Alas, another Jeeping with Dogs post that does not really involve the Jeep nor the dogs. On my list for a long long time was skydiving. Jeff is a trooper, he supports me in all my dreams, goals, and crazy misguided plans. Now “support” and “doing” are two different things. On the day of my scheduled jump, Jeff was excited to stay on the ground and watch my plunge to the earth. We went to Red Rock Sky Diving in Cottonwood. Life insurance paid up and camera at the ready. We had the opportunity to watch others complete their jumps and as a side note I suggest this. As they fall from the sky the view from the ground allows you to appreciate the speed at which they are falling as well as the height from which they are travelling. Two things, first I would absolutely do this again and second if I were to do this again I need to find something that would allow my ears to pop. The pressure from my ears caused me to feel a little nauseous and then after landing on the ground a little dizzy. But everything in between was pretty amazing.
This plunge was accomplished having a human that knew what they were doing strapped to me. The folks at Red Rock Sky Diving simply rock. He enforced the fact that I am in charge of the actually leap and it would be kind if I did not actually jump from the plane as doing so may cause him to strike the side of the plane and well, if he is unconscious neither of us would likely enjoy this adventure. So, it comes to my time to “jump” and the plane door is open. I would like to tell you that falling out of a plane is hard. It seems against everything our survival instincts should scream at your brain. Honestly, for me this was the easiest and kind of the best part. That leap of faith, the feeling of letting go, the ability to lay into the wind and just fall. There is the time from when you leave the plane and the parachute is not open. They instructed us on our body positioning. I have no idea what my body was doing honestly, I have no clue if my form was correct. The wind pushes you into whatever form it chooses and the guy was still attached, so I say my form was perfect! What I can tell you is this, I did not FEEL like I was falling. The speed at which I observed others, which I knew I must be doing myself, I did not feel at all. It felt more like the world was moving around me but I was not moving. It was breathtaking and kind of peaceful all at the same time.
We are going to take a side note here. We sprung for the video and pictures. At 20 I am sure all of these pictures would be acceptable, cool and maybe even a little funny. At 40 something, you will look and wonder where in the world all of that skin came from. It is some freaky stuff. I would spring for it again but I am telling you afterwards you will look in the mirror and think whoa. That is it, just whoa.
Back to my descent to earth. My life buddy pops the parachute any you kind of jerk up to a floating feeling. Yes this is the floating feeling. You can now look out and view the world. I have read that one of the words we shouldn’t use all the time is amazing. Fine. But let me tell you this feeling, this view, it is amazing. I kept saying it. Over and over. Now they can pull their ropes and guide us likely so we land at the approximate area. They can also make you spin. It was fun, like a roller coaster. We did it a few times and I would say Again! Now pressure builds up. In our ears and in our jump suits. At this point “the girls” are pressurized to the point of explosion. I have never felt such relief to be touched inappropriately. He glanced over my shoulder and whispers in my ear, “here let’s release them a bit” as he unzips my jumpsuit. I could have kissed him. Full mouth and tongue included. At this point the girls breathe a sigh of relief as they were, not exaggerating, sitting under my chin. Now they fall back to proper placement and I can actually breathe. Having never done this I didn’t realize that my ears would be so distressed. At this point I start to feel a little nauseous. I want my life buddy to know this, as well it would seem rude if I hurl on him. He advised me to lean over my shoulder if need be, good information to have. It was never needed but really good to know which way to lean as you don’t really want to upset the person in charge of your soft descent to earth.
We are coming closer to the ground, it is truly the best ride in town, and it lasts for quite a while and is worth the price of admission. They pretty much tell you to lift your legs as high as you can so they hit the ground running and you help them along. Some folks actually come in on their booties, but apparently there was a shift in the wind and the folks on the ground sent a couple over to assist in our landing. I personally thought our landing was pretty smooth, my legs were up and we hit the ground running with no slides. You know how you get sea legs? I think there are air legs too, as standing there for a few seconds I felt the need to sit. And reflect. What I can say is this, the weightless feeling, the leaning into the wind and just letting go is something that cannot be properly described. It was more than a physical experience for me, I wouldn’t go as far as calling it spiritual but maybe very personal.
Thanks Red Rock Sky Diving. The highest tandem jump in Arizona at 14,000′ Find them on the web here.