Skydiving is the quintessential cliché “bucket list” item that (almost) everyone claims they want to do before they die, but so few people work up the courage to actually suit up and jump out of a plane. That is fairly understandable, since throwing yourself at the earth from 13,000 feet in the air is less-than-rational in terms of entertainment preferences. Most people are satisfied with choosing what flavor of “Doritos” they want to eat as the most exciting part of their day, and in all honesty that is just fine. For others, like myself, however, we need a few good gut-wrenching, “oh-my-god-I-just-shit-my-pants” moments every so often.
To ring in the first day of my summer school class that I was taking at a community college in Minneapolis during the summer of 2013 (Physics, ironically enough) some friends and I decided that it would be a good day for a skydive. I called my good friend Brynne, whom is generally pretty easy to convince as far as doing questionable things at the last-minute goes, and alas, her and two other friends and I packed up and headed to Skydive Twin Cities which is technically in Wisconsin but we won’t talk about that.
Skydive Twin Cities in Baldwin, Wisconsin, provided a great first time skydiving experience for me and my friends. They are professional and have a huge commitment to safety. We watched a video on the details about skydiving safety, learned the basics on how it would feel when we jumped out of the plane, and then suited up and climbed aboard the mini-plane for our first skydiving adventure.
Once in the plane, my intestines started to throb and I was having serious second thoughts about this whole decision, but I was already strapped at several points of contact with my tandem partner, a surprisingly boring, soccer dad-like character who tried to make small talk about what I was studying in school. He was calm and composed, definitely important attributes in anyone that you strap your body to (in any situation) and especially when you strap it to them in order to jump out of a plane together.
Then came the jump. I first had to watch everyone else fall out of the plane as we were the final jumpers of the group. My bowels clenched at the sight of each of my friends being whipped out of the side of this mini plane. I hobbled up to the edge of the opened door, crouched down and before I knew it, there was nothing but atmosphere below me.
Much to my surprise, the sensation of falling with the G-force stomach drop that usually happens when an amusement park ride lets you fall to your death, never happened. The actual time spent in free-fall was quite surreal, and almost relaxing as I did not have to think about doing anything thanks to soccer-dad. After a few moments, he pulled our chute and we glided over the landing area, a beautiful view of the Twin Cities skyline on the horizon.
One thing I did not do which I have mixed feelings of regret and apathy over is that I did not pay the additional expense of $95 for the photo package. While it would be awesome to have candid pictures of my cheek fat vibrating in the breeze so majestically, it is a very expensive add-on for a thrill that lasts about 15 minutes. Maybe next time I will succumb to the peer pressure of all the extreme-sports activists that I greatly admire and strap a go-pro to my body before being pushed out of a plane headfirst. It is definitely something to consider for people who will only work up the courage to skydive once, but for me, I think sometime in the future, when I skydive in perhaps a slightly more interesting place or when it’s for my 85th birthday or something, I will pay for the documentation full deal.
Skydive Twin Cities did not sponsor this post in any way, this was just a cool experience I had that I wanted to share with all of you, and I would recommend them in general as a company if you are looking for a good skydiving experience. Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed wearing this suit: