I walked to the very edge of the abyss and took a long, deep breath.
It was just a feeling in my gut, the one deep down like a log in the bottom of your stomach, right beside your intestines. It sits there, unmoving, knowing that you’re about to make one of the worst decisions of your life. It gnaws at you – forcing you to remember every little thing that could go wrong. A cord breaking, too much wind, a simple fold not being where it should be, your instructor falling unconscious above you… Those images and dozens of others flash behind my eye lids as I close my eyes to breathe.
Breathe in, breathe out. Relax.
Harness on, strapped tightly to my instructor behind me – almost as though we were one organism – we lumber to the door, shuffling awkwardly past the other benches where the other jumpers had previously sat. When you get to the door, the wind takes hold and whips my hair back, and I cross my arms over my chest, hands on each shoulder. Kind of ironic, as that’s the position you take in a coffin.
One more deep breath. Okay.
Leaning forward together, we jumped, and I soared.
In June 2014 I was invited by my friend Jarred to go skydiving with him for the weekend. He had to get a couple more jumps in, in order to become a fully licensed skydiver. Now, I live in Fort St John, and as much as I love it, it’s basically in the middle-of-nowhere British Columbia, so I hadn’t even considered the idea of jumping out of an airplane, let alone the possibility I could do it so close to where I lived.
Apparently I totally could, so I did!
The 6 hour drive in the middle of the night as well as a little in the morning after an unplanned overnight stay in Whitecourt – as I was pulled over for speeding in the middle of the night, oops – brought us outside Edmonton. Eden North, the spectacular place I’d been told about where you can jump out of a perfectly good airplane, more than a mile above the earth.
I was so nervous I was shaking.
Even as we pulled into the yard and went into the registration area, I saw parachutes being pulled above us by the expert skydivers. All in flashes of bright yellow, red, green and blue, ‘chutes exploded into the air, carefully guided by the air and technical hands, bringing the jumpers to the ground at a run.
It was towards the middle of the day by the time I was able to jump. The guy I was strapped to was a Kiwi, whom I unfortunately forget the name of, and demonstrated to me all of the movements to each section of the jump, and what to do in the case of an emergency. Suited up, latched on, instructed, and in the plane, we jumped.
And I soared.
It was literally the craziest feeling I have ever felt in my life, my heart’s now racing and my fingers are tingling as I type this out, just from the memory of the rush of adrenaline surging through me at the time. After the front flip out of the plane you just free-fall, going God knows how fast and God knows how long… It felt like forever and seconds at the same time, it was incredible! A quick tap on the shoulder and the ‘chute is pulled and you’re really flying! The bird-eye view from the sky onto the ground below is incredible, I could see for mile and miles! Forests, hills, rivers and farmland, all getting bigger and bigger as you slowly glide back to the ground, landing with a thump on your bum with a couple people surrounding you to catch the parachute.
I walked away from that field with the biggest grin on my face, my hair blown back and huge, and my face red from the wind, ready and willing to go up again.
All in all the price of the tandem jump was quite reasonable at $295, but I also had a photographer jump with me so I could have awesome photos to remember later! Altogether with the Tandem and the photographer I only paid $420, which for the experience I received I would pay again in a heartbeat! I can’t tell you off the top of my head how much it would be to get fully licensed, but I added the link to the bottom of the post, so check them out!
I guess the next step for me would be to get my license to jump on my own!
Have you ever skydived, or is it still on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below!
http://edennorth.com was the place in which I jumped. Located only 20 minutes outside of Edmonton Alberta, it’s considered one of the best locations in Canada. There are tons of instructors who are willing to help you out and get you excited for the jump!