SKYDIVING, TAKE 2
I went skydiving for the second time yesterday and can't help but think back to my first jump three years ago. Yesterday and my first dive are so different and yet they are both so special to me. I think I have told my first skydiving story a hundred times, probably because it was one of my favorite surprises Tanden has ever done. If you have yet to hear it then here you go:
August 16, 2015 Tanden and I were driving over to Seattle for a little weekend getaway. Just shy of a month until we were about to get married. Tanden said we needed to make a quick stop to fill up on gas, I thought nothing of it. He then asks me if there is anything I want to do before we get married, I just sit there looking at him trying to think if there is anything. I come to the conclusion that no there is nothing I feel the need to do before we tie the knot. He smiles and says what about skydiving? My eyes doubled in size (i'm sure) as I say.. wait really? He tells me to look to the right and there I read the sign "WEST PLAIN SKYDIVING". I remember my heart racing, butterflies in my stomach, and feeling so nervous. In fact to this day I don't think I have ever felt that way before! In case you are unaware I am super scared on heights, l don't know if this stems from my clumsy childhood being tall and uncoordinated but it has stuck with me into adulthood. However I had told Tanden throughout our dating relationship that someday I really wanted to try skydiving. You might be thinking wait I thought you JUST said you were really scared of heights? Something I decided a long time ago is I never want my fear of heights (or anything for that matter), to stop me from living my life to the fullest. I know my limits so I make sure I am not putting myself in a reckless situation but the more I conquer these fears the easier it becomes. It probably helps that I have major FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out, which by the way I learned what that meant a few months ago which makes me feel really old!).
So we get out, have a quick rundown of what is about to happen and then off we go in the airplane. Tanden's instructor kept telling these skydiving jokes that were making me even more nervous and sick to my stomach. My instructor on the other hand was the cool summer camp counselor type, he dove with his flip flops on (tied a rubber band around his toe and the sandal). He was super relaxed, cant even remember how many times he had jumped but I think it was in the thousands. The plane ride up was absolutely nerve racking, I was so scared. It looked like duct tape was holding the whole thing together. I remember thinking why did I agree to this insanity? Ot seemed like we had been climbing forever until it was finally time to jump. We inch our way up towards the door, I look down towards the dirt fields, my stomach drops and then so do we. Spinning around, can barely tell the difference between the earth and the sky. It was smokey from all the fires so it was hard to see, hard to tell how far we had to fall still. When he finally pulled the shoot I remember feeling relief, a bit nauseous, and so proud of myself! I had just jumped out of an airplane! We had a graceful landing and I ran over and hugged Tanden who had jumped first. I really did love my first time skydiving,I love that it was a surprise, that I didn't have time to freak out about what I was doing, the feeling of accomplishing the nerves,and that adrenaline rush that is nearly impossible to replicate!
Fast forward to yesterday on skydiving round two and it couldn't be more different! We were at a different location, Priest Lake Idaho, with a completely opposite terrain. Trees, mountains, and lakes versus farm land with nothing but dirt for miles. This time was not a surprise which was obviously a huge difference. Tanden had also organized a large group of friends and a few family members to join in the fun. I can honestly say I was barely nervous, I think I was just more excited for our friends and family who were there with us to dive for the first time! Seeing their excitement, nerves, and then pure joy once they landed made me forget about the fact I was jumping out of a plane!
We were the second group to go that morning and it was defiantly not as nerve- racking as the first time. We got to watch Tanden's sister and our brother in law jump right before us and then we were up, no time to think about it! Hop in the plane and we are off again! My brother Dane was out of the plane and then we had to do one more loop around since we had gotten too far from the land zone. The door was open and Tanden is squatting down, his feet partially off the edge as we circle back, the ride of a lifetime his instructor says! The air is freezing with the door open but before you know it Tanden and his instructor are out and now it my turn. We jump and the views are breathtaking, or maybe the fact we are free falling at 120 MPH takes my breath away. Regardless, having trees, mountains, and the lake to look at was a huge distraction and made me feel like I wasn't so high up. I was able to gauge our height and location from the mountains especially since I am really familiar with that area. We land, a few friends and family at the bottom smiling and waving and that was it, Skydiving, take two!
Yesterday was so fun to be able to share that moment with people I care about. I love how different my two times skydiving have been and I love that I went again even though in that moment when you are sliding up on the bench, staring down at the ground from 12,000 feet up you think to yourself, am I insane for jumping out of an airplane? but then, you do it anyway!