The Text Message
My husband Michael has been jumping out of perfectly good airplanes for over 40 years.
Me? Never once!
We’ve talked about my jumping a tandem, but I have a rather overwhelming fear of heights so I wasn’t too eager about trying it.
Then, Halloween Day, as I’m preparing to mow the lawn, Michael sends me a text message from the drop zone, asking me if I wanted to go skydiving!
I replied I was scared, but if I didn’t do it – I would regret it.
“Yes, I’ll do it!”
Michael was thrilled!
Capital City Skydiving
Once I signed my life away, signing a multipage waiver, Rob, one of the owners of Capital City Skydiving, prepared me with a tandem mini-lesson.
I am the tandem passenger who would be strapped to the tandem master, Mike Cyr, “Macko”.
Rob explained the process of a tandem jump, then demonstrated positioning – arching my back, head back, hands crossed over chest, legs together, knees bent. I then practiced these steps.
Next, Rob brought me out to the plane and explained how we would be sitting, and how I would exit the plane.
*Load #2 photo – Rob was initially my tandem master, but Macko was called in so Rob could continue with other responsibilities on the ground.
It was time to start preparing to enter the plane! There, on the chair is the tandem passenger harness – that would hold my life in its fabric embrace! As I prepared, I found myself in this weird calm. I stayed in the present moment – not allowing myself to think about what I was about to do – so I wouldn’t scare myself out of it!
Macko, the tandem master arrived, and it was time to suit me up in the passenger harness!
I can see fear in my eyes!
Interview Before I Enter the Plane! It’s Not Too Often I Am Speechless….
View From the Plane
Preparing Before the Jump
This is a fun part of the experience, especially when your tandem master is cute! I transition from sitting between Macko’s lap to onto his lap – my butt tucked firmly into his groin – as he straps me tightly to him. Many jokes are made during this moment…. as you can imagine… hee hee….
My Jump From the Plane
The scariest part of my jump was:
- When the plane door opened at 11,000 ft and wind rushed in,
- The initial exit from the plane as I hung my legs outside the plane – the only thing stopping me from plummeting to my death was the passenger harness attached to Macko, and
- The heads down before leveling out on our belly. You can see in Macko’s video my absolute terror transition to pure joy!
The feeling is beyond amazing!! The line from Macko’s tandem parachute is called a Drogue Chute- this slows the speed of the tandem free fall to enjoy the flight!
What made this jump so meaningful for me is that I was sharing this experience with Michael. I was participating, joining him in this sport that has been his lifelong passion. ❤️
Under Canopy – The Parachute Ride
I have my focused face as I’m taking everything in around me!!! I was absolutely overwhelmed. We did a turn to the right and a turn to the left! It was exhilarating!!
Cameraman, Jesse’s Landing
Feet Back On the Ground!
I was still compartmentalized – meaning my overwhelming fear that I had overcome to actually complete the jump – had me in a state of shock. As I write this blog, I’m still processing. I experienced absolute terror as I have never had in my life – that transitioned to absolute joy.
Michael is already talking about us spending a winter at a drop zone in Arizona.
It would be there I would learn to skydive.
I can feel the fear, it is still in my chest. I haven’t overcome it completely. But there is something thrilling, very compelling about having the confidence it takes to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
Staff wore masks as required/needed. Michael and I are in the same bubble.