If the airplane is functioning just fine, what else is there to do but jump out of it?
When Rick was alive, we decided to go skydiving for our 40th birthdays. His would have been this upcoming September 11th. His brother, sister, and mine and Rick's friend Missy all wanted to follow through with our plans and honor Rick's memory. Today, I went skydiving for the first, but hopefully not the last, time. Wow. I have been psyching myself up for it since we booked the jump. I felt pretty excited with a healthy dose of frickin' terrified. When we got there this morning, excitement was pushing that little terrified dude to the back of my brain. I was bouncing off the walls to go. Here's me, grinning like a fool, harness on and ready to go.
That's Bharat with me. He's a nice guy from work. We had a group of guys from my work as well as some of my family and friends jumping.
Then we went up in this teeny, tiny, itty bitty plane. It was like one of these:
No big deal. The four of us (two instructors, plus two jumpers) were shoved in there pretty tightly, but the mood and gorgeous scenery made up for it. After climbing up into the air for about two miles, it was time to hook in with our instructors. No biggie. I was still ready to go, filled with anticipation. Then Bharat's instructor opened the door, got Bharat into position, and BAM! they were gone. Just like that. At that point, I focused my bugged out eyes on the blank spot where Bharat used to be. I think that was when I decided that maybe this was not the best idea I've ever had. Yeah, I was flippin' TERRIFIED. This picture is me, hiding my terror behind what was supposed to be a happy, jaunty wave and comes out more like, "WTH did I sign up for?":
(notice the death grip on the harness with the hand that is not pretending to be jaunty and happy). Seriously, WTF was I thinking?!? Daniel didn't give me much time to decide. He hustled my chubs to the door, where I steadfastly refused to look down and did just what they told me to do: I stuck my head back against his shoulder. This is me, less than 10 seconds into that first freefall, realizing that my terror was all for naught and this was going to be one of the very best experiences of my life:
We're already planning the next trip. Try it. You will like it.