Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Skydiving - An Adventure of A Lifetime

Weeks before September 18, which was my birthday, I had been thinking, scouting ideas and really wanted to try something new, exciting, and different to make my birthday a memorable one, so when my colleague from work suggested the idea of skydiving, without much hesitation, I went ahead and signed up!

Tandem skydiving or tandem parachuting refers to a type of skydiving where a student skydiver is connected to a harness attached to a tandem instructor. The instructor guides the student through the whole  jump from exit through freefall, piloting the canopy, and landing. The student needs only minimal instruction before making a tandem jump with the instructor. 

I was so excited that morning that I arrived 30 minutes ahead of the group at Skydive Miami, in Homestead, Florida. I registered and paid $358 for Extreme Tandem + photo and video package. Upon registration, the receptionist asked me to watch a video detailing the risks, the legal clauses of what I was getting into, and I was asked to sign liability waiver. There were a lot of things in the video but what I understood was, I agree that in doing the tandem skydive - I can possibly get seriously injured or I can even die and my kins cannot file a lawsuit or claim against them if unfortunate things will happen to me...super scary!!! 

After registration, we proceeded for a brief orientation then we were geared up with the expert assistance of the instructors. A small 15- seater Cessna plane landed close to the facility where we waited for almost 2 hours and immediately after we were called to board the plane with our instructor and photographer/videographer. It started with a 15 minutes plane ride up to 13,500′ AGL (above ground level). While inside the plane, a lot of things came to my mind...I was a little bit tensed but I have decided long before the trip that I am going to do it no matter what. Fear will not hold me down! 

And finally it was time to jump off the plane, a very exhilarating free fall at 120 mph – 180 mph for up to 60 seconds, I didn't have time to think of my fear and nervousness anymore and I just went with the flow! We did ''Body Surf" wind, we did controlled turns, speed diving, and burn up the sky. Then, the quick pull of the ripcord, I enjoyed a quiet and peaceful 5 – 7 minute parachute flight with a spectacular bird's eye view of Miami and The Everglades National Park. Then a very smooth landing capped the whole experience.

It was adrenaline-filled birthday celebration and an adventure of lifetime for me. It will certainly take some time before I will do something of that magnitude. Something that is really daring enough to surpass that experience. I can't think of any at this point but hopefully I will be able to come up with a better idea before my next birthday comes.^_^