49 Before 50 isn’t a bucket list. However, if it was, this would definitely be on it. I have wanted to skydive as long as I can remember. My family has never been quite as excited as I have about jumping from a plane but that didn’t stop me from enlisting my daughter to be my sidekick in this adventure. Gabby finished her semester at college and I flew to Arizona to drive back with her for the summer. I sprung it on her during the road trip 😉
Skydive Elsinore was willing to help me achieve this first time experience. They are world famous for both their skydiving lessons and world class training. People come from all over to dive here. Their instructors are passionate about thrill-seeking but when it comes to safety, they are super serious.
Upon arrival, the amount of paperwork is a bit intimidating. There is a required viewing of a video that reminds participants that they are embarking on a very risky adventure that could result in death. It’s kinda weird though, because my mind never went to the “bad place”.
Gabby and I were introduced to our instructors; two young, fun and very cute gentlemen from Columbia and Brazil. They reviewed, step by step, what would happen for us. We suited up and stepped into our harnesses. There was a mock airplane in which to practice the act of jumping out of the plane. Our skydiving teachers were confident, silly and lots of fun, however when it came down to getting to business, they were very focused.
We boarded a small plane and sat on the floor in front of our instructors. The plane climbed to about 14,000 feet and the door opened. Before I realized it, the solo jumpers in our group were out of the plane and I was making my way towards the edge of the plane. Since I was attached to my instructor, I really was just a passenger on the journey at this point and I genuinely was comfortable that he would guide me through the jump.
I felt so alive standing in that door way. But that was nothing compared to the sensory stimulation of the free fall. I expected that my stomach would travel up, like it does on a roller coaster. However, there was nothing even close to that feeling. I felt the chill of the high altitude and the wind in my face and it was magical. We stayed in free fall for about a minute and then I pulled the parachute open. I anticipated there would be a big jerk pulling us back up because of all of the videos I had watched. I learned that it appears that there is an upward motion because the videographers continue with their free fall and the open chute slows down the descent. It was very graceful and fluid.
The glide down was pretty amazing. My instructor gave me control of steering the canopy and we were able to fly over the beautiful Lake Elsinore area. The landing was as simple as taking a few quick steps on the ground.
There are not enough words for me to describe how powerful this was for me; exhilarating, stimulating, empowering and magical immediately come to mind. I can’t thank Skydive Elsinore enough for helping me to realize this dream and helping me to achieve another one of my 49 before 50.