Until recently, Kalpesh S. was a Whuffo. (For those of you who don’t know what a whuffo is, it’s a person who asks “What for?” As in: “What do you jump off a perfectly good airplane for?).
I came across his post on Twitter asking if he should try it out. As all of you know, the first thing I’d tell anyone contemplating their first jump: “DO IT!”. And guess what? He did!
I asked him to write up an article about his experience and I’d like to welcome him to the group of people who will not look to the skies longing to return =).
By Kalpesh S.
“I am going to be your best friend for the next few minutes”, said my skydiving instructor, Adrian. He could not have spoken truer words as my life dependent on him doing his job.
As we were gearing up, Adrian continued to give me instructions on the steps to follow during the dive. Surprisingly for a person who is/was afraid of heights, I was not feeling nervous yet. The credit for this goes to Adrian and his precise instructions. After a final check of the gear, we were ready to board the plane.
There were three other divers in the plane. I was hoping to be the first one to jump off, but ended up at the very end of the plane. “Are you comfortable jumping off a plane that is put together with a duct tape?” Adrian asked. “Better to jump off than stay in such a plane”, I replied. I would feel the air getting colder as we started climbing. “We are at one mile, but that is not enough for us, is it?” Adrian said. “No sir, we will get up to 2 ½ miles”. No signs of nerve yet. After a short while, we arrived at the desired altitude and the plane’s door opened up. The other divers jumped off one by one. I was thinking I might get nervous once we get to the edge of the plane. However, we didn’t stay at the edge long enough for the nervousness to kick in. We took the plunge almost as soon as we were at the edge.
Fear was not the first thing I felt; it was surprise. Surprise because I did not get a feeling of plummeting to Mother Earth. It felt more like floating even though we were falling at an incredible speed. Since the weather was clear the view was awesome. I did look down to the ground once and realized how far up we were. It was an amazing feeling. The parachute opened up after about one minute and our descent slowed down considerably. This gave me more time to look around and take in more of the views. Adrian and I were still talking as he continued to walk me through the process. We manipulated the parachute towards the landing area. I could see my family way down on the ground. They still looked so tiny. I knew they were looking for me so I tried to get their attention by waving at them. But they were looking in the directions of the other divers trying to identify me. Finally, it was time to land. Adrian had prepared me for this as well. We had a smooth and uneventful landing followed by hugs all-around.
This was a fantastic experience made possible by the very skillful team at Skydive Snohomish. Thank you for doing a great job. I WILL do this again.
You can watch the video of skydive below – comments welcome.
I want to thank Kalpesh for sharing, and if ever any of you decide to try out a tandem or take your AFF or PFF, please let me know, I want to hear about it!