It happened again. I got something stuck in my head telling me I was a wimp. Why do I let these notions gnaw at me? I can only take so much of that. It was time to take steps.
I made an appointment to go skydiving. I arrived, ready to tackle any apprehension, at the Pepperell Airport in Massachusetts. At the sign-in desk, I asked about the experience of their team and was told they would set me up with a tandem partner who had done over 8,000 jumps. After watching a long video and reading a packet of pages all saying I agreed there would be no liability even if an employee intentionally caused me harm, I was ready to suit up. I was going to do a tandem jump with Alex and paid for a video of the event. That video proved to be a fortunate choice. Working the camera was Carl who joked and put me at ease the whole time. In my jumpsuit, I did my best runway model moves for the camera. Then we got on the plane and I was starting to feel good that I was finally doing this. After a couple of airborne minutes, we looked high enough to me. But the plane kept going up. I could feel myself starting to get nervous. Carl with the camera asked me if I was nervous, and I told him how they told me Alex had done 8,000 jumps. He assured me most of those were simulator jumps. That made me smile, and I needed that. We flew so far up. I wondered what it would be like to step outside from these heights. I didn’t know whether I would lose all composure or freeze up with fear; but when I stepped out sideways from the plane, I did just exactly what I had been told to do. So far so good. I started my 90 seconds of free falling, and I knew all was well when the Carl kept telling me to smile for the camera. Shortly after, I knew the parachute must be working when he kept telling me to smile for the camera. After the parachute opened, it was more like wind gliding. I got to steer over lovely vistas. Alex and I separated for the landing. I had asked about the different ways to land, and I decided to land in a seated position after all I had read about some people spraining an ankle when they didn’t run fast enough during the landing. That worked well; no sprained ankle. Then the wind turned and the parachute covered me while I was seated on the ground. To my mind, that was a bonus! They uncovered me. I was in a state of bliss. So fun. Do take a photographer on your first jump.
I remember my nephew saying, “You jumped out of an airborne plane when it wasn’t on fire? Why?” Gotta love it. —TMLL
“Skydiving is a rush. Doing it naked could be more of a rush, but it’s nothing I would ever consider.” —Jud Tylor
“It’s good to have a lot of once-in-a-lifetimes in your lifetime. If you get the chance to skydive, go skydiving. If you’re offered a part in a weird Shakespeare play in San Diego, slap on some tights and rock out some iambic pentameter.” —Neil Patrick Harris
TATTOO—Journeys on My Mind by Tina Marie L. Lamb is available at Amazon and BarnesandNoble and Apple’s iBooks.
Buy it. Read it. And let me know what you think.
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