Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's not just about checking things off the list...

But, one of the things on my 101 things I want to do in my lifetime list was skydive.  Why?  I'm terrified of heights.  Remember the Alias TV series when they'd show the view from the city from the tall buildings?  Yeah, I'd get sick every time... had to look away to make that flipping feeling in my stomach disappear.  I could. not. handle it.  So the when/where/why skydiving ended up on my list, I'm really not quite sure.  All I know is that it's been there for a very long time.  And this seemed like the year to do it.  It might have had something to do with the end of year sale they were having... and as we all know, it is very tough for me to pass on a sale. 

Reva and I were going to do this together.  We were going.  And nothing was gonna stop us. 

The phone rang about 11:15.  One of the instructors was unavailable.  So instead of going up in the plane together, we would be going separately.  Wanna know why?  Because the other skydiver BROKE HIS WRIST.  She didn't tell us that on the phone though, that was something we got to find out after we arrived. 

It was a gorgeous day.  We enjoyed being outside and watching Zayah tear up the parking lot.  Two yuppies went before us so we got to watch (and wait).  It takes about 1/2 hour for the whole ordeal.  The waiting part really made things WAY more scary.  By the time it was my turn, I just wanted to get it over with.   They suited me up and I went with these two weird looking dudes I'd never met up into a plane 10,000 feet above the ground in some piece of hud plane. 

The yuppies were just leaving.  Why do I think they were yuppies?  Well maybe it was because as they were leaving, they gave a thumbs up sign and yelled MONEY to the skydiving instructor.

The word I am looking for now is Anyway...

The instructor goes through maybe, say 3 minutes of instruction, in the which I hear exactly .5 seconds of because the whole time he's yakking I am thinking 'am I really going to do this?'. 

We get up in the air -- which takes about 20 minutes.  At that point I am like COME ON ALREADY!!  Patience has never been a virtrue of mine... and it probably won't be for another oh... say 25-30 years, when I'm almost dead and there is nothing to be in a hurry for.  So we're up in the sky, and all of a sudden, the instructor whips open the door and I am looking straight down.  I'm supposed to get my leg out on the step.  The same step that I said to the pilot before we took off, 'is that step going to be there when we jump?' to which he responded, 'I sure hope so'.  The wheel of the plane was firmly attached to the step and I felt really super duper smart and intelligent at that moment.

It's time to jump now... the door is open, and I am trying to swing my leg out like he said.  Wait, did he say right then left or left than right -- which is my left anyway?  Suddenly you just become completely stupid because your mind can't process that you are actually going to JUMP OUT OF A FREAKING PLANE.  But the instructor, well he's ready to go and there is no turning back.  I finally get my leg on the step and then try to swivel the other leg and holy crap this is not happening and I had to shut my eyes.  And then we were falling.  And I'm trying to be a banana because the girl who signed us in made us get on the carpet and be a banana so I'm being a banana and I'm suddenly finding it hilarious that I'm flying through the air, being a banana but I'm still too terrified to laugh.  Then, the falling fast thing stops and there's a big jerk and suddenly we are floating... and everything looks beautiful and peaceful and it's so quiet.  And I'm trying to forget that there's this guy strapped behind me, who keeps asking me 'are you ok?' because I am breathless.  I'm also thinking about the landing.  Everyone has told me it doesn't hurt... but I'm like so you're skidding on the ground, with your BUTT.  How can that not hurt?  We get closer to the ground, and he tells me to get my legs up and land on my butt.  I do this... and then BAM BAM BAM BAM BAMMMMMMM... AND HOLY CRAP that was probably the only time I wanted to swear.  Because they lied! It does hurt and now I'm thinking about going to use the free chiropractor coupon that was sent to me in the mail.  I'm thinking no wonder he has grass stains on his butt.  I'm thinking why the crap would people want to do this over and over and over again.

And then it's over.  Just like that.  This little dream of mine to jump from a plane. 

My hair is the topic of conversation when I land.  Reva tries to run her fingers through it and says 'man, your hair is greasy - didn't you take a shower' to which I responded 'did you CATCH the part where I just fell out of the sky?'.  Your hair gets disgusting.  DISgusting.  And it was sticking up in all kinds of weird places. 

Reva was next.  And you know what?  That little turkey came down from the sky like a little ballerina.  There was no BAM BAM BAM BAM BAMMMMMM.  It was like 'pllllllink'.  She was done.  I was like how did you DO that?!

Zayah did not quite get that his mama was up in the air.  I kept pointing and he kept looking and he had this sweet confused look on his face.  He probably thought I was a bit crazy because WHY WOULD mama be up in the sky?  Mamas aren't supposed to fly!  

Next year for our birthdays, we will be doing a different thrill.  I'm not quite sure what it will be.  Maybe something like a knitting class or watching paint dry.  But whatever it is, it will be fun ...promise.

Zayah having a little separation anxiety, while we were being bananas.

Is solace anywhere more comforting
than that in the arms of a sister.
— Alice Walker, American writer.


  1. you are so brave! I can't believe you. Did it help you overcome your fear of heights?

  2. best post ever. I was laughing pretty hard. thanks.

  3. That's awesome! My mom and I have been wanting to skydive for years. Maybe we'll have to follow your lead and just do it already. Although I had no idea you had to drag your backside on the ground to land. WHAT!

  4. Some people didn't think jumping out of a plane on your birthday was your best idea ever, but hey, me? I agreed with them :( glad you got that out of your system. And No, Zayah cannot go next time.