DC Sky Dive Adventure!
Some friends and I recently risked our lives, for a little fun and adventure by jumping out of a tweeny-weeny-wittle-barely-5-passenger-plane at 11,000 feet.
We drove about an hour outside of D.C. to the rolling farmland of Warrenton, Virginia. Arriving at the skydiving location, I immediately felt an exhilarating chill travel up my spine as I heard the first plane take off.
I was a little surprised at the informality of the place. The “sky diving center” was in a barn, the runway was made of grass, and the workers were lounging around playing hacky sack and hula hooping. Comforting? No. But hey, I signed up for an adventure and this place was surely playing the part. And I really can’t complain, as I only paying around $100 (regular price $250) through living social for this deal.
After initialing 500 waivers, pledging my life to the skydiving gods and forfeiting all my independent rights to DC Skydive, we had our “training session”. If you’re wondering why I placed “training session” in quotes, here’s why. Our training session lasted for about 5 minutes and went over only one aspect of the jump…the safety position. The safety position requires you to lean back on your partner and arch your back, so they can pull the dummy chute slowing your fall from 170 mph to 120 mph. All be it, I agree the safety position is extremely important, but my inquisitive mind was left asking, “What about the other 7 minutes of the fall?”
While waiting for our turn to jump, we played around practicing our safety position, asking our partner jumpers 345785 questions, and watching other sky divers safely land on the ground. With each take off, we came closer and closer to our jump and I became more and more antsy.
And then finally it was time for Brian and I to depart for our free-falling adventure.
Flying up to our jumping altitude in a plane with an engine the size of most lawn mowers, my partner Patrick, became more and more ambitious about our jump, wanting to do flips, spins, and most scary of all he wanted me to pull the cord to the parachute!
A panic attack erupted in my head. All the possible consequences raced through my mind, “Oh you mean that little cord that deploys the parachute…You know that verrrrry important thing that we’re attached to that prevents both of us from plummeting to our deaths…you want me to pull that…OH NO. BIG. DEAL. “ EEEKKK!
You better believe I asked God for forgiveness of all my sins on that plane ride up.
When Patrick opened the door to the plane, my first gut instinct was to latch on to what ever I could. He literally had to yank my death-gripped hands off the doorway of the plane. I knew there was no hitting the abort button when Patrick began rocking back and forth. In an instant Patrick had jumped and I was free falling through the air, doing flips, spins, and saving both our lives by pulling the cord. It was amazing how quickly 6,000 ft went by during my free fall, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re falling at 120– 170 mph.
The best way I can describe the sensation is, imagine riding on the fastest roller coaster you’ve ever been on and multiple that by 100.
After our parachute deployed, we coasted for about 5 minutes down to the ground. I just loved this part! The scenery in Warrenton, Virginia was quite lovely. All I could see for miles and miles was green farmland.
From doing all the flips and spins I became pretty nauseous. Landing on the ground, I tried my best not to show my last meal. I instantly understood why those ecstatic dare devils they advertised on their website were so ecstatic. Like me, they were happy to be back on the ground!
With adrenaline racing through my body, I knew this was one of those crazy, once in a lifetime experiences. If asked to describe my fall in one sentence I would have to say, “Sky diving is pretty darn awesome, in a most terrifying way!!”
I may one day work up the courage to sky dive again, but for now I’m just fine staying on the ground.
Another adventure crossed off my bucket list!
I went skkkky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing…no, actually just sky diving. Sorry Tim.