Well, to be honest it all started with watching too much „The Amazing Race“. For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, it is a US reality TV show with teams that chase around the world for a million dollars.
Ryan had already skydived in 2002 and he kept talking about doing it again. Over many months I told him that I simply cannot do it. Watching The Amazing Race did not really help his wish to do it again. I admitted it would be pretty amazing if I could say that I have been skydiving but I was not convinced that I could actually do it. I don’t remember but somehow I agreed to his plan.
We already booked our tickets to Portland and back in Oregon we went to Skydive Oregon in Molalla.
I tried not to tell too many people about our plans because I was too scared I would not follow through. During the weeks before the jump I researched everything about skydiving. It helped me answer a lot of questions but it also made really nervous. All of it was becoming real. Our first scheduled appointment had to be canceled because it was too cloudy. Thank God! I was never happier to see so many clouds. 5 days later we drove back and the sky was partly cloudy. We had no idea if we would be able to do it or not. We were told we could wait for a couple of hours or reschedule again. We decided to wait because I was done being a nervous wreck.
After 50 pages of signing our lives away we had to just sit and wait. Waiting was torture. I kept staring at the sky not knowing if I wanted it to be sunny or cloudy. When the speaker called for our names I was almost in tears. That was probably the worst moment. But Ryan kept telling me „you can do it, you can do it!“. And then everything happened really, really fast. I was introduced to my giant, tough looking instructor Archie who immediately started strapping me into my gear.
I booked video and photo coverage and Ted was the one with the camera on his helmet who filmed and photographed the whole thing. He was the best. He noticed how nervous I was. He helped, encouraged and distracted me in the best way he possibly could have done.Once I was being filmed I tried to look as a cool and relaxed as I could, but believe me I was shaking the whole time.
We entered our tiny airplane without seats. Our plane took off and it took about 15 minutes until we had reached our altitude of 14,000 feet (4,2km). The sliding door opened and a cold wind was blown into my face. One guy jumped alone ahead of me and then it was my turn. I was about to exit a perfectly fine working aircraft. I did not really think anymore, I just let it all happen. We scooted over to the edge of the plane. My sign for Archie was to lean my head back against his shoulder and arch my back. I tried not to look down. The sky was more beautiful anyways. Ted was next to us standing on a little step attached to the outside of the plane. On 3 they let go and we were racing towards the Earth.
I still have no words that can describe this feeling. It was amazing. It only took a couple seconds to adjust to the altitude. It was so much fun. Ted was flying around us like superman.
After 60 seconds of free fall our parachute opened. The decent took another 5 minutes and I was touching the ground again. Best feeling in the world.
Now I know of how much I am capable of. Sometimes it is important to step outside your comfort zone…
Here are the pictures of the day I went skydiving…
and if you are interested here is my video: http://vimeo.com/72874306
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