If you’ve read my previous post about emotionally letting go, here’s a little something about my actual experience skydiving…
Jumping out of a plane is something I wanted to do since I was little girl. Why? I have no idea, it always looked fun. And it was … Fun, exhilarating, breathtaking, awesome, but also a little overhyped and underwhelming. No offense.
I was going through a tough time — still am — when my coworker asked if I wanted to go skydiving with her. We were offered a friends & family discount at Skydive Hawaii, located on the North Shore of Oahu at Dillingham Airfield, so I couldn’t say no. On the day of, I woke up early — I had to be there at 8 a.m. — told my parents I was going to the beach (they would have never allowed me to go), texted my cousin to let her know where I was actually going just in case I did, you know, die, and headed to the North Shore.
Once there, we were all taken into a room to watch some outdated safety videos about how to jump out of the plane, risks, etc. Then we had to sign about 30 liability forms, each of them emphasizing that we may die, be maimed or seriously injured (catch my HP reference there?). I got a little scared signing my life away but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.
We proceeded to put on our harnesses — which, don’t worry, are supposed to fit loosely — and met our instructors. Instructing took about 5 minutes and when mine asked if I had any questions, I responded, “No, but please don’t let me die.”
About a 12 of us got onto a tiny airplane and took off, just like that. I love being on an airplane — even this one, which was extremely loud since the door was open for most of the ascent. We were up in the air, flying over Mokuleia, Kaena Point and could even see Yokohama Bay when we get word that the weather conditions weren’t safe and that we needed to land.
Ugh, I’m never going to get to skydive, I thought.
We landed, took a ~20 minute break and voila! Reason #1 why I love Hawaii’s bipolar weather, the sky cleared up and we got the OK to take off again. This time, going a different route, flying right over the Pacific Ocean which offered views of the Waianae mountain range and the North Shore’s huge winter sets. I think I was the second one to jump, and jumping out was probably the scariest part. I remember inching my way — no, getting nudged by my instructor — closer and closer to the open door, screaming “NO!” inside of my head but also peeking out the door, and a second later, I was free-falling from an airplane 14,000 feet in the air, feeling the cool breeze and my ears flap as if I were Dumbo, and then, I spread my arms wide and I was free.
During that one minute of free fall, I forgot about everything going on in my life at the time. I forgot about how much I had been hurting, how much my life was about to change. In that instant, I was happy, I was flying, I realized that I was made to jump out of airplanes, and maybe fly them someday.
And then my parachute opened and I jerked awake to a slow descent.
That’s it? I thought.
Yup, that was it. Now we were floating at cruising altitude, which was of course beautiful, but it was then that all of my thoughts came rushing back. Reality set in. And that’s life. You jump, you let go, you take the good with the bad, and appreciate the beautiful because in the blink of an eye, it’s gone.
At least the pictures came out amazing 😉