|Sky is the Limit for Me|
Just like everyone I know, I am overworked and underpaid. I am hardly ever home. I sneak into my bed around midnight and have to leave again by the crack of dawn. To make matters worse, in a month's time I will turn 30. This is not how I imagined my life would be five years ago. When I turned 25, I had a minor quarter-life crisis and wrote down a list of things I would like to do before I hit the big three-zero. That same list now mocks me from my bedside table. I have to start crossing off at least some of the ten adventures on the list and there's no better time to start than now.
|So, as the world slept, I began my search for someone to guide me through my first adventure - flying through the air like a free bird.|
I narrowed it down to three options - paragliding, hang gliding or, even better, skydiving. The third option appealed the most. Solo skydiving, however, is a specialised sport that is not recommended for novices like me. Instead, I was advised to attempt a tandem skydive. I was told that it would be just as thrilling and would be much safer as I would be harnessed to an instructor.
That was exactly what I wanted to hear but I have to admit that
a fairly serious case of first-time jitters was starting to set in.
To my surprise, there was a skydiving school about an hour away from where I live. Along I went to fill out the forms, which asked me a thousand questions about my health and previous illnesses. I also realized that tandem skydiving is a tad more expensive than going it alone because you pay for the instructor's time and expertise. Well, I thought, it's not every year you turn 30.
Phil, my designated instructor and guardian of my life, assured me that I was sufficiently (physically) fit to go on a tandem skydiving jaunt with him.
Whether I was mentally prepared at that moment was another matter. We settled on the following Saturday as 'D-Day' for my big adventure. By Friday night, my heartbeat seemed painfully loud, and I wondered whether I could actually go through with it. I hardly slept a wink that night, but, somehow, at 8am I was at the school's private airstrip. Phil couldn't stop smiling - I assume this was designed to reassure me and settle my nerves rather than to mock my obvious discomfort - as I suited up. My knees were knocking as I sat in the aircraft carrying us up to an altitude of 14000ft. I had my eyes shut tight as Phil inched me closer to the door of the plane. When my feet refused to obey his command, Phil, knowingly, took the initiative and helped me bid farewell to the plane. There I was - plummeting through the air like a bird but not quite so graceful. Even as I screamed at the top of my lungs with the air rushing furiously past my fears, I could feel a sense of exhilaration building up. There was hardly enough time to register the feeling of weightlessness before I could feel the tug at my harness. Time to flip open the parachute and glide down to terra firma, I figured. First blind panic, then wide-eyed awe gave way to a flooding relief as Phil released the parachute and we floated down to safety. By the time we landed, I was giddy with a sense of accomplishment.
Time to cross Tandem Skydive off my list. What's the next item on there? Bungee jumping of course - and I can't wait! - ExElement, United Kingdom
High Flying Adventures Flying Sports Skydiving Websites
Zorbing inside a Big Plastic Ball Bungee Jump Story