Let’s Jump Out of a Plane

When it comes to adventures, I am not the ideas person – that is 100 percent Derek. The safe route is normally where my ideas land, which is honestly pretty boring. It typically takes me a couple of days to wrap my head around his plans, but I always know they are going to end up being amazing. While we were RVing Derek suggested going skydiving. Let’s be real soaring over mountains would have been absolutely mind blowing. Unfortunately, every time we called a place (which was more than a couple of times) it totally seemed liked a scam. The “companies” wanted all your information and then would tell you they didn’t have any jumping location near your location – total bummer.

A couple of months ago, Derek told me he was signing up to go skydiving in Iowa. He had done some research and came across Des Moines Skydivers, which luckily seemed like a legit company. It had been on his bucket list and he had finally decided to take the plunge. At first, I was just going to go with him to take pictures, we didn’t both need to risk dying (yes, that is how my mind works. Negative thoughts first, than positive {it is something I am working on}). After thinking about it for a few days, I decided what the heck, I would give it a shot too.

Back in June we signed up online, to tandem skydive. We opted for the Turbine Aircraft jump because you get to jump at a 13,000 ft altitude, allow a longer freefall. Go big or go home, right 😉 The price was $225/person, which we both thought was pretty reasonable. I considered purchasing the video/photography package, but after thinking about it decided 1) we would never watch the video & 2) we were doing this for us not for anyone else, so we didn’t NEED that photo evidence we did it.

I’ll be completely honest when I tell you, I put it in the back of my mind and didn’t think about it after signing up. Derek and I agreed it was best not to tell anyone we were jumping prior to going, we didn’t want to put that added stress on anyone – especially our parents. When August came around and I was updating our calendar, August 11 now said “skydiving”. It was something I just tried not to think about, which may sound bad. However, anytime I thought about it my anxiety just got the best of me and I would freak out.

Friday night, Derek and I went for dinner and he mentioned not wanting to throw up the next morning – wait a second, I hadn’t even considered that (I’m telling you, anxiety is no joke). Most of the night Friday, I spent tossing and turning in bed…what if…what if…what if. Saturday morning came bright and early and I opted to skip breakfast, I figured the less food in my stomach the better.

We arrived at the Winterset airport just before 8:00 AM and checked in. There wasn’t much paperwork to sign, as we already had signed endless waivers when signing up online – pretty much saying you (or your family) won’t sue them if anything happens.

The waiting game was the worst!! My nerves had calmed down quite a bit until we just had to stand around and wait. The plane can only hold so many people per flight, so we ended up having to wait about 1 1/2 hours before we got suited up.What had we gotten ourselves into? At this point we were both getting a little nervous – who voluntarily jumps out of an airplane at 13,000 ft?!?

Our names got called around 10:00 AM and it was time for us to meet our instructors and get strapped up. The staff at Des Moines Skydivers is beyond amazing, they do everything they can to help ease your stress and calm your fears. We boarded the plane around 10:15 and my nerves had calmed down, my biggest fear now was vomiting all over the nice gentleman that I was strapped to. The plane ride up took about 15-20 minutes and was seriously one of the smoothes rides I have experienced.

And then they opened the door…

One by one people started jumping out of the plane, I had opted to be the last one to jump. As we scooted our way to the door, I could feel my heart racing. My feet were now dangling out of the plane and we were about to freefall at 120 mph. Thank goodness I was attached to my instructor and on the count of three we were dropping. It was simply breath taking – like took my breath away can’t breath kinda experiences. The 45 second freefall went much faster than I was expecting and the parachute coming out was a lot more painful than I was expecting. After the parachute came out, my nerves were completely gone. Iowa is absolutely beautiful!! My instructor gave me a tour of the area while he allowed me to steer us as we floated in the air.

Before we took off they warned us about the landing because we would be coming in on our butts. I was a little freaked out about this, because the movies and videos I had seen make it look so painful. It wasn’t bad at all and I don’t even think my pants have grass stains on them!!

We survived!! I am so grateful I have such an adventurous husband. Never in a million years would I be sitting around and decide to sign up for skydiving. Those kind of thoughts just never cross my mind. But it was one of the most amazing experience of my life. And I am so thankful we were able to experience it together. If you are thinking about skydiving – just do it! You will be so glad you did, it is a life experience I think everyone should experience at least once.

Courage doesn’t mean we’re not afraid anymore, it just means our actions aren’t controlled by our fears.

Sometimes in life we just gotta jump, right?! I’m so glad I did.

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