I turned on 29 on Monday, and like any other normal person, I celebrated this act of “leveling up“; however, unlike normal people, I did so by jumping out of a plane.
That’s actually what I told my tandem instructor – Nick – when he asked me why I’m attempting skydiving on that day – “Well, it’s my birthday today, and I thought – what better way to celebrate than to plunge to my death?” And he immediately took a step back and said, “Whoa, girl. That’s not going to happen today.”
To say I was terrified would be an understatement. As Nick and the accompanying photographer spoke to me and asked me questions, I could only offer one word answers and nod, tight-lipped at everything they said. Nothing against them, because they were just the sweetest, but I was SCARED AS HELL. I nearly tripped as I climbed into the plane out of which we would be jumping.
I was the last person on the plane, meaning I saw everybody drop out like discarded cargo out the open door. Nick did in fact end up pushing me out the door, because I could feel myself resisting him as zero hour approached.
The first few moments were both the best and worst part of the entire thing. That initial confusion and struggle to orientate yourself with your surroundings, followed by that realization that you’re in fact falling out of the sky… I cannot even put into words how exhilarating it all was. We had a whole minute of free fall, during which the photographer kept flying around us and I had to find time between my screaming to smile at the camera.
Then the parachute was pulled, and we had about 10 minutes of floating lazily in the air while Nick pointed out landmarks and chatted with me (probably to ease my nerves). I asked him how many times he’d jumped that day, and he said, “Seven times. And it’s not enough.”
Before I jumped, I couldn’t wait to get it all over with, but now that I’d experienced it first-hand, I could really understand why it wasn’t enough. By the time we touched softly on the ground, I was ready to hop on a second plane – except I was seriously nauseous for the first few moments I nearly forgot to thank Nick, because I was grateful, so incredibly grateful for the experience.
I was on an adrenaline high for the rest of the day and the day after as well. I wanted to walk up to every person I saw and tell them I’d just jumped out of a plane. When I saw my pictures and video I could not even believe that was me flying around in the air. It was so surreal. But you know something? It was also so liberating. It made you feel like you could do anything, no joke. People at work were calling me the Jumper and Zen 2.0, and I did feel different. There is so much I want to do, and now that I’ve basically defied death, I can’t wait to get started.
Have you sky-dived before? Would you consider it? Now that I’ve done this crazy thing for my 29th, what do you think I should do for the 30th landmark?
P.S. There are more pictures and videos on my Instagram!