Tuesday, August 30, 2005

taking my life in my hands

In telling this story the other day, I realized I should post it for posterity.

The story of the time I went skydiving.

A group of people that my sister worked with organized a skydiving trip. Sis and I signed up. A couple of our cousins are experienced skydivers, and they quite highly recommended the venture.

We showed up to the field (Skydive Tecumseh!) to start our training. We paid $120 for a six-hour class that would end with a static line jump, none of that wussy tandem crap for us.

The next eight hours consisted of the jump instructor telling us WE WERE GOING TO DIE. He explained to us all of the things that could go wrong. He recalled the tale about the girl who was found dead on the ground with her hands secured around her chute straps, having pulled on them instead of the backup parachute handle when her main chute failed. He had us practice hanging from fake harnesses, screaming TWISTED LINE to get our automatic emergency reactions down pat. He made us jump off a six-foot ledge to rehearse landing. Again, all the time hearing how WE WERE GOING TO DIE.

Eight hours later they gave the boys the blue jumpsuits, my sister and myself the pretty yellow ones. I guess girls need to dive with more feminine colors? At this point my sister and I are having grave (pun totally intended) doubts. Thing is, there is no way no how we are going to betray our sex and bail when the boys don't. We will not misrepresent the female gender and back down.

Now, I forgot to mention the great part about these jumps. They are little itty-bitty planes, like in the english patient or indiana jones. Two seats and just enough room in the back for the jump instructor and three jumpees. We go in hooked to the static line, and when the instructor tells us we execute our exit in this manner:

1) Walk out onto the plane wing
2) Hang from the plane wing
3) Let go of the plane wing

Okay, so part one and two - got it, got it. Wait - let go of the plane wing???? Hanging in the air from a flying plane - let go. Uncurl your fingers from the grip of life? Are you serious??

Oh yes, yes I am.

Sis and I are steeled for our endeavor. No six hours of life threats will back us down now. Strong like bull.

The flight instructor then comes over and tells us that the winds are too high to jump today, but as we have paid we can come back and complete the jump any time in the next year.

All the boys came back for the jump the next week. They loved it.

Hells naw I didn't go back. Are you crazy?

I may not have jumped, but I paid that buck twenty for a really great story. Awwwwww yeah.

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