Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Looking for Holes

Let me start from the beginning...I've always wanted to sky dive since I was a child. I thought it would be exhilarating and beautiful and that I would gain a different perspective of the earth and life itself. I would never have been able to express that at a young age like I can now, but it was something that always attracted me.

I finally decided to just do it and found a place about an hour away. I talked with people there and realized that I wanted to do a tandem jump because you could jump from a higher altitude. I attended the tandem jump class and afterwards it started to rain. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to jump but the guys told me to not worry that it would only rain for a short time and we would go up.

They barbecued during the rain and I ate the best hot dog of my life. :)

The rain stopped and the sun started to poke through the clouds. The guys kept staring up at the sky "looking for holes", which were basically big holes in the clouds where it was clear enough to jump through.

The clouds dispersed and a huge hole appeared. They started the plane. The plane was very small and reminded me of a crop duster. People piled into the plane and I was in the back with the instructor. I didn't realize at the time that I was in the back because jumpers before me would be jumping at lower altitudes.

We went to about 3 or 4K altitude and they opened the door of the plane. That was a new experience! I had never been in a plane where they opened the door. The jumper at the front made the sign of the cross and jumped out.

We kept gaining altitude and they opened the door again. This jumper looked back and smiled and then crawled down to the wing of the plane. He hung onto the wing for a bit, smiled up at us and then let go with a wave.

After about two more jumpers it was my turn. We were 13,000 feet above the earth (the photo was taken at 12,800 feet - it's not my photo but one I found taken at this altitude). The door was open and I remember how cold the air was. It was much colder than on the ground. I looked out at the expanse of earth and sky and did not feel worried. If anything I felt very relaxed and very calm. For the first time of my life I think I felt at peace.

The instructor asked if I was ready and I said yes (it is very important to say "yes" or you won't get to jump). He was behind me and we rocked forward...then back...then forward and fell into the sky.

It was incredible. The earth and sky were beautiful. I felt like I was flying. I didn't feel a lurch in my stomach and I had no fear. We were falling at 180 mph and I had never felt more free in my life. I distinctly remember thinking to myself..."and you thought you were broken...you're not...you're whole".

It was a very memorable and spiritual experience. I no longer look up at the sky in the same way. I always look for the holes.


Anonymous said...

I have always wanted to do this, but would back out every time. Maybe your experience will give me some much needed courage to try it out finally.

Anonymous said...

You are so brave - that is not something I would do at all. But I imagine it would be glorious to feel so free.

Anonymous said...

WOW. I'm glad you had so much fun.

It is so great how you went out and just did it, if you know what I mean. :)

Anonymous said...

hey...wow!! me too always wanted to do tht. u r lucky!

Anonymous said...

You're brilliant! How cool was that and you paint a beautiful picture.
I am going to a work function tomorrow and the dj allegedly plays our kind of music. When they play something from your list (Smiths maybe) I'll have a dance for you!

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