I was required to jump tandem, which I am pretty sure was the best idea. Beforehand I basically signed my life over on a release form. It stated that if something went wrong and I happened to die during the experience, they were not liable.
Of course I accepted, like the wreck-less maniac that I can be sometimes. Next I observed the man who was both folding up my would-be parachute and casually drinking a beer at the same time. He was cracking jokes about how often he prepares the parachutes incorrectly. I am almost certain that all of the people involved with the establishment thought I was extremely nervous since I was not talking a whole lot. Truth be told, in my head I was already up in the clouds (although there was zero cloud coverage that summer day).
So we finally were inside of the very small airplane. It barely had room to fit the pilot, my tandem partner, the photographer, and myself. The climb was slow, which gave me plenty of time to get an eagle-eye view of the land below. I could see the mountains where the ski resorts are over 100 miles away!
The closer we got to our proper altitude the more I started to shiver. The temperature dropped rapidly and got well below freezing upon reaching 10,000 feet, it was 80 degrees on the ground that day.
Once it was finally time to jump, it finally hit me, I was looking over the edge with my feet hanging off. My eyes grew huge and my body nearly imploded with both excitement and fear. Before I could even fully react, my instructor had jumped us both of into a free-fall state. The feeling was euphoric, much more of an adrenaline rush than any roller coaster ride I had been on. My spine felt as decompressed as it had ever been. The wind was screaming in my ears so viscously. Somehow it was still pretty easy to move around, I thought there may be pressure that made it a tough task.
Then in the blink of an eye I was tapped on the shoulder, which was my signal to pull our parachute. All of a sudden I could somewhat hear again and felt the sound of myself screaming with joy and laughter. The glide back to the surface was in slow-motion, allowing me to yet again seek all that there was to offer from my view. I was mesmerized.
Once we finally got towards the ground I was told to keep my legs straight and raised, as we would be landing on our bottom first. It didn't hurt one bit, but I am sure we had grass stains. I quickly noticed that my hearing seemed totally different, which lasted the rest of the evening. It was similar to how your ears pop whenever you are driving up to a higher altitude than you are used to living. Except this was a whole new level, it was caused from speedily changing our altitude and was completely normal I was told.
All in all, this was an experience that I will absolutely never forget. I hope to one day do it again, perhaps over the ocean next time.
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