we go. As we fly up to the proper jumping altitude of about 13,000 feet, we all make small talk to keep our minds busy. And when my instructor Joe tells me to sit on his lap, well ya. Oh, he’s just strapping me to his body - now in another context this would be very erotic don’t you think?
    From there things just happened. The door opens up and you feel the pull...and we are out.
    My first thought is that it is so frickin’ cold! And I quickly realize we are falling...it was only for about a minute in time but it felt like forever. All I could feel was the skin on my face being pushed and pulled here and there. Boy, those are going to be lovely photos.
    Then peace.
    As soon as the parachute is opened, you feel as if you are floating slowly down. Joe tells me he’s going to loosen up the straps so I’ll be more comfortable - no really the strap pressing down against my breasts are okay, really. But it does loosen me up a little and I was even more relaxed. Joe points out different geographic points: Tijuana, Downtown San Diego, Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. And the calm Otay Lakes mirror the skies above. The view - simply beautiful.
    Just as soon as I feel like I’m in a dream, I notice we are heading towards the grass landing. We land upright - woohoo, no broken bones and I didn’t clumsily tumble over. Wow. Shane the videographer asks how it was - awesome! And if I would do it again - absolutely! When it’s time to jump into something, I will do so with my eyes wide open and peace in my heart.

Adventure

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06 Mar 2018


By Jemma Samala