August 5, 2014 was a day I contemplated my own death because I feel that if you want to skydive, you should be prepared for the possibility. However, being prepared for it did not make me any less terrified when my time came to stand on the edge of a rickety plane.
Skydiving is actually one of the safest adventures you can have in this day in age. First of all, you go tandem as a first timer. So, you don’t actually do anything. They throw you out of the plane, they pull the ripcord, and they control the parachute for the most part. So, your risk of dying is less than .001%. Still though, as you plummet from 14,000 feet in the sky towards what would be a certain death, your brain doesn’t know any better than to freak out.
I decided I wanted to skydive at the young age of six. My oldest sister had just celebrated her 18th birthday by jumping out of a plane, and I knew that one day I would do it as well. Finally, here the day was and I felt incredibly calm beforehand. But I knew this was just the calm before the storm. At about 10,000 feet in the air when my instructor strapped himself onto me, things changed. The nerves and anxiety started to creep in. I tried my best to stay calm, but my boyfriend knew better. He told me, “You look like you’re about to shit your pants.” He was probably right.
Falling through the sky was not the rush everyone had always said it would be. At least, not for me. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I was having a near panic attack throughout the whole free fall. Somehow, the pictures didn’t come out to agree with that story, though. My whole family thought I was lying about hating it.
Finally that madness ended and the parachuting was enjoyable, the views incredible. I’m glad I did it, but the first thing out of my mouth when I reached the ground again was, “I’m never doing that again!” I think I’ll keep that promise too. It was on my bucket list; it was a thrill; it was something most people don’t do in their lives; and it was unforgettable. However, it’s not something I am ever interested in doing again surprisingly. It just isn’t the kind of adrenaline rush that interests me, I suppose.
Afterwards, I had a few reactions. One, I needed water right away. It’s shocking how much the whole thing dehydrates you. I drank a whole bottle of water as soon as I got down. Two, I got pretty nauseous. I don’t think this is a common reaction, and it surprised me since I can stomach almost anything. I guess my stomach just wasn’t made to be falling from the sky. Lastly, and most importantly, don’t plan on doing anything else with your day afterwards. Your whole body feels incredibly weak, as if your muscles have just decided to stop working. The first thing you’re going to want to do is take a nap to recover your strength. I suppose that since your brain has just told your body it’s going to die that your muscles sort of go into shock and then can’t bounce back as quickly as your brain.
All in all, it was a good experience. My instructor, David, was fabulous and the company does a good job. Thank you, Skydive New England for the adventure. I won’t be back, but I think my boyfriend might be when he saves up another $210 dollars to take the leap again.
To see my complete Bucket List, click here.