The Corner

“My Knees to The Breeze”

The dive on Saturday was great, if nervewracking. I would have been perfectly happy to do a “tandem” jump–safely tethered to someone who knows what he’s doing–and get out of there in half-an-hour or so, but my friend insisted that we do the real thing, which ended up being much, much better. The free fall, which lasts roughly 45 seconds and takes you from 13,000 to 6,000 feet, is extraordinary, like nothing you’ve ever experienced. It’s a little like being under water and poking your head outside a car window all at once. An instructor told me the worst part would be standing in the door of the plane prior to exit, and then the free fall would be paceful. I was skeptical, but he was right. And since you are also intensely focused on the things you have to do during the fall there isn’t much time to be panicked. Once the parachute is out you are just standing in the heavens basically, at least that’s what it feels like because you are going so much slower. I’m a little afraid of heights, so the day gave me a lot of opportunities to understand and experience fear. The worst, absolutely worst, thing was after we finished our training we had to wait more than an hour for the plane to re-fuel. Talk about icing the kicker! As long as you are doing something there are limits to how scared you can be, but when you are doing nothing, it just eats you up. Anyway, I did it, I jumped, I landed safely, and it’s something I will remember fondly the rest of my life.

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