Well its been a little over 24 hours since I took the big jump and I have to say that I do feel different. I'm not sure what that might be and suppose its too early to tell, but it does seem that jumping out of a plane changes you in some way. Would I do it again? Yeah, today if I could. I loved it! Was it scary? Oh my ... YES!! Scary doesn't begin to describe it. That first jump out of the plane is a heart-stopping moment to be sure. But as with most things, the fear is a small price to pay for the reward of the experience. I'm not sure what if anything, can be learned from this experience, but I'm kicking around some thoughts about it and will post something when I figure it out. For now, let me walk you through my experience ...
Climbing into the plane was different. The floor seemed slippery and I couldn't get my footing very well and wondered if I would be able to stand up to jump out. There were two benches that sat very close to the floor of the plane and we sat single-file, straddling the bench between the legs of the guy we were jumping with so he could fasten us to him during the flight. I was right beside the door since I was the first tandem jumper out of the plane. The camera guys were in front of me since they jump out first and hang onto the plane to get pics of you jumping. Those guys are SKILLED. Jason, the guy I jumped with, handed me seat belt which I thought was odd since we were jumping out ... I don't remember ever doing anything with it. The plane climbed to around 12,500 feet and then the door opened.
I think I said, "Well that's a little unnerving". The next thing I knew the camera guys were jumping, it seemed all at once and one head-first. "OH MY ........" It looked almost like they had been sucked out. Incredible!
Then I hear Jason say, "Let's get into position". I don't remember standing up. I'm still not sure if I stood up or if he picked me up. I'm just not sure what happened but I was suddenly aware that I was standing in what seemed like the open doorway of the plane. I knew I was supposed to have my toes hanging over the doorway so I did look down to check to make sure. As I did that I heard Jason say, "One ... Two..." We never made it to Three. Suddenly we were hurdling through the sky at an unbelievable speed. I've heard someone say that we drop at a rate of 200 mph during the free fall. I don't know. I do know that I couldn't catch my breath. I kept thinking "BREATH! BREATH!" I tried breathing with my mouth open and well ... that was a really bad idea. Jason had told us to keep out chin up so the camera guy could get pictures. It took everything I had to do that because I was in shock and couldn't THINK of what I was supposed to do. Besides, I was just trying to BREATH and thinking was impossible with the ROAR of the wind in my ears.
I had been given a little watch like thing that indicated our altitude and was instructed to look at it and at 5000 ft we would pull the cord to the chute. I'm not sure how anybody can think about that. I was just ... stunned. Jason had said at one point he would take my hand and place it on the ball and let me pull the chute but that never happened. That is fine by me.
Jason pulled the chute and my world rocketed in another direction in the span of a heartbeat. At one moment I was heading 200 mph through the sky and the next moment I was being jerked as hard as I could be in the opposite direction. That was rough. I was sure the harness would be embedded at least 3 inches into my body.
Then ... it was silent.
We seemed to just hang in mid-air with the beauty of the fall colors below and the clear sky all around. My family and friends were below and I know that at least Brian was really stressed out and worried. I think if heaven is above us somewhere it must be a lot like that. Just really AWESOME and CALM ... no fear... no noise... just beauty and peace. A sharp contrast to the hectic pace of a few moments before.
Just before landing we did some funky twists and turns and then slid in for a soft landing to the cheers of family and friends.
It was over way too quickly. I wanna do it again!
If you ever get the chance - go for it. Take the words of the Nickleback song to heart and DO IT!
My best friend gave me the best advice.
He said each days a gift and not a given right
So leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That fist step you take is the longest stride
So go live like you'll never live it twice
Here's a link where you can watch the video of my jump. You'll have to type in your zip code.
- My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.