So I Jumped Out of a Plane: My Skydiving Recap
My bro Antonio text me last week asking if I wanna go skydiving. I sent him a “YESSSS!” I didn’t even think about it. I’m 30 now and this year has been about growth for me. And fun. HELLA FUN. I am all about that right now. I’d never gone and I was like OH CRAP. But these are the things bucket lists are made of. I went ziplining in January ON my 30th birthday so that was checked off then (and I’d to it again).
So me and Antonio trekked to Long Island, to one of the biggest skydiving facilities. It took us 2 hours to get there and 2 trains but we were about that life. We get to the facility, and the first thing they have us do is watch a video, which begins with a 5 minute warning from the owner.
He says that by jumping, we are agreeing to take a risk that might injure us or even kill us and it’s not their fault. They are not legally liable for anything bad that happens to us. And if we die, and someone tries to take legal action they will fine the person for even trying. This is why we have to sign 7 different waivers. The video ends with him actually saying: “Long story short, you can’t sue us. And if you do, you won’t win.” And we were all like “SIGN US UP!” and we rushed to sign 7 waivers that none of us really read, signing our lives away. Basically, we’re sheep.
Oh, the video also tells us to listen to our instructors. They all have different styles and they will guide you. Do as they say. They have your life in their hands. You better listen.
I read my favorite Psalm as we wait, and say a prayer for protection. I just signed my life away. I minuswell ask God to look out for a G as I fall thousands of a feet unto the ground like I ain’t got no sense. We emptied our pockets, took off all jewelry (but you can keep studs on if you want), and if you had hair, you pulled it into a tight ponytail.
We were all strapped into the harness and got to stand around for about 10 minutes for the plane to come back and for the people before us to complete their jumps. After that, each instructor found their assigned jumper and introduced themselves to us. They double checked our harnesses, tightening them where needed. They got us feeling calm, excited for us. As the harnesses are tightened, those of us who paid for the DVD/photo package got introduced to our cameramen. Also, hella friendly dudes.
Nick, my instructor, was like “Let’s have fun. Remember to breathe through your nose.” And I was like “OH SHIT. I’m about to jump out of a plane. I am nuts.”
Then, we walked to the tarmac unto the plane.
Each instructor was sitting behind their assigned jumper, cracking jokes as the plane ascended. Our camera men were on the floor in front of us. They didn’t even close the door until the plane was about to take off.
About 10 minutes after the plane is flying, our instructors start getting closer and attaching their harnesses to ours. Nick had us so tight together that I wasn’t even sitting myself anymore. My butt was about 5 inches in the air and my entire weight was literally on him. Nick goes “We’re stuck together now. Where I go, you go.” Got it. That was oddly comforting. He puts on my goggles and tightens it, saying he’ll remove them himself when we start gliding.
Then the plane door opens and a gust of cold air rushes in and I knew shit was real then. Do or Do. Ain’t no other choice. Oddly enough, I thought my heart would be racing like crazy by now. I was weirdly calm. Antonio was in front, to my right. Him and his instructor would be first. They slide down to the edge of the plane and all of a sudden, they’re gone.
SHIT. You don’t even have time to panic yourself because 1 other person went before me and next thing I know, me and Nick are at the edge of the plane. It happens really fast. He tells me to tuck my legs under the plane and to lean my head back. I close my eyes and do as he says and next thing I know, I am falling to Earth.
For at least 5 seconds there, I could not breathe. For a couple of reasons. I realized I was free-falling to Earth and that alone made me gasp. And then, the rush of air made it hard for me to even breathe through my nose as I was instructed. I had to make a conscious decision but WOWWWWWW. It is indescribable. I cannot put that feeling into words. I just know gasping a couple of times and then catching my breath.
Nick lets go of the first parachute and our cameraman, Timmy, circles around us and then comes over to grab my hands to take pics. I smile widely because the initial shock is gone and I’m like YEAHHHHHHHH!!!
I even give him a thumbs up. We spin in the air and then another parachute pops open and that one lets us glide. It pulls us up a little bit too and now we’re actually vertical and my feet are pointing to the ground.
Nick has full control with this parachute and he removes my goggles and tells me to look around. And I am thousands of feet above ground, floating gently like it’s normal. I was in awe. Nick points to the left and says “Over there is New York…” This dude gave me a damb tour, and we’re just floating and having regular conversation. He’s been skydiving professionally for 10 years. He finds out that I’m a writer. We then shut up for a couple of minutes to enjoy the view from above.
I look below and I see that 2 of the people I’ve jumped with have landed. I can see their parachutes. Finally, Nick gets us descending and we kinda do it sideways, where we came from a 45 degree angle. As we get close to the ground, he tells me to put my feet in front of me. We’d be landing standing up, and we did just that.
It was incredible. INCREDIBLE. AWESOME. AMAZING. One of the best things I’ve ever done, because I threw fear out of the window. I did that shit. And I wore cute shoes too. I was in wingtips. Why not fly in the air while being fly?
Would I do it again? I’m not sure. Never say never but crossing off this bucket list item has me so excited. That and adrenaline. It’s been 6 hours and I’m still giddy off it. The feeling is like no other.
Shoutout to my instructor, Nick, for making the jump so fun and for being so easy to listen to. I trusted him with my life and he made sure I didn’t die. Sir, you rock. And Timmy, for capturing such dope images and video. He got me so good and I’ve watched my video at least 5 times. I cannot get over that I actually jumped out a damb plane.
The full video of my jump is here:
I’ve watched this video at least 5 times and seeing the moment when we fall out the plane makes me gasp still. Have y’all been skydiving? Anyone considering it? Half of you probably think I’m crazy and I wouldn’t even debate you.
P.S. You might have noticed I’ve been MIA around these parts a bit. Well, consider this MY summer vacation.
HOLY SHIT. I JUMPED OUT A PLANE.