Friday, May 7, 2010

Skydiving 101

Today a friend has graciously offered over the next few days to take us skydiving.  So sit back and enjoy the story - I know I will.  Ryshia

Oh My God I Can Fly
by June Botkin

So what possesses a person to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?
No one in their right mind would do such a thing!
Well I did and it was an experience that has no words to truly express the feelings of flying.

So, here is the story of a jump that changed my life and made me stronger and more determined to enjoy life to its fullest and keep challenging myself to push beyond the safe and known into the unfamiliar and scary places we don't like to go.

Just to get away from the rat race of work I headed to Oahu with a friend to lie on a beach, read books and just relax, or so I thought.  There were no thoughts in my head about skydiving I just wanted some quiet time.  I had never been to Waikiki so had no idea what to expect, beautiful weather, a great view of the ocean, beautiful flowers and peace and quiet.  However, everywhere I went I saw brochures for tandem skydiving on the North Shore and a long buried desire started to stir.  I dutifully picked up and read pamphlets and brochures on what to do and where to go, but kept coming back to jumping out of a plane in paradise.

For years now I thought that I would do this at home in Saskatchewan, over the prairies, when I was ready!  It was just one of those things that sticks in your brain that never goes away and you know at some point you will do it.  There was one particular brochure that I kept coming back to and re-reading the article about a tandem jump and looking at the pictures of the peoples' faces as they flew through the air.  Next I was checking out Skydive Hawaii's Website and before I knew it I was planning my jump.

Yes I did write out a Last Will and Testament.  I even wrote out my code status should something terrible happen.  My hotel was right beside the International Market so I headed there to get more information and possibly book a jump.  I spoke to a tour faciliator and before I knew what was happening I was on the phone to Kevin and booking a jump for Friday, April 16 at 9 a.m.  Fear began to grip me and I started thinking what in hell are you thinking, you could die or break a leg.  But deep down I knew this was something that I had to do.

North Shore - Courtesy
My travel companion who had lived on the island was willing to get up early and drive out ot the North Shore and offer support but there was no way she was going to be jumping out of an airplane.  Friday morning came way too early; I have a small coffee and a bagel and begin to prepare for this insane experience.  Of course all that could go wrong, does go wrong.  My friend for whatever reason gest lost, which makes us late for my scheduled jump time, so I call Kevin and push the time out.  Next we run into a rain storm with strong winds as we crest the mountain to look down over the North Shore.  The white caps on the ocean are huge but I am determined not to chicken out, but fear is beginning to grip my heart and I am questioning whether I should go through with this especially now that I have written my Will.

Finally we arrive at Dillingham Field.  There are only a few people there to jump and 85% of them are women.  I speak to the owner and find out that there is a front moving in and that there would be no jumps today, did I want to rebook for tomorrow?  The thought crosses my mind that I can get out of this, I can say I tried, but the weather did not cooperate, but I know that is not what is going to happen.  I rebook for April 17 at 8 a.m. and begin filling out the liability paperwork.  At the bottom of every page in big bold black letters is the statement:

Skydiving is a high risk sport.  You could be injuried or die! 

My friend and I leave the airfield and head off to do some sight seeing, but really my mind is only on one thing...the jump.

Does she do it?  Personally, I'd be concerned if there's any validity to the term "scared to death."  Continued tomorrow...    Ryshia

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