Anita Recommends, Sports & Adventure, Travel, United States
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The day I jumped out of a plane

So one thing that didn’t figure on my wishlist was jumping out of a plane. Many, many thousand feet off the ground. Diving into the deep ocean is quite an adventure, and I’ve done it several times now, but if someone asked me if I wanted to jump out of a plane (till two weeks ago) I would probably say what most sane people say: “Are you crazy?!”

But this was something the better half wanted to do. And of course, the supportive spouse that I am, I decided he couldn’t possibly do this alone.

Let me make one thing clear though. There’s no way I was going to jump out of a plane on my own. Thankfully, they don’t allow that either. Until you log a respectable number of jumps. And yes, yes – there was a parachute involved and a very nice instructor called Ricco, who kept up the conversation and made sure I was relaxed and ready, as our little plane took off the runway.

So this is what it felt like. And it’s really difficult to put in words. But I’m going to try so you can decide whether this is one adventure you want to indulge in.

As the plane soars higher, everything gets smaller and smaller. And the realization hits you that once that plane side door opens, you have to jump. The only consolation is that it’s with another human being for security – your instructor.

The moment actually came sooner than later. There were around 6 of us on the plane. With an equal number of instructors. And as luck would have it, I was the first in queue. It took hardly 10 minutes or so to be up at the height – I think it was around 10,000 feet. The door opened. I thought I’d get some kind of a speech from my instructor, but not really. No time for dilly dallying. The instructor asked me to hang my legs out. And then said “now”.

That’s it. We’re out. Falling. Very fast.

Free fall is a scary and yet exhilarating feeling. It also feels like forever. I think I screamed. A lot. Everything whirred and we were moving at around 120 mph towards the ground. I don’t think I’ve ever moved that fast on the ground (my car doesn’t go half as fast ;-)).

After what seemed like an eternity, but was actually a few seconds, there was a tug and the instructor tapped me telling me I could relax. Phew… I saw the huge parachute opening above us. And one thing you do in these moments is say a silent “thank god” – that’s one device you don’t want failing at this juncture.

After free fall, life slows down and you get the view of the earth below. This is when I started to take it all in. Wishing it would never end. The world looks gorgeous. Green everywhere and since this was fall season, different colours dotting the landscape making it even more beautiful. I think I said “this is awesome” around ten times to Ricco. Who I guess is used to these outburst of expressions (he’s been doing it for 8 long years!).

Our sky diving experience at the DC Tandem Sky Diving Center

Our sky diving experience at the DC Tandem Sky Diving Center, Warrenton

I totally enjoyed these few moments up in the air. It’s so quiet and serene. It’s a feeling like no other. (But then I say that for everything new I try!).

If you like a heart-in-the-mouth experience, and don’t mind letting go of your fears for a few minutes, I would highly recommend jumping out of a plane. Just make sure you do it with a reputable school with experienced instructors.

And I still look back and think, “gosh, did I really do it?!”

*This is where we did our sky diveTandem Sky Diving


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