WOW WOW WOW
How did this come about you might wonder? Well I had a bit of a meltdown at the start of the year and decided to start living life more on the edge and experience everything that frightens me. You may remember from my recent post about my experiences in Mauritius that I have already conquered my fear of the sea this year. Next on the list of fears to tackle was heights & lets face it, it doesn’t get much higher than jumping 13,000 feet from a small aircraft! Skydiving has been one of those things that has sat on my bucket list for a few years now & I have just never got round to booking one or I managed to make excuses of reasons why I can’t do it if the topic came up.
So I put my big girl panties on and decided that if I do it for a charity that I like I am less likely to wuss out, it will give me an incentive to jump as well as raising money for a fantastic cause! So I sent an email round to my colleagues to see if anyone else would be interested & luckily for me I would no longer be alone! Four of my colleagues wanted to get involved and between us we raised £775 for Break who are a Norfolk based children’s charity & work tirelessly #Changingyounglives. (If you would like to contribute to our fund you can do so here).
So we arrive at UK Parachuting in Beccles in the morning & received all the training we would need to survive. Then we were sent on our way to get suited up & all the while I was reciting the strict instructions we had just been given over and over again in my head. I was starting to get nervous at this point as it finally sets in that I am about to throw myself out of a plane…
“No going back now Terri, think of the kids”.
We then met with our instructors, I would be paired with Steve who came over and introduced himself whilst I was getting into my trendy romper suit. He was friendly, funny and very informative the entire time I was in his presence. So we wait to get on board the plane and are given some more instructions about how to sit once we are inside the aircraft and go over the plans for exiting.
*How am I going to remember all this info when my heart is suddenly in my throat*
We are then packed into the plane like sardines… One instructor for each person. I am told to sit between Steve’s legs, this is so that he can securely fasten me to him and the parachute on route to the drop zone. The next instructor is then between my legs and so forth. There are at least 12 people on the plane and OMG IS IT ME OR IS IT REALLY HOT IN HERE?. I seem to be the only nervous person on the plane. 10 minutes into the flight I glance at my boss and ask “are you nervous? I am starting to get really scared” He replies coolly “Nope I thought I would be at this point but check out my heart rate (Shows me his fitbit) I am fine.”
Before I know it the green light is on, the door is starting to open and the first tandem couple are bum shuffling their way towards the exit and then I witness it, the first drop/jump and now, it is very VERY real. FECK. My anxiety is starting to run away with me at this point, ‘what if the chute doesn’t open, what if i forget the instructions and get us both killed, what if I never see my sisters again, when was the last time I told them how special they are?’
Only one person to go and then it is my turn….
“Okay Terri, ready girl?”
NO! Not at all! What have I signed myself up for.
“Yes Steve, let’s do this, please don’t get me killed”
“Okay I have got you, arms crossed, head on my shoulder, cross your legs, tuck them under the plane & Stay still. Here we go.”
I am free falling, I am screaming, I am taking in the sights of the coast and the ground beneath me, I am happy and surprisingly no longer scared. This is amazing, I can’t believe how much I love what is happening. It all feels surreal. I feel the most free I have ever felt in my life and I never want it to end.
The free fall doesn’t last too long (about 45 seconds) and then it’s time to open the parachute. Boy is that a jolt back to reality, I had harnesses digging in to places that harnesses shouldn’t reach! One in particular is hoisted up around the bottom of my neck and i’m panicking a little bit as I can’t breath. I shout this to Steve and he tells me he is going to loosen it a little bit and to tug hard on it so it comes down. Panic over, I can breath again! Phew.
The decent was amazing we are spiralling and coasting back to earth and I am allowed to take off my goggles to properly appreciate the sights. Steve asks if I am okay and I tell him it was the best experience of my life, he chuckles and continues to point out different views and things to look at.
The landing went really smoothly too, I didn’t forget any of my instructions, though Steve did remind me again as we got nearer to the ground, pull my legs up to my chest at then point my toes up to the sky. We came in pretty fast and landed with a thud but I was surprised to find that it didn’t hurt in the slightest, it all went as planned. So there we are back on the ground and with the BIGGEST smile ever!
I am so proud of everyone who took part for the sterling fundraising effort & for taking such a leap of faith with me. This is by far the best thing I have done to date and can’t wait to do it again in the future.
This year I have already conquered so many fears and I feel like such a different person. Who knows what is next… but I have the adrenaline bug and it’s going to have to be something BIG to top this.
If you are thinking of skydiving I can highly recommend UK Parachuting who were amazing throughout the entire morning. Have you already done one? I would love to hear about your experience if you have.