Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sky Diving Duck

I'm not the adventurous type.  I'd never climb a mountains, bungee jump, surf or ride a motorcycle. Skiing frightens me.  Even elevators make menervous.  So why was I about to jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet?

 Curiosity did it.   Skydiving sounded freaky, yet the more I thought about it, the more I wondered what it was like.  It's as if I have two minds.  One is cautious and terrified, the other one looks for novelty and just has to know what something is like:
Curious Namowal:  Let's try skydiving.
Cautious Namowal: Have you lost your mind!? 
Curious Namowal: C'mon!  It'll be the craziest thing!
Cautious Namowal: You don't like to jump off the high diving board and now you want to jump out of an airplane?  You know that can potentially end very badly.
Curious Namowal:  We'll do the kind we're we're strapped to an instructor.  He'll know what he's doing.  And you know they carry a second parachute in case the first one fails, right.
Cautious Namowal: Yes.  And I know the term "double canopy failure" means chute number two doesn't open.  Spatula City!
Curious Namowal won.
So there I was, strapped to an instructor in a roaring Cessna.  There's something counter-intuitive about swinging your feet over the doorway edge  of a plane that high.  The wheel spoke hung nearby, pointing to the ground below.
"Put your head back," the instructor said.
Good, I thought, because then I won't see what happens next.
We swung back and leaned forward...
Whoooosh!  The "Oh $#!!! you're falling!" sensation kicked in so hard that I screamed. 
What had I gotten myself into?
Then the falling sensation stopped.   The chute hadn't opened yet, but I suppose we'd reached terminal velocity.  Since we weren't gaining speed, the "you're falling" detector in my head decided I wasn't falling and turned off the danger sensation.  Now I was "floating" in a strong wind.    Patches of green and brown farmland spread below.   Clouds hung in the distance.  This was bizarre.  Crazy.  Cool!

Curious Namowal:  Holy Crap!  We did it!
Cautious Namowal: Not so fast, Cannonball.  Let's see how well this parachute works.

Something tugged me upward.  I looked up as the blue and gray chute plopped open.  Now we hung there, floating down as the ground slowly grew closer.  It was a live action session of Google Earth, but more fun. 
It was over too soon.
I could babble on and on about it.  Instead, here's the video.

 Wanna come with me if I do it again?


Pile Girl said...

Wow! I admire your courage. My fears and weird phobias have held me back so much. Your adventure is showing me what life could be like. You even kind of look like me, only maybe twenty years younger.

The answer to your final question is, HELL NO!!

Danger Boy said...

What an adventure. I have this aversion to jumping out of a perfectly functional aircraft, myself.

Namowal said...

Thanks, Pile girl.
Actually I'm a big chicken at heart. I don't think I could have pulled that stunt all by myself. It helped to be roped to someone who knew when to pull the rip cord and how to steer the parachute!
I think that You-Tube video of the sky-diving pug helped convince me to try it. If a toy dog can do this... I thought.
p.s. I look like you? Cool!

Danger Boy,
I understand that aversion. It was going fairly strong when that plane door opened. I could almost hear my brain yelling, Christian Bale style, "What the $^@& are you DOING!?" :)

karenladeeda said...

you are quite inspirational. good job. I would have been scared out of my mind.

karenladeeda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RHSteeleOH said...


Linda Davick said...

Namowal. I am DYING!!!
You are so cool. (It's the first time I've ever used that word.)
It's a beautiful video.

Mike Healy said...

'A live-action session of Google Earth"...what a great way to describe it!

Namowal said...

Thanks. I don't know if "inspirational" is the right term- I was scared silly for the first eight seconds or so.
It was funny- everyone else there- the instructors and divers must have been in their 20s or late teens. I was the old lady in the waiting room with the reading glasses.

If someone told me a month ago that I'd actually do this I'd have laughed in their face.

Aw thanks, Linda,
I'd have been prouder if I didn't scream during the initial drop.
I was hoping to be as "cool" as This guy, but I knew it was a stretch.
Thanks, Mike. If I ever get nostalgic about the jump I'm launching Google Earth and blowing a hairdryer (cool setting) into my face. ;)
p.s. Have you tried this?

Mike Healy said...

Jumping from a plane?
Blow-drying my face?, no--never thought of it! Not a bad idea, though. Is that while watching Google Earth?

Namowal said...

D'oh. I botched my own joke.
I meant to say skydiving was sorta like using Google Earth while blowing a hairdryer in your face.
"Have you tried this" was a reference to skydiving in general.

Anonymous said...

well done!!! Lxxxx

Namowal said...

Thanks. :D

Pile Girl said...

You look like I USED TO. And I wish I still did.
I am amazed that you seem to be smiling through this whole ordeal.
You are incredibly cool.

Namowal said...

Thanks, Pile girl.
If you look closely at the first few moments out of the plane, there's defiantly a "HOLY %##@&*!!" expression on my face.

p.s. to Linda
To clarify, I should have said I wished I was as cool as "this lunatic," as he's hardly an admirable character. But he seems to be having fun.

GhostBuild said...

WOW. That was great!

Yeah, maybe an initial moment of panic... but after, that smile on your face is miles wide!

I'm jealous, I can't bring myself to do that!

Namowal said...

I'll admit that until recently, skydiving was on my "Oh, I could never actually do THAT" list.

Leon Roullard said...

Just got a link to this in my mail. Love your comics.

Your friendly neighborhood tandem instructor.



P.S. Where are you doing your AFF course?

Namowal said...

Are you the instructor who fell out of that Cessna with me back in June? :)

I'm doing AFF at Elsinore.

p.s. Are your ears still ringing from how loud I screamed when we dropped out that door?