Thursday, August 01, 2019

So, You Want to Go Skydiving

Gloria took a picture of the skydiving building as soon as we arrived.

"Gathering evidence?" I asked.

Eli 18.0 mentioned several times how excited he was about jumping. "I think that's kind of misleading," I said. "You jump on a basketball court. You fall out of a plane." He burst out laughing.

That's all the skydiving comedy I had.

Now, in case some of you are planning to skydive for the first time at some point in the future, allow me to share a few things I learned yesterday.

1. Dress a little warmer.
I would normally wear shorts. To skydive, though, I wore jeans, a base layer, a t-shirt above that, and a light jacket. Why? Because at 9,000 feet, it's much colder. I was comfortable the whole time with this clothing setup.

2. Stretch.
Again, why? Because when the chute opens, there is a ton of pressure on three parts of your body: hips, groin, and neck. The harness fits tightly around your groin, and it will absorb most of the force when the chute opens. Your hips will absorb quite a bit, too. As for your neck, keep your head up, not down, or your neck will get slammed hard.

I was a little sore after we landed, but I'm fine today, and I was kind of broken to start with, anyway.

3. The hardest part is stepping out of the plane.
Seriously, in a tandem jump, that's the most difficult moment. It's very, very frisky, outside a moving plane.

4. The falling part is easy.
Seriously, you're basically in an adult Baby Bjorn setup. You literally have nothing to do and no decisions to make. And it feels incredibly safe. Serene, almost.

5. It's over very, very quickly.
You freefall for less than ten seconds, and you're on the ground in less than five minutes.

Overall it was--okay? I guess I thought it would be a little more overwhelming or high adrenaline than it really felt. Like I mentioned, it was serene, almost meditative. For me, at least. Eli 18.0 had an entirely different reaction. He was in adrenaline overdrive.

The Enthusiasm Engine will survive long past 18.0.

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