We slowly ascend to 14,000 ft. The deafening noise of the propellers hisses throughout the tightly packed 14 seater Cessna. With today's oil prices, we are sardines. I peer out the window, notice the lego city below and replay my jump procedure in my mind. 'Arch, reach, pull' 'Arch, reach, pull', with emphasis on PULLing the rip cord.
Awesome shot of my friend doing her tandem
"Guard your emergency handles, as if your life depends on it, literally" says the jump instructor. and so I slouch alittle into the bench and cradle my emergency handles as if i'm breast feeding a small puppy.
I look left at my friend. "Relax!!" he yells over the engines.
I close my eyes, take a deep breath, hold it, think to myself -'Fuck.
..I'm about to jump out of a fuckin plane for the first time by myself, how relaxed can you fuckin be!'- and then breathe out. That's the anxiety you build throughout the day. It builds when you go through ground training. It builds while eating your lunch. It builds while watching others fly up and fall down. It builds when you put on the jumpsuit. It builds when you put on your chute and wonder if it's snug enough. It builds at every moment of the day, but is ignored. Until it peeps through at the moment you are at jumping altitude and the door opens. For a split second, you have doubts: 'What did I just sign up for? Why the fuck am I doing this'?
Then you jump, and in that instant, all that stress vanishes - POOF - magically replaced with exhilarating freefall. You plummet with no cares. That's replaced by floating serenity as the chute opens. You coast with a bird's eye. Then comes the relief of accomplishment upon landing. You sigh, you're alive. All the anxiety built throughout the day- GONE. So are the one's in life.
You ride high for the rest of the day and to the next and next. I'm still high.