Life at 12,000ft

Now you know why birds are always singing!

Just a few hours ago I was sat on the edge of a plane, 12,000ft from the ground, about to leap out.

Since deciding to go skydiving a few weeks ago I had been checking the weather forecast daily and it never looked promising, mainly being raining and sometimes predicting snow! When I looked this morning it said it was supposed to rain so I was prepared for the instructors to call it off.

Luckily the weather improved as the day progressed. I was surprisingly not very excited leading up to going skydiving but as I watched more and more people in my group float down with huge grins on their faces this soon changed. As my tandem partner began strapping on my harness I began to feel nervous. I began to feel sick when he told me we were going to jump out first.

10 of us squeezed, and I mean squeezed into a tiny little plane. I was sat right next to the ‘door’ which looked like a very flimsy piece of clear plastic. I got a fabulous view going up which I tried my hardest to appreciate but it was hard trying to subdue the screaming in my head reminding me that I’ll be jumping out there momentarily. It took around 20 minutes to get up to the right height. By this point I was kneeling by this door while my partner attached himself to me. I then had to bring my legs out in front of me before opening the door. I will repeat that –  I had to open the door of a plane at 12,000 feet. It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to imagine how I was feeling at this point. We shuffled forward until our legs were dangling off the side and considering we were still flying along it was a bit breezy to say the least. I won’t lie, for the couple of seconds that we were sat about to go I closed my eyes but as soon as my bum left the plane and I knew there was no going back they were open!

I’ve been sat here trying to think of how to put what happened next but have found explaining the unexplainable pretty tough. For the first few seconds I screamed as we somersaulted through the air looking back up at the plane. As soon as the adrenaline kicked in however it was just complete euphoria. I can’t imagine anything else in the world more exhilarating than falling to Earth at 200km/h. I find looking out of a plane window out over the clouds beautiful and here I was outside that window. It was beautiful. Breath-taking. Quite literally at times. As we got closer to the layer of cloud the euphoria diminished and I began to panic as I really struggled to breathe. I guess because of the altitude but luckily the feeling passed as we broke free of the clouds.  My partner soon let out the parachute which was a lot smoother than I thought it would be. We steered our way (I say we because I was trusted to actually steer at times which was very exciting) back towards the airfields doing the occasional tight twirl on the way down which was fun. Landing was a lot easier than I thought too, as I had already moved my harness so I was in a sitting down position for when we reached the ground.

I was very pleased as my instructor said I had a perfect exit of the plane (so good he told me three times!) which made his job a lot easier. I was not very pleased however that in the force of the jump I lost my lovely, Canadian hat that my Grandparents bought me. I’m very jealous of the lucky person in Gatineau who came across it this afternoon.

I have tried to put my experiences into words but I’m sure like anyone who has skydived it is impossible. I just wholeheartedly recommend that you do it – I’m not being dramatic when I say it was the best experience of my life.

Nearly forgot, the quote at the top is of my instructor!

If you’re near Ottawa/Gatineau and fancy giving it a shot then check out http://goskydive.ca – the instructors all seemed lovely. My guy was especially cool with trousers that looked like flames and a crazy hat covered in purple, orange and pink hair! They also do really cool video’s of you – my friends got them and I really regret not getting one myself!

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3 responses to “Life at 12,000ft

  1. Pingback: Munich | It's a Free Land·

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