Are you an Adrenaline Junkie? Well, high five! This blog is special and something very close to my heart. My first tandem jump! It had been on my bucket list since forever and finally, I took the leap of faith!
I have always been scared of heights, in fact, I still am! But I have always wondered what it would be like, to fly! I was always fascinated by the airplanes and sometimes during my work trips I would look out of the window and secretly hope something would go wrong and I would get to jump off the plane on a parachute. I would always ponder how the situation would be if I had to use the life jacket below my seat and jump into the ocean. Luckily for me, skydiving happened before that, so I have stopped letting the silly thoughts get the better of me!
I planned to visit the amazing New Zealand (and before I even booked the flight tickets, I booked the slot to skydive). It was December, a bright sunny day and as they call it, a perfect day to dive! We (all the divers) reached the Nzone Skydive Queenstown in New Zealand. They say it’s one of the best jumps in the world, especially because you get to see the mountains, the lakes, and varied landscapes at the same time.
I had to go through a lot of paperwork where you basically sign your life away and waive the liability of any mishap (injury or death). So I signed the waiver that read I take full responsibility for my life. Once this was done, we had to board a bus to the location. The drive to the jump location was nerve-wracking for me. My heart was pounding, my hands were clammy and I was extremely scared. I could feel myself preparing my psyche and my body to go through this inevitable choice.
We reached the diving point before time, obviously because I was super excited and super nervous at the same time (I wanted to check if people were dying so that I could reconsider my decision and head back to the hotel). But the vibe at the location just ignited my soul with passion. Just so that I could get rid of my fear, I decided to click pictures before the dive, so that I could pep myself up. I started happily clicking and behaving as if it was the last day of my life!
I finally had to step up and get ready for the dive. I got into a jumpsuit which was harnessed by my instructor, Mia. I felt a strange crunch in my stomach. I was finally going to jump off an airplane! Once I was dressed, Mia took my interview and told me all about the dive, the position I was to take, how we needed to jump from the plane on the count of 3! She made it seem as if it were a walk in the park. She made me feel at ease and kept talking as if we were two long lost friends. When we got on the plane, which barely contained 8 of us and a pilot, a feeling of surrender came over me. My instructor tied me to herself and that’s when I told myself, “It’s okay, there is someone with me, if not for my life, she will definitely be worried about hers!”
So when the plane took off, the whole thing became somewhat surreal. We could see the town becoming smaller and smaller. I had signed up for 12,000 feet, but due to some technical glitch, I landed up diving from 16,000 feet! It was both terrifying and exhilarating! There came a point where I wanted to tell my instructor that I wouldn’t jump, I would just take the plane ride and happily go down with the pilot. But then I told myself, either it’s NOW, or NEVER!
A lot of people think they’ll pass out. Well, they don’t. Often, fear of skydiving just echoes the fear of the unknown. Sure, skydiving is scary–but it’s the kind of managed risk that gives you the adrenaline rush.
Remember: “Not knowing how you’ll feel is okay. The important part is that you try.”
Heart was literally in my mouth! (lucky for me, I didn’t drop it!)As the doors of the plane opened, I watched with peace in my heart. When it was our turn to dangle our feet out of the plane, moments before jumping, my system moved into some kind of numbness. I think the fear was just too overwhelming and I petrified. As soon as we jumped, the whole experience shifted into ecstasy. I did not have a feeling of falling, even though we were plummeting at god knows how many miles an hour. A feeling of AWE took over me as I looked all around and saw the beautiful lakes, mountains and the earth below me. We were in free fall for about 60 seconds, but it felt more like 10 seconds. Although, there was a moment when I felt I was going to choke and these were the last few seconds I had and it was finally time for me to say goodbye to my loved ones, it was still one of the best experiences I have ever had!
When Mia pulled open the parachute, there was a lot of jerking but I got a sigh of relief. I truly enjoyed the silence and beauty around me, I could feel the cold breeze across my face. It was so soothing, words are not enough to express the feeling. We swayed for a couple of minutes. When Mia and I landed, it took a while for me to feel the earth below me and my first words soon after landing were “Whoa! I am alive!”
I read somewhere – Any idiot can fly a plane but it requires a special kind of idiot to jump off a plane! Let’s all pledge to be that idiot once in our life! I am so glad I lived my dream and overcame my fear! This is an experience I will carry to my grave! Hope this inspires you to always follow your dreams! Cheers!
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