Sunday, 25 June 2017

The man who fell to Earth

I wanted to do a hovertext pun, but I'm just not feeling it today.
Not pictured: my face rippling from the acceleration.
I jumped out of an aeroplane on Friday. Actually got a video filmed of the whole thing too - but honestly, it's one of the most horrifying things I've ever seen, and I wouldn't want to subject it to my worst enemies, so instead of some still photos instead, where you can't see my head being turned inside out by the acceleration. Gravity, thou art a cruel mistress.

One thing that cropped up a lot when I was telling people I was going to be doing a skydive was that they would tell me that they could never do something that scary - something which I don't really comprehend, at all. I mean, yes, it's a bit high and all, but it's with trained professionals, who jump on a daily basis - these people know what they're doing! And, well, if it did go wrong, it wouldn't matter for too long anyway. I'm more scared of going somewhere on my own and having to make new friends from scratch than jumping out of a plane - oh. Wait. Shit.

'Scuse me, while I kiss the sky . . .
There are not very many pictures where I look at the camera.
Seriously though, it was pretty fuckin' cool. My instructor, Josh, was a chill guy - I did a tandem dive, meaning I was basically strapped to his chest like a giant baby in a papoose. Not the most comfortable way to sit in a plane, but once you're on your way down you tend not to notice - too busy focusing on not getting your face ripped off by the wind.

The first sixty seconds were the most intense, mainly because they were spent in freefall - and lemme tell you, the pressure change was fuckin' agony. Felt like my ears were boiling. Not fun.
I'm not smiling. The wind's just pulling my face off.
 After the chute was deployed, and my eyes had a few moments to reel in their sockets while we were yanked up, things got a lot more serene, drifting down and actually enjoying the view rather than watching it just approach at high speeds. Mountains for miles, fields and rivers and streams, stretching out below me, Byron lighthouse sticking out on the coastline like a matchstick. It was incredibly humbling, a glimpse into how small we really are; it also made me very smug, particularly towards the cowardly fuckers who said they could never do this. They're missing out.

Would I do it again? I'm inclined to say yes - it's one hell of an adrenaline rush, and has spectacular views. Trouble is, for about twelve hours afterwards I also had the biggest bastard of a headache I've had in a good long while, and my ears still haven't quite equalised properly. But it was totally worth it. Take that, gravity.

Mid-air encounter with Pac-Man.

1 comment:

  1. You like you're having the best time. Such a beautiful back drop.