Monday, November 19, 2012

Adventure: Skydiving

"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you long to return" 

- Leonardo DaVinci

This quote never applies more than when your feet touch back on the ground after jumping out of a perfectly good plane. The first time I went skydiving was back in 2007. I had wanted to go long before that but had a hard time convincing anyone to go with me. I finally found a friend to go with and we did. Since then, I have been wanting to go again. Through a combination of no money, lack of facilities and just bad timing, I had not been able to go again.. until yesterday. 

I went with a company called "Skydive Coastal California" based in Camarillo, CA. All of the instructors were very easy going and happy to just talk to you. Understandably, most of the customers are nervous because it's their first time. The entire office does very well to try to make jokes and ease the tension. But at the same time, they are serious when it comes to your safety. I watched 2 different people check and recheck the equipment before getting us ready. 

After a small weather delay, they got us suited up and ready to go. The plane ride lasted about 10 minutes and offered great views ranging up to Santa Barbara, out to the Channel islands and even into the LA basin. At about 10,000 feet the door opened. I recall during my first jump, this was the point I got nervous. This time however, I got excited. I had been looking forward to this moment again since 2007. At the count of three, out we went. 

For anyone who hasn't skydived before, the first few seconds are similar to the moment at the top of a roller coaster. However, after the first few seconds you just feel like you are genuinely floating. Because this was not my first jump, the instructor gave me a little extra instruction and let me use my body to control movement during the free fall. After our parachute was deployed and under control, the instructor then let me control the parachute as well. He showed me basic controls and even got to do a barrel roll!

We came in for the landing and I couldn't have a bigger smile on my face. The adrenaline rush was beginning to subside but the endorphins remained surging through my body. Much like the first time I had a smile on my face for the rest of the day. This time however it was different in that it was sort of like my first experience since I got to control some of it. Out of this adventure came a new one, to get certified to be able to do a jump by myself. I will most definitely not be waiting another 5 years before my next jump. Heck I don't even think I will be waiting 5 months. True to Da Vinci's quote, I'm already looking up at the sky, longing to return. In the meantime, keep an eye out for my next adventure.  

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