2018 is a big year for both my dad and I. I celebrated my 25th birthday in March and he turned the big 5-0 in June! Our bucket lists contain many forms of adventure, but skydiving has always been at the tippy top. So, as a surprise for his 50th birthday, I booked my dad and I a trip to East Stroudsburg to jump out of a perfectly good plane with Sky's The Limit . My Grandma was NOT happy.
I drove home to visit my parents (using Father's Day as an excuse) on Friday and my dad had it in his head that we would spend Saturday fishing and making s'mores at our family's camper. Clearly, he was in for a shock. I gave him a birthday card that said what the REAL plan was and he was so excited.
Though I wasn't aware of the long wait we would have (we spent about 4 hours sitting around) before we were actually able to jump, the experience was beyond worth it.
As first time divers, we were required to jump tandem. (Thank God. I have a tendency to pass out in public places, and if I had had to pull my own cord, who knows what would have happened!) We watched a safety video which featured an instructor who looked as if he could have been the leader of an early-90's cult (sorry Bill! It's the beard) and got into our not-required, but totally fashionable jumpsuits.
We each had our own photographer/videographer to capture our day and help to make sure that if we DID pass out, at least we'd be able to watch our experience back!
When it comes to heights, I've never really had any sort of major fear. I've flown cross-country, ridden crazy rollercoasters, and jumped off of cliffs into cold water. I'm not big on climbing rickety ladders, but big drops just simply don't bother me. But, when we boarded the little plane that would take us up to our jumping altitude, I can't deny that my hands were sweating.
I jumped first and it honestly wasn't scary at all! Before your parachute is pulled, the wind is blowing so hard up against your body that you don't even feel like you're falling. My instructor, Tony, and I did a few spins and then pulled the cord to release the chute and slow us down.
Once you transition from freefalling to floating, it is dead quiet. I took my goggles off and was able to have a full conversation with Tony. I can't remember ever feeling so free. When you're above the world, looking down on it, everything seems so small. There are no deadlines or worries and you can just...breathe. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I feel so lucky to have been able to share this experience with my dad and would highly recommend everyone give it a go at least once in their lifetime! My only suggestion is to take medicine ahead of time! Our ears didn't fully clear out for weeks!
Check out our videos below (don't judge my flapping face) and let me know if you decide to jump!