Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Skydiving Q and A

I have been asked a great many questions about our little adventure for Vol Fan's birthday.  So here are the details:)

Question #1:  Are you f---ing crazy?

Answer:  Maybe.  Let's just get this straight though - it was Vol Fan's idea.  Years ago, Vol Fan and I started compiling a Life List (this was way before the movie, The Bucket List, so we didn't have that catchy title for our lists!).  And skydiving was on his list.  Not on mine.  I just went along because I couldn't let him outdo me.  Right?

Question #2:  Seriously, are you f---ing crazy?

Answer:  Ok. Ok.  So jumping out of an airplane at 13,000 ft might be a little crazy.

Question #3:  Who took the pictures and video?

Answer:  For my pics and video, Victor the Instructor took them.  He had a camera and video attached to the glove on his left hand.  So thanks to Victor I have some incredible shots!

For Vol Fan's video and pics, we paid extra for an additional jumper to go with him.  That jumper had a helmet-mounted camera so he could get shots from different angles as he maneuvered around Vol Fan and his instructor.  And that's where the problem came in.  It was a problem that should have been foreseen by the skydive company.

You have all heard about how if you drop two things, they will drop at the same speed.  Whether it is a feather or a bowling ball.  Same speed.  Well, that is true if you drop them in a perfect vacuum.  We were not dropping in a perfect vacuum.

So in a not-so-scientific explanation, gravity pulls harder on big stuff.  And Vol Fan is a big guy.  And his instructor was a big guy.  So they dropped WAY faster than the wispy, crazy-eyed camera guy.  Even with the drogue (like a brake parachute) deployed and the camera guy doing the torpedo move to increase his fall, he just couldn't catch them.

So Vol Fan was very, VERY disappointed with his pics and video.  He says it is reason enough to go again:)

Question #4:  It looked like you guys landed hard.  Did you?  Did it hurt?

Answer:  On the day we jumped, there was very little wind.  Prime conditions (especially for big jumpers!) are winds at least 10mph.  It gives more lift to the parachute, making for a softer landing.

Since there was no wind, we all had to do crash landings - landing on our behinds rather than our feet.  Chris and Cassidy, a couple of friends that went with us, just slid across the landing sight easy peasy.  But they are little, tiny bits of people.  Vol Fan and I are big, whopper bits of people.  So we landed pretty hard, especially Vol Fan.  And yes, we were sore for the next couple of days.

Question #5:  Were you scared?  Was Vol Fan?

Answer:  Vol Fan did not have a moment of being scared.  He was excited from the second we decided to do it.

I, on the other hand, was very nervous in the days leading to our jump.  I kept feeling like I needed to make sure my affairs were in order.  Once at the jump site, my nervousness morphed into excited/nervousness - meaning I had to pee about every 10 minutes until we boarded the plane.

The only time I felt any real fear was when I was sitting at the open door of the plane with my feet hanging out.  Mind-numbing, gut-wrenching fear!  And it was too late to turn back.  Chris was the last one out of the plane and he said that my face just drained of color as I sat there.

Question #6:  You SAT with your feet hanging out of a moving plane?  But I thought people jumped from the plane?

Answer:  We were in the tiniest plane ever imaginable.  So there was no standing!  You are instructed to sit with your feet together, tucked toward the underbelly of the plane, and your head back against the chest/shoulder of your instructor.  Your instructor actually propels you from the plane.  It was that sitting part that was scary as hell.  I felt like I was going to be sucked out before my instructor was ready.

I actually think I would have been less scared had we been standing and had to jump.

Question #7:  What did it feel like?

Answer:  The biggest rush ever!  Every thought about my fears were gone the instant we exited the plane.  The only thought I had was how awesome it was!

Question #8:  I noticed you had your mouth open a lot.  Weren't you scared about a bug flying in?

Answer:  That thought crossed my mind pre-jump.  However, once I was careening toward the earth at 120mph, I wasn't really thinking about bugs!  Funny thing though...when you scream like I did, you have absolutely no saliva left in your mouth.  I'm sure Victor appreciated that:)

Question #9:  Would you do it again?

Answer:  Absolutely!!  If it has ever entered your mind that it might be fun to try.  Do it.  You will not regret your decision.

Question #10:  What are you going to do next to top that?

Answer:  I'm really not sure that it can be topped!  But I'm open to suggestions.


Linda said...

Oh, man! I have no desire to do that, but my son's wife bought him a jump for his b'dy. I don't think he's done it yet.

Sounds like you had fun!

I want to take the Amtrak to DC.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Now that explains the difference in the two videos... I knew that yours was MUCH better than Russell's.... Now I know why... They should have given you a discount on another ride sometime--so that he could get a better video... BUT--overall, it looks like they and you all did a great job... Like I said, I would do it--IF I were younger...Too old now!!!!! ha

Thanks for answering all of our questions.

Lisa said...

OMG, i would have peed on myself & instructor!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Are you sure you are not effing crazy???


That was my rendition of your cute face...minus all saliva.

laurenne said...

Eeeeeee!!! I really really really want to do it. This just got me excited!
About skydiving.

Desert Survivor said...

Great post! And now you have some wonderful bragging rights.

Life with Kaishon said...

You are so fascinating. : ) Seriously. Seriously. I can't believe how much you loved it. I am glad it was a wonderful experience. Hope you can do it again one day since it is a dream : )

Snooty Primadona said...

I can only imagine how scary & exhilarating it was. Are you effing nuts, lol?

I once did the para sailing thing in Mexico (of all places) & although it was fun, I was scared sh*tless...

Good for you!

Nelson's Mama said...

Hey there! Looks like you had a wonderful time...I love to parasail, but have always felt like I couldn't handle the initial freefall of skydiving!

I love to watch them here, it's always fun to look up and see 5 or 6 divers coming down toward the airport.

A previous neighbor was a into skydiving and he'd land in the cul-de-sac in front of their house, roll up his 'chute and go inside!