Sky diving is something that I've always wanted to try and even have it on my 101 things list. For my birthday, John bought me and my brother a jump from the Mile Hi Skydiving Center out of Longmont, CO. Earlier in the week I watched the weather on Saturday fluctuate between thunderstorm warnings and showers. Saturday morning the fog and threat of rain cancelled a hot air balloon launch for a local town fair but two hours before my reservation to jump, the sky diving company said they were flying.
Jumping tandem doesn't require much instruction before jumping. I met Brenden, my instructor, who turned out to be a 57 year old ultra runner turned trail runner, and got my jump suit, my harness along with my brief instruction.
Our plane was full with other jumpers, some in the air force, some jumping on their own, a couple jumping solo after a day of instruction with their instructors and then my brother and I and we were all squished next to each other in the noisy plane. Sitting on my instructors lap, he hooked us together and went through all the connections with me, I guess to give me assurance that I wouldn't be freefalling without him and without a parachute.
Just after 12000 feet from 0 (total elevation would be between 17000-18000)jumper after jumper fell out of the plane and then it was our turn. Looking out of the airplane, there was nothing out there but the ground and the sky. I hooked my thumbs into the front of my harness, we fell out of the plane and then I went into my flying position. Free falling was exhilarating and scary at the same time. Brenden spun me around and pointed out the mountains, he spun around again and pointed out something else.
Once the parachute opened we started floating down. He said I had the Elvis leg going and sure enough my right leg was shaking. It wasn't so much from fear but the adrenaline that was surging through my body. He handed me the steering handles and had me pull on the left side and we veered swiftly to the left. From the start of the jump Brenden asked me how I was doing. Up to this point I had felt queasy since the middle of the plane ride but I hadn't said anything. Fearing throwing up I told him I was queasy. Had I considered the possibility of being motion sick before the flight, I would have taken something. He had me focus on the horizon and breathe. I saw my brother on the ground and didn't want to throw up over him.
Brenden manuevered us over the landing spot and had me lift me feet up. He wasn't sure if we would come in fast or catch some wind and be able to land standing up. Right before we go to the ground he told me to put my legs down and we'd land standing up. It was a perfect landing.
Brenden gathered up the parachute while I walked over to where John and my sister-in-law waited. We rode back to the hangers, got out of the gear and parted. The queasiness continued on the ride home and I multiple times I considered asking John pull over to let me out.
Overall this was an awesome experience and I'm so glad that I did it. It was truly amazing. If you'd like to see more pictures go to my facebook page.