I don’t think we realize how much we take for granted that the ground we’re walking on is actually right under our feet.
13,000 feet up… …it’s sortof … not… right under your feet. And it wasn’t really until I was sitting at the edge of the open plane, dangling my feet into the 60-70knots wind and looking down at the ground that I thought, “Damn, was this really a good idea?” But by that point it’s too late and you’re out the door and everything is silky smooth.
A lot of people think that you’d get that roller-coastery nauseous-stomach-doing-flips type feeling as you’re freefalling. I have to say, that was not the case.
I did a tandem jump at Jump Raeford in Raeford, NC yesterday. It was my dad’s birthday and what better way to spend a birthday than jumping out of a plane. It was absolutely one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had, scuba diving all over the northern hemisphere included.
Once we were out of the plane and oriented towards the ground with the drogue ( the mini-parachute that helps you maintain stability ) deployed, air and altitude were screaming in my face and it was phenomenal. I kept feeling like my goggles were going to come off and I was a little preoccupied with keeping them on, but other than that, it was a good 55 seconds spent yelling into the face of gravity and god, enjoying a feeling of not caring about anything but simply experiencing… being… existing. Not a single line of code entered my mind… not a single idea for a project or game or what else I might be doing. My mind was completely clear and present and that was almost as exhilirating as the actual free-fall.
Around 5,000 feet, the parachute was deployed and me and my jump buddy were hanging suspended in the sky. Looking out across North Carolina, you develop a new sense of perspective. No longer are trees tall nor houses large. You get to see the world for what it is… expansive, wide, and open. It’s more than your apartment. It’s more than your monitor.
I got to play around a bit as we were floating down. Taking the parachute handles, I got to spin us around in circles, pulling down hard on one handle had us almost parallel with the chute as we dipped to the side. It was absolutely amazing.
Then like all exciting rides, it came to a quick end. The ground took form and ants became people with cameras and smiles. We floated down to the ground then slid on our asses for about 15-20 feet as we stopped. And all I could think was, I wanted to do it again.
I will… someday soon.. it’s too addicting not to.