10,000 Feet Above the Ground
There’s a group of people around you. All gearing up in brightly colored jumpsuits, harnesses hanging loose as an instructor comes around and tightens them. Your adrenaline kicks in as you get on the plane. The loud drone of the engine does nothing to ease your mind to what you’re about to do.
You take in the expressions on the faces around you. Excited, fearful, emotionless. The instructors go over last-minute details, go through the steps of the jump, when to pull your shoot. Some people will jump tandem, others will jump solo.
You remember stories of other people taking their first jump. You remember hearing about how people can black out during the freefall, about others with shoots that don’t open. You also recall those stories of people who can’t stop, who jump every weekend. You remember the stories of those who felt reassured by the presence at their back, helping them through the jump, of those that were so excited to take their first solo jump.
The plane climbs closer and closer to the target height. You can’t remember if it’s 10,000 feet or 20,000 feet; all you know is that you can barely make out the earth beneath you. The instructors open the hatch and have the group line up. Your partner straps in. You prepare yourself mentally for the freefall. It’s your turn to jump, and as you lean out the hangar, you feel yourself become weightless.
Suspended in air, you see your group, all close together. Some radiate sheer excitement with wide smiles, others grip tightly to their harness, eyes clamped shut. You take everything in as you fall thousands of feet every minute that passes.
Time stands still. The ground comes up on you fast, but it’s not time to pull the shoot. Adrenaline kicks in as the roads widen, the landscape becomes more clear. You want to pull the shoot, but you haven’t reached the right height. Your partner knows when to pull it.
You jerk back, and it feels as if someone grabbed you by the back of your jumpsuit and yanked you up. The chute is open, and you and your partner are drifting at a steady clip down to the ground below. Every detail is clear from your view, from the sharp, contrasting colors of the landscape to the sky that surrounds you on all sides.
You touch the ground at a slight run, and your energy leaves you. Your partner unclips and claps you on the back. You’ve just completed your first skydive.
Now it’s time to prove to friends and family that you did it. Good thing you caught it all on video with your Monster Digital camera.