08
Apr
10

Skydiving: My new favorite thing to do on Easter.

I’ll be honest; I’m terrified of heights. I get nauseous just looking out the window of an airplane 2 seconds after it lifts off the ground, so the idea of actually jumping out of one seems insane, right? Well it is, there’s no twist there. It is literally insane. Luckily I have a good enough head on my shoulders that I wouldn’t do such a thing… until the very first time the opportunity presented itself.

Let me paint you a picture. Queenstown, NZ. One of the most scenic places on Earth. Beautiful lakes, awe-inspiring mountains, quaint little town, great night life. Not much more to ask for here. There’s a gondola you can take to the top of a hill that gives you incredible views of the entire town plus the lakes and surrounding mountains (fittingly called The Remarkables). We even saw the original bungee platform, where an old man was getting ready to jump. We watched him from the viewing area next to his wife and her friend. Their conversation went thusly:

“He’s doing this so he can tell our grand-daughter how cool he is.”
“I can’t see him, where is he?”
“He’s behind that pole. He’s the one wearing the brown pants.”
“Were his pants brown before or after he looked at the valley below?”

Classic.

Needless to say, he had a great time and we all reveled in his merriment. But something for me was missing. I was at the top of the Skyline Ridge, looking down on this beautiful town, but I wanted more. I wanted to experience Queenstown in a way I never thought possible. I wanted to see the scenery they only show in promotional videos. I wanted to see the ground racing towards me at terminal velocity from 12,000 feet. If only there was a way!

YYYYYEEEEEE

Huzzah!

Let me tell you something about skydiving: It is the greatest thing ever. No, shutup. It is. I can’t think of a bigger rush than roaring towards the ground as fast as gravity will pull you, the whole time juggling two thoughts; “This is unbelievable!” and “Mother of God I hope the parachute opens.” For the duration of the free-fall (about 70-80 seconds) the cameraman is constantly trying to get you to smile at him for some good photo ops, but honestly, I was a bit preoccupied with thinking of a way to justify how dumb I was going to look when they were developed.

It's like I'm smelling cookies

The wind was cold.. and I didn't want to smile too much... and my face was sore... Shutup!

Whether I looked cool or whether I looked like a gay man having a joygasm from the smell of delicious baked goods is neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is, I had the time of my life. The most incredible feeling has to be the first few seconds, when your body is trying to comprehend the fact that you want to injure it and your brain is deciding whether to fire the “smile and love it” nerves or the “look dumb and scream a bunch” nerves (I can’t recall what my reaction was, but I’m fairly positive I wasn’t smiling). But the craziest thing was when the parachute was open, and all the noise of free-fall cuts out, you could hear a pin drop. It’s such a serene moment that it’s hard to believe only a few seconds ago I was almost positive I would tear right through the Earth’s crust and land in Satan’s lap.

You get about 5-6 minutes of gentle floating towards the ground, where my skydive instructor told me about how he wants to open up his own skydiving business (yawn). The landing is much softer than one would imagine and you’re left with the feeling like you want to do it again right away, not unlike the first time you squeeze a boob, amirite fellas?

Oh Shane, your gentle landings are like reaching 2nd base!

In summation, I highly recommend skydiving. It is definitely the craziest/most fun thing I’ve ever done and all I can think about is when to do it next. Bring a friend or that special someone and see who can be braver when falling from the sky at roughly 124mph, (in my case, Ari was way braver, no contest).

Pictured from left to right: Tough, Pansy

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