I’m all for trying new things and pushing my comfort zone just a little bit further out from my organised and calm existence. I’m a firm believer that in doing so I am learning new ways to appreciate how varied and incredible my life is and how I have the power to make it that way.
Is there anything that screams extreme more than skydiving?
I have had many conversations with people about skydiving, and it pretty much ranks up there at the top of most people’s ‘you’d-never-catch-me-doing-that-in-a-million-years’ list.
Most people are so totally closed minded about it, it makes me wonder who on earth is left throwing themselves out of planes for fun?
Well, me for starters.
I see a lot of charity fundraisers that are based on skydiving; people will donate money towards a good cause if so-and-so drops out of a plane at 15,000 feet. This is again working on the basis that skydiving is something so abhorrently awful that you’ve got to be paid to do it.
But I loved it.
In my opinion, skydiving helped me to reconnect with the world and appreciate my place in it with renewed vitality. The pulse of adrenaline coursing through my body left me tingling and feeling fresh from head to toe. In a cheesy Hollywood movie style, I probably did some kind of double fist pump as I landed, grinning from ear to ear.
In those seconds of freefall, I didn’t know which way was up. The wind was roaring in my ears, and the air around me felt mightily thin as my body sliced through it. In an intense rush of senses, my body tried to evaluate what was going on. But you can’t make sense of it. Any feelings of fear you may have had beforehand are eradicated completely in this moment by noise, air, and light.
In that moment, gravity was in charge, and its power felt great.
Then all of a sudden, the discombobulating tumble rights itself. My jumpmaster engaged the stabilising parachute and we levelled out, making a beeline towards the ground in a more orderly fashion.
Then I had time to really look around.
A Fresh Perspective
I looked at the beautiful world beneath me. I saw how the river curled its way through the landscape. I gazed upon the hills and mountains, lakes and forests. I admired the infrastructure of roads and buildings.
Suddenly, I realised that all was quiet. After the engine of the plane and onslaught of rushing wind, there was just peace and calm. We were now harnessing the natural energy of the wind as we floated on down.
I was awestruck. How many times in life are we reminded just how tiny we are, a little speck on the map of this great planet?
In The Air
From my vantage point, the caress of the wind on my face, I viewed the world from a totally new angle. I was in it and above it all at the same time.
This was not extreme. It was wonderful. As soon as my feet touched the ground I was ready to do it again.
I definitely feel that over the course of my three and a bit years living abroad and travelling around, skydiving was the most incredible activity I have done. I hadn’t been particularly nervous when I made my decision to jump out of a plane, as strangely enough I knew I would like it before I did it. And this is me talking, I don’t particularly like ‘tough’ activities, or excel at any kind of sports, so I wouldn’t use the word ‘extreme’ when describing myself to anyone.
Mankind was never meant to fly like a bird. If we could, we would all be zooming around like over-excited Peter Pans, and demanding to live in tree houses.
There are definite benefits to your feet staying firmly on the ground – no need to wear an oversized boiler suit, for one. But, whether you are young or old, a self-confessed adrenaline junkie or someone who prefers the quieter things in life, I would say that doing a skydive will have you changing your definition of extreme and merging it with fun.
Has anyone else done a skydive? What are your thoughts?
I took to the sky with SkyDive Wanaka in New Zealand. Check them out here