Free falling isn't something most people do. But it is something I was able to do.
Today started out like any other perfect day - a vanilla chia latte from Starbucks, last day of work at a job of three years, and then I was whisked away to ride a plane 12,000 feet in the sky, and jump out of my own will, all with a giant smile on my face.
Everything was thrilling - signing the release forms, watching a video of someone else's jump, meeting my instructor, gearing up, learning what to do, climbing into the plane, sitting next to the door while watching the ground become farther and farther away, being tied up to my instructor, watching him throw the door open, and of course feeling the cold, cold air rush into the plane.
Throughout the entire thing, I was with my family. We were all screaming and shouting from joy about how completely stoked we were. We all had videos taken of our jumps, so it was a blast being able to scream "OMG!!!" in each other's videos. One thing I didn't get to participate in though was watching everyone else disappear into the air from the plane.
I was the brave, lucky first person to jump. Sitting next to the door gained me that privilege - or maybe it was the fact that I walked too slow when going to the plane. Either way though, I was first. And I was very thankful for that - because while I wasn't the slightest bit nervous, I knew watching other people go before me would change that quickly.
My instructor yelled in my ear, "OKAY, IT'S TIME. DON'T FORGET TO PULL YOUR HEAD BACK, AND THROW YOUR LEGS BACK." We edged towards the door and quickly, my legs were hanging out over 12,000 feet. Feeling the cold of the wind and the airplane on my legs, I put my head back, and my instructor rocked once, twice, and threw us over the edge.
We dove out, did a front flip, and then were free-falling. 38 seconds of "HOLY CRAP" later, the parachute was pulled. I was thrust up in the air and suddenly, it became so quiet. We floated, twirled, and laughed from amazement of the beautiful sight.
Shortly after, we landed on the ground. I high-fived the instructor, yelled at the GoPro how happy I was, and then ran over to meet my family as they all came floating down from the sky.
If you have ever made a dream to-do list, please oh please add skydiving to the list. This is an experience I will truly never forget. It's something that I can say I've done that many people haven't. I also made a day-jump, aka my eyes were open the entire time. Many people, including Airborne military men/women, have had night-jumps (eyes closed). So, go out, peel your eyes open, and jump at 12,000 feet. It is so worth it.