So I pre-warned my mom about this. But Nancy…I’m not sure what Andrew has told you, but he’s sitting on the couch playing FIFA soccer as I am typing this, so you have that.
Yup. We went skydiving today!
Thanks to Mel, who was basically the force in making this actually happen, Andrew, Mel, Christina, and I headed down to Orange, Virginia this afternoon to make a jump. Skydive Orange is where Mel had her first skydiving experience and she liked it better than where she did her second jump. Apparently since she and Christina went a few years ago they’ve stepped it up a bit. I was rather impressed with the whole setup and would highly recommend them.
We were scheduled to jump at 2 PM, but because of cloud cover, we had to sit tight for a while. A long, long while. It was pretty dicey all afternoon and at least four times we considered just packing up our stuff and rescheduling. We kept setting deadlines for ourselves, but the deadlines came and went and we could not bring ourselves to leave the hanger. It was a good thing though, because 1 hour before the last possible time to head up, they informed us we might actually have a chance to jump…but not all four of us.
But Mel was a champ. She offered to sit out this round so the three of us could jump without having to reschedule and come back another day. Luckily she had made plans to go another time with one of her other friends, so she got a voucher for a future jump and didn’t lose her money.
The people at the jump place were super cool though and let her come up with us in the plane. She got to be the co-pilot and take a ride with us. We got on the last flight of the day, right around 7:30 PM. It was totally awesome.
The three of us were the only tandem jumpers (we’re strapped to the instructor and he basically leads you through the whole thing), but our plane was full of other solo jumpers too. They all jumped first, then I went, followed by Andrew, then Christina.
This is probably .5 seconds before we jumped. As you walk to the door (more like waddled to the door), you reach the opening, look out and the clouds, go “Holy crap. Oh my…” and then you’re free falling. We jumped from about 13,000 feet and I’m glad we got the extra height.
I swear, it was the coolest thing ever. We jumped as the sun was setting so as soon as we righted ourselves, you could see the sun dropping behind the horizon, past a layer of clouds. The free fall was my favorite part. I don’t know how to describe it though. Your stomach doesn’t drop or anything. It’s like one totally awesome minute of floating.
At about 6000 feet, Dan, my instructor pulled the cord and deployed our parachute. We quickly saw Andrew dropping past us (his, um…increased mass helped him fall a bit faster) and did a series of spirals to speed ourselves up. I could have floated up there forever. We were flying.
The whole thing from leaving the plane to landing was only a couple of minutes but it was like nothing I’ve ever done before. We landed a nice soft landing in the middle of a field and watched as Andrew and Christina landed a few minutes later.
I’m glad we stuck around. Not only did we get to actually skydive, but we got to do it at an absolutely gorgeous time of day. Check one more thing off the bucket list.
I had my own personal photographer and videographer for the jump and he was super cool. His name is David and he quit his corporate IT job to do photography and videography full time. Apparently he even films the national skydiving team (because that is a thing). He did a great job with both the still shots and the video, but the video is probably the best. Check it out! (And thanks David, it’s awesome!).