Yep, that's me. Last Sunday, approximately 9:40am. The cool and calm guy, firmly attached to my back (thank you, Lord), is my new best friend, Kelly. I'm sure he hasn't given me a second thought, but when you put your life in the hands of someone you just met, you feel pretty bonded to them....for life.
WHY was I skydiving? Because apparently I haven't learned any lessons after 25 years of marriage. Exhibit A: I should never tell my husband that I'm interested in doing something adventurous. Years ago I mentioned that I might like to skydive for my 50th birthday. No, I'm not 50 yet. He thought it would be fun to surprise me a year early. Isn't he wonderful?
Luckily, he didn't tell me until a few hours before the jump. Even so, thoughts of divorce and/or murder were running through my mind as I signed the most disturbing ten page release form I've ever seen. My advice to future skydivers: don't torture yourself by reading it. In summary, you could die, break every bone, or end up in a wheelchair. And you can't sue them. But have fun!
Note that the husband was not skydiving with me. Since he also refuses to go on most rides at Disney, this was not shocking. But I did have two companions.
At this point, I mentioned to Kelly that it was a long way back down. He shared that we were ascending three times higher before we jumped. I did not need to know that.
When we reached 13,000 feet, final preparations were made, which included putting on this lovely head gear. I asked how the helmet would help in case of a crash landing, but Kelly just laughed.
The doors opened, and T was the first to go. We were so. high. up. At this moment I realized that not only was I going to actually do this, but I was letting my babies fall out of a plane. That thought scared me more than anything else.
Next up was C. He was ready to go.
And suddenly it was my turn. We scooted to the edge of the plane, and I could not look down. I was completely terrified. But as soon as we were out and away, I felt like I was flying. There was no sensation of falling, just an exhilirating rush of soaring and swooping. The free fall lasted for sixty seconds, and then Kelly pulled the parachute.
Amazing! We floated while Kelly pointed out landmarks. I could see Seattle, Puget Sound, and all the mountains. Kelly spotted the boys and took off after them. He wanted to land first to take pictures of them coming in.
Five minutes later we were approaching earth.
Legs up, and we landed smoothly on our butts. The boys were right behind.
There's nothing like the feeling of standing on terra firma.
Would I do it again? Not anytime soon. Just looking at these pictures makes my heart race.
But I do have a different outlook on life this week. I'm at a crossroads, trying to decide which way to go. I know I can't follow the boys, so I have to find a new path and make my own way. Skydiving made me feel brave and strong and up to the challenge.
I'm going to figure it out, and I'm going to be okay.
I'll just stay on the ground while I do it.