I had always wanted to go sky diving. It’s been at the top of my list for years now and I finally decided that now is the time. And where better to do it then Switzerland?
For years I’ve thought about how I would feel during it. I’ve watched videos of others completing the dive and felt incredibly nervous! “Suiting up. It would definitely be suiting up and getting the harness on that would build the nerves.” Well that’s what I was always assumed would happen. But I was completely shocked by my response.
Calm. Calm!? And stupidly excited! Like a little kid the night before Christmas. I didn’t want to wait a second longer. To be honest I think I was more nervous on the morning of, but once that van picked us up from our hostel at 3.30pm I felt no different to any other normal day.
Seeing the tiny plane on the runway caused reality to set in. There was a quick skip in my heart beat but I was soon back to that strange calm and excited feeling.
The safety briefing took place in a circle on the grass, where we practiced turning our body into the classic sky diving banana shape. The most important note I learnt at this time was to “not grab your tandem masters hands throughout the dive. If you do he will not be able to open your parachute.” Noted!
Within a short time we were all suited and harnessed up. I was introduced to Dave, my tandem master and the go pro interview process for the (ridiculously expensive) video started. I was set to go! Get me on that plane!
“Ok Lisa you’re going to be on flight number 3.”
Ah! We had to wait for two more flights before it was our turn! I couldn’t wait anymore. But it just built the suspense. Watching the others fall through the sky above us and seeing them land with the biggest grins on their faces only made me more excited and again, even calmer.
Finally our turn arrived. We walked out to the small plane and were boosted inside. 5 Pairs of divers all lined up inside, set up in a big spooning train. And guess where I was? Right up front! Smack bang next to the see through door. Looks like I’ll be jumping first.
The plane began to build up speed for take off. It felt odd to have my back facing to the nose of the plane. Especially when the pilot decides to “go for a big one” and throw you straight into a steep incline. That itself was a massive thrill!
Weather conditions were absolutely spot on. The instructors explained that not only had we picked the best day, but a great time as well with the sun beginning to set. See – everything happens for a reason!
Clear blue skies allowed us to see right out as far as Mont Blanc. I would have paid just to do the scenic flight. It was incredible! Look below and you see the huge crystal blue lakes that I detailed in the last blog. Look outwards and you see the French, Italian and Swiss Alps. But despite the incredible views I only had one thing on my mind: “Let’s jump already!”
I never expected to be so ready to leap out of an airplane. Who is this girl and what have you done with Lisa?
Dave signalled to me that it was time to get strapped in. He started tightening the harness and running through the final instructions: tuck your legs under the edge of the plane, hips forward, head back and don’t forget to breathe. Goggles were smooshed onto my face and I was set to go.
I looked back at Fiona.
“I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else Fi. I love you!”
And then the door rolled up. Ok that was my moment. It finally hit! This was going to happen.
Dave edge me towards the open door and we dangled our legs off the edge. I followed the instructions, took a deep breath and said my final message to the go pro. Suddenly the plane slowed and Dave yelled, “ok let’s do this!” And then it began.
We tumbled a 360 turn as we rolled out of the plane. Dave soon gave me a tap on the shoulder signalling that I could let my arms fly free. Nothing will ever compare to the feeling you get when falling through the sky at 200km/hr. It’s absolutely exhilarating!
The free fall lasted for 45 seconds before the parachute was released and my legs were suddenly flung forwards as I sat into the harness. Silence! Suddenly you’re floating in blissful silence allowing you to take in the beautiful surroundings. Dave decided to “have a bit of fun” as he circled the parachute around at steep declines. I don’t think the smile on my face could go any wider. That sky dive was honestly the best experience I’ve ever done in my life thus far. What a way to send out my 25th year and bring in the 26th.
I can see how people get addicted to diving. “Can we go again now?” I said to Dave. If only…
PS. For those closely following the blog, I have now arrived in Budapest where I am about to begin a 7 day music festival. I will therefore have limited access to phone and internet and will not be making a post until after the event. So until then…