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When I woke up that morning I was like, oh my god! Today is the day I am jumping out of a plane at 15,000ft. What am I thinking?!
I don’t think the real nerves hit however until my 20 minute training session. Seeing all of the equipment, the harness, the parachute, I was like this is really going to happen. I was fortunate enough that there were breaks in the clouds, as the weather was not perfect that morning. Practicing all of the different positions too made me realise that there is a lot more to skydiving than simply just jumping out of a plane, at such a height. You have to be positioned correctly for jumping, re-positioned again for free fall, and most importantly re-positioned a third time for a safe landing. With the nerves circulating my body, I was shocked I even remembered all of the information fed into me.
I had an amazing instructor Nick, who was very reassuring all the way through. To be honest, I am surprised he put up with me, my free fall was less than graceful. Me panicking and repeating that I couldn’t breathe-I am not exactly a smooth flyer….and let’s not forget Chris, the amazing photographer and camera man. I remember seeing him below me during in free fall, trying to encourage me to relax, enjoy and wave. Looking back, I am annoyed with myself that all I did was panic, but not knowing what to expect I don’t think that my brain at that moment in time even thought about that. All of the staff at Langar were absolutely fantastic and welcoming.
The 15 minute fly up there was the worst. Your mind goes into overdrive, and all you do is look out of the window and think ‘WOW! This is so high!’. I remember Chris taking a few photographs, and filming both myself and Nick. That was a nice distraction from the window. Seeing yourself above all of the clouds, really makes the adrenaline start to kick in.
Trying to force your body over the EDGE of that plane dangling, whilst not looking down is not easy, I will tell you that. My body and mind went into a‘re-treat’ mode, were i was like “NO, NO NO! I am not doing this!” If I could, I even think I would have tried to latch on to the edge, to stop myself falling. When Nick propelled us forward, all I remember was screaming, and shouting!
It was quite literally the scariest part of it all, and scariest moment of my life! I was free falling, soaring downwards through the clouds at such a speed. You’re free falling for about 50 seconds, going at around 110mph, it is beyond freezing up there and the wind is insane, blowing at you with such force-you literally cannot breathe! It’s terrifying. All I thought in those 50 seconds was oh my god, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe! I knew I needed to try and calm myself down, that I could breathe, but I literally felt like I was drowning on air! I don’t know how regular skydivers adapt to that.
Once we slowed, and the parachute was expelled I actually started to enjoy myself. The view, whilst you’re just dangling there is breath taking. You feel like you’re flying, really flying, like Iron Man and the characters that you see in movies and on TV, I can see the perks to being a skydiver, I honestly can. The spins we did were so much fun, I even laughed….that’s right laughed! Me laugh whilst floating about in the sky doesn’t seem possible, but it was. Nick said “Do you like rollercoasters?” to which I replied “YES!” and that’s when the spinning started. It really was like being on a ride at Alton Towers. It was exhilarating, fun and an experience which I will never forget.
A staff member this morning said to me “Would you do it again?”…Do you know what, all I will say is, never say never. Yes, I am petrified of heights, and no I wasn’t looking forward to my skydive, but once the drama of flying up there, and the free falling part passes, the actual just ‘floating’ part, yes, yes I would actually enjoy doing that again.
Yes, there is a risk of death and injury whilst skydiving, but to be honest those didn’t even register in my mind when I was up there. All you think about is that moment, the view and your mind relaxes.
I am really proud of myself for completing it, and not ‘wussing’ out, as people call it. I feel really happy knowing I did something for an amazing charity, and I am so so grateful for everyone who supported me, and donated to my donations page.
There will be a professional video coming soon, which I will share with you all. It is an absolute ‘cringe’ of a video. There is now smiling or waving, just pure fear, and me mouthing ‘I can’t breathe’ over and over to Chris. I am again sad that I didn’t wave, or enjoy the free fall more but hey….I did it 😀