On my actual birthday, I get a text from my fabulous fiance Jason that he had booked my birthday gift and that I should be getting an email about it shortly. Of course, I was incredibly intrigued! All I had told Jason was I wanted something memorable for my 30th birthday and had given him no other clues. All by himself, he decided to help me mark off one of my bucket list items and booked both of us to go Skydiving — what a fantastic gift! I loved the fact that he thought this up and planned it out — perfect gift.
** Disclaimer — this a bit of a long post with lots of pictures, but hopefully you will enjoy it!
I was super excited about what Cinco de Mayo held for us. Friday night before we went, we were at dinner talking about skydiving the next day. Jason comments to me jokingly, ‘I hope you have a will.’ I then of course have a moment of panic. I start googling stats for skydiving and reading everything I possibly can. I do learn that tandem jumping is pretty safe with very few fatalities. The majority of fatalities occur from experienced jumpers who are taking risks. Luckily the 80-year-old grandmother who fell out of her harness occurred after I had already gone skydiving.
Saturday morning we woke up early, and drove about an hour to the hanger where we would be skydiving with Skydive Panama City. We had a nice drive up, then arrived there about 9:30.
We watched a video on safety and then met our tandem instructors. I was paired up with a chinook Army pilot who was close to his 20 years in the Army. He also had 3600 jumps with over 2000 tandem jumps. He put me at ease and explained how it all would go. Jason was paired up with a Marine recon guy, so that was nice. We got our harnesses on and headed towards our plane.
We were headed up in a Cessna plane with an Army Black Hawk pilot as our pilot.
Jason’s first two skydiving experiences were with a much bigger company, so he went up in a bigger plane with lots of skydivers. I loved that we were in a small plane that only had Jason and I, our two tandem instructors, and our young army pilot. I was crammed up in the front of the plane next to the pilot, where I was warned not to hit the knobs with my head — no pressure. I did feel my hair hit them a few times, so was a bit nervous. I also had a big guy (my tandem instructor) leaning on me and my leg pressed up against the door. Honestly thought it was a blessing in disguise, as I was focused on my poor leg rather than the fact that I was about to jump out of a perfectly good plane!
Jason on the other hand had lots of room — probably the best seat in the airplane!
Finally we reached altitude, and it was time to get attached to the tandem instructor as well as last-minute harness tightening (after the 80-year-old grandmother story I am very grateful for the tightening)!
After a few last minutes tips, it was time to open the door!
The scariest moment of the whole experience, was when I had to take my foot out and place it on the metal step over the wheel. Going 100 miles per hour, my poor foot was shaking and it took me a moment to get it on the step. It was in that moment that I thought what am I doing!!
Can I do this? At this point though there was no turning back!
It was time to jump! And off we go!!
From the moment we jumped out, I had an absolutely fantastic few minutes. I LOVED the free fall! We left the plane going 100 miles per hour, and reached about 125 miles during free fall. The feel of the air as you are jumping is amazing!
They tell you before jumping that if you feel like you can’t breathe it is because you aren’t breathing. I never experienced a feeling of not being able to breathe, but I think part of that was because I was so concerned with making sure I would smile at the camera. I wanted a fun picture! Go figure!
And I get a thumb’s up for doing a good job from my tandem instructor! Go me!!
I truly had such a great time during free fall! I know I have already said this, but it truly is an experience like nothing else I have ever experienced!!
One of the things I didn’t notice while free-falling was how much wind is hitting you and how it affects your skin! Look at my arms — it cracks me up to see these pictures!
After about 45 seconds to a minute, he pulled the parachute!
We then coasted easily down towards the hanger! The coasting was a very relaxing experience. It was so quiet up there and just totally peaceful! It was fun to see the ground from up here and feel and experience nature in a very different way!
We made it safely to ground. The landing was very easy, especially since I was expecting it to be a hard landing. I put my feet up and we just sort of sat down on the ground. Would I do it again? WITHOUT A DOUBT!!
Jason also had a great experience on his third time skydiving. He was allowed to help steer the parachute, so that was a ton of fun for him! It was truly a fantastic experience!
Here we are on solid ground after our skydive! We both had such a great time and couldn’t seem to wipe the smile off our face!
Thanks babe for the best 30th birthday gift. I look forward to more fun experiences with you!!!!
”A couple that plays together, stays together!’