13.07.2018 – Evening – Germany – Sunny – Time to jump
A few days ago I did my first skydive. I received this experience as a birthday present from friends. Lucky for me, they splurged a little for my 30th birthday! You can find a video of it at the end of this article. Thanks again for this great experience!
“Skydiving? Really? Are you crazy?“
“Don’t you have fear“?
These are the normal comments I got from those I told about my gift.
And my answer to all of them was, “No, I’m excited about the experience! It will be f*** amazing! Imagine, jumping out of a plane…“.
But why didn’t I have any fear? Why didn’t I think about what might happen if the Parachute doesn’t open? – And if the backup one also doesn’t open? Or what if the lines aren’t correct or are broken? Or if I break something when I land? Etc. …
I can’t tell you for sure, but I think it has something to do with the way I’ve influenced myself in the last few years of my life.
When something serious comes up, I always think about the worst and the best-case scenarios that can happen.
In terms of skydiving, it is kind of easy (and extreme) to think about.
Worst case means I simply die. That’s it for me then – short story.
Of course I know that it is not funny for anybody else, and I’m not emotionally dead or stupid, but I wouldn’t be able to change it anyway – hard fact.
Another on the list of worst-case scenario would be if we hit someone else when we fall from the sky. Or managed to destroy something. Or blah blah blah – you get the point. Maybe you take the time to imagine your worst case right now just for a second.
And now your best case!
My best case is what actually happened, and it was better than anything I could have imagined!
You’ll meet an amazing group of people, all crazy enough to jump out of a plane together. Then you have a good flight up to the sky with beautiful weather and smiling faces around you (maybe not all the first timers, but the core team of professionals know how to keep you feeling safe).
Finally you jump out of the plane! You’ll start falling away from the aircraft, turning in the air to see the safety of the plane you just left fly away. You’ll be in freefall long enough to enjoy the forces of gravity on your body. You can feel the air rushing past you while screaming for excitement and waiting for the opening of the parachute.
When the parachute opens, everything crazy about skydiving slows down and transforms into something calmer and the experience gets even better (for me, anyway). You slow down, the noise of the rushing wind in your ears becomes quieter, and you can see the landscape from a point you never have before. Sometimes you drift through small clouds. Your guide may give you the handles and then you are steering a parachute through the air, in 5.000 feet high.
YOU HAVE THE CONTROLS!
Then, when he takes the steering back, he basically stops the parachute and you hear absolutely nothing, you feel no wind anymore. You are just there, in the middle of the air, hanging in your gear and enjoying the rush of adrenaline now flooding your brain. I can’t put that into words for you – you’ll have to feel it for yourself.
After that, he speeds up again, making a turn so that you get an idea of what forces are possible. Then you’ll go down for the landing, rising up your legs and slide smoothly and deliberately to the grass, surrounded by other people that just shared the same experience.
As soon as you land you’ll want to be back in the air as soon as possible!
So I asked for another jump and we did it right after the first!
After this experience I quickly became addicted to skydiving. If I wasn’t travel the world at the moment, I would have started towards my license already. However, I have a few more extreme sports I’d like to try, and after that I will know, which one I’d like to spend my time and money on as well as Wing Chun training.
If you want to hear more about how to get excited and leave your fear behind before your first skydive, listen to Will Smith talking about his experience in this 6:00 minute video. It helps with fear in general:
Will Smith about fear
And here you can find a shortened version of my skydive jump. Thanks to all of my friends for this gift and the team at Skydiving Hildesheim for doing an amazing job. Also thank you Alex, AKA “Teufel“, for taking me twice in a row with your parachute! Keep it going!