A few years ago I turned the BIG 50 and before that I had always told my kids that I would love to jump out of a plane (tandem of course). How greatly surprised I was when they gave me my birthday present before I had my birthday and yip you guessed it…. A paid day at the tandem skydiving joint! So here I was, a week before I turned the grand BIG one, on my way to the airport in Witbank (in South Africa) to do the jump. I felt as calm as can be on the way there. Then we got closer and suddenly it dawned on me…. I was going to jump out of a plane with nothing but a parachute to keep me from falling to my doom. Then the waves of nerves hit me!
We arrived at the small airport and it was a hive of activity. People walking around and getting ready for their jump. As we arrived there was a good few on their way down already and the chutes looked like floating dandelions from afar. Slowly they came closer to the ground and it was a sight to see. Off I went to sign up and get weighted and then I was assigned to a jumping instructor (my tandem) and was given the run down on what to do and all that jazz. My blue jumpsuit was a tad big due to the fact that i am only 1.56m in height. Then all of a sudden it was time, my time to head off down the runway towards the waiting plane. Hells Bells but the nerves hit and all i could do was smile and give that nervous laugh every now and then.
Then we were off into the blue sky, climbing higher and higher. The world grew smaller and smaller and then it was the go ahead for the jump. Man, oh man, then I was screwed! No backing out now, I was attached to my tandem instructor and we edged towards the open door of the plane. Then it was whoosh and we were out of the door. I can’t explain the feeling of being thrust into the open like that. The immense pressure that shoots up and catches you on your chest. I felt that I was going to burst! I couldn’t breathe! The fact that my face was all smooshed by the G-force was another thing. It felt like my cheeks were flapping in the wind! Then just as I couldn’t handle the pressure anymore suddenly i was pulled upwards as the parachute was opened.
Oh My Word!!! That was what it was all about! I was Flying without wings! It was The Most Amazing Feeling in the World! Hanging up there and looking down, seeing the others floating gently towards earth. My guy took the long route down for me, we went this way, then a yank of the cord and we went that way. It was awesome, that free feeling of weightlessness as you floated downwards towards Mother Earth. All to soon the ground was rushing up towards us. Legs up and we were down!
What a rush! Would I do it again! Oh hell yes! To those who have done it before you will know that feeling that rushes through your body, through your veins. To those who haven’t…. you haven’t lived until you do it. It makes you realise that if you can conquer this you can do anything you set your mind to.