For a long time now I’ve wanted to do a sky dive. A few people I know that have already done one have told me that it’s the most exhilarating feeling you can get, and me being a sucker for an adrenaline rush I’m quite surprised that at 29 I still haven’t done one.
Today is my mum and aunties birthday (they’re twins!) and I wondered for a moment if today was a good day to sky dive or not. If it goes to plan I’ll always have a reminder of the date I jumped out of a plane, and if it goes pear shaped.. Well, I’ll have doomed their future birthdays forever.
It’s my last day here in key west. I’ve had an awesome time and I really don’t think there are many places in the world that could beat this for a great skydiving backdrop.. So I’m doing it!
I drove Naomi & I 25 minutes up US-1 to Summerland Key (even the island name sounds cool right?) for my 12pm appointment, and arrived a good 20 minutes early. I didn’t want to be late but I also wasn’t planning to be this early, the nerves were already kicking in and I feared that waiting around may worsen them!! Luckily for me the guys there got straight down to business with their very informative and equally daunting video disclaimer. Sign here to sign your life away.. Pretty much
At this point I’m probably the most nervous. There is part of me raring to go and another part saying ‘do you really want to risk your life for this?’ especially after Naomi kindly reminded me of the famous Hollyoaks episode where the crazy lesbian cut her ex girlfriends parachute!! Luckily for me any crazy ass lesbians with hate for me were at least 4 thousand miles away!
I looked at Naomi and for a moment I put myself in her shoes. Would I want her to jump? Probably not. Would I want to sit for 20 minutes mulling over the ‘what ifs’ whilst she jumped out of a perfectly good areoplane. Definitely not.
But the part that was raring to go took control & spurred me into action, the chances of something bad happening were low and if I was ever gonna do this it would have to be as part of my #30things!
The staff at Skydive Key West were great, they had me kitted out and fully prep’d in no time at all and with a fleeting goodbye to my new fiancée I was in the plane and off the ground.
Seeing Florida keys from 2 miles above ground was spectacular. The island surrounded by green water and swirls of white sand were simply breath taking. There really is no beter way to see how beautiful the keys are than from the air! My instructor was ace. He was reassuring and gave me clear instruction as to what was coming next.
At 10,000 feet the door which I was sat right beside swung open and a rush of air came aboard our small aircraft. Me and my trusty tandem guy were practically sat on the lap of the pilot and 2 other guys had joined us on the flight to do a formation dive together at the same time as my dive. I bet that was awesome to watch!
I put my legs outside and adopted the position i’d been taught, arms crossed, head back, feet together….. And we were away.
Falling at over 130mph felt amazing. I can only compare it to when you’re on the front row of a white knuckle ride. And if you’ve done that, you’d be fine to conquer a sky dive! The difference is there is no track around you to give you that sense of security… Just the guy strapped to your back, whose hands currently hold your life. No biggie.
Before the idea that I was quite literally falling through the sky had fully registered I was hoisted upward by the parachute… Thank god for that, I thought. We glided through the air and the only sound was our laughter and claims of exhilaration. I can’t explain how peaceful it was up there.
That’s when he whispered… ‘Now you know how the birds feel’
We had fun, he taught me to ‘steer’ and we did some fast turns, right then left and back again… Those of you who get motion sickness probably would’ve been better opting out of that part!
I was quickly unbuckled and back with Naomi who had been waiting for me in the landing area, I was glad to see her that’s for sure, and I’m pretty sure she felt the same.
Skydive before I’m 30. Tick.