15,000 feet above ground. Jumping off the plane. One minute of free fall.
That would be ABSOLUTELY nuts to me a few years ago. Only super badasses and adrenaline junkies do that stuff, and I wasn’t one of them, I thought to myself. Until, of course, I jumped.
On one random evening, my friend who is usually not the adventurous type told me she went skydiving. I was shocked.
“That’s so crazy you did that! How did it feel?” I asked.
“It actually wasn’t that bad! It was just really windy!” She gleefully replied.
“But isn’t there the feeling where your stomach is going to jump out? I hate that feeling!” I exclaimed.
“Oh no, you don’t feel any of that!” She said confidently.
I was REALLY skeptical, how can you be free falling off the sky and not feel like you are going to die? Wouldn’t it feel hundred times worse than a rollercoaster?
So in Clover’s typical fashion, I googled that sh*t. Turns out, this is true. The speed of an aircraft is almost as fast as the rate you drop through the sky. Therefore, it cancels each other out and becomes terminal velocity. The only time when you might feel more of the stomach drop is if your aircraft flies slower or you jump from a stationary place. Therefore, bungee jumping or hot air ballon jumping, you would feel EVERYTHING. So no, I am not going to do that.
When I decided to skydive, I was nervous for 2 weeks. I couldn’t even sleep for two nights before. Once I got on the airplane though, I was strangely calm. I was even admiring the beautiful view of Airlie beach in Australia. Then the beach view disappeared. We got into the clouds and the plane climbed higher and higher….
The door opened, and at the moment, I felt my fear. This moment was actually the worst for me, because that cold wind just hit me like nothing else, and the fact that I am a flight attendant and an aircraft door opening mid-air would be my worst nightmare.
It didn’t help that the first jumper panicked, and in a blink of an eye, she zoomed out and her scream became more and more distant…
At that moment, I had the tiniest thought that day might be the day I was going to die. But I was actually ok with that (A topic for another day). But then the next thing you know, I was out of the aircraft, free falling like a bird.
Like everyone says, I really didn’t have that dreadful stomach drop, not even a second of it. My friend did on the other hand. She felt it for a split second and fell through the clouds! Apparently her body felt pins and needles because of the cloud’s dense air.
I, on the other hand, didn’t get to experience the cloud, but felt a lot of WIND. The skin on my face was flapping all over the place, but thank goodness my instructor was great at angling the video camera so I still looked decent. But one trick I can tell you though is to SMILE. It stretches out your face and your skin will flap less. Honestly though, you will have so much fun looking at the clouds you can’t help but smile the whole time anyways.
One thing I couldn’t find during my research was how it would feel when the parachute opens. For me, I just felt like I got yanked up very quickly but there was zero stomach drop either.
Then we circled around with the parachute and I actually found that scarier than the free fall, but I have done paragliding in South Africa before so it wasn’t unfamiliar. It was really nice to enjoy the views here and we landed with me basically abruptly like I just did a jump squat.
The whole process from start to finish was around one hour. Even though they allotted a few hours of time for it just in case of weather but we all were so pressed for time we finished quite quickly.
Here is a video of me talking about this, if you would prefer to listen. Go to 4.08 for the skydive footage! I covered the song let it go to symbolize the process. Enjoy!
The feeling of FREEDOM, JOY, ACCOMPLISHMENT, PRIDE in overcoming your fear that made skydiving an exhilarating experience.
Skydiving became the perfect metaphor for times we are fearful in life. It allowed you to trust the process, let go of your fear and just leaped into the unknown. This wasn’t just a one-time badass experience, it actually paid for itself over and over again. Because it will remind you that you CAN do anything. All you have to do is JUMP!
It doesn’t really require any skills when you are doing a tandem jump. All you have to do is to feel the full experience! I have met people in their 60s and 70s doing this. Knowing how this felt, it is actually very doable. But the fear muscle you get to practice training makes this experience worth the weight in gold.
This SKILL of courage has completely changed my life. I have conquered the following since then, just to name a few:
So I would say skydiving is a game changer for life.
Would you do it? Or have you done it and where? Share with us your experience and we can all see how it might be different for everyone!