Embrace the Fear

posted in: Ella | 10


I must not fear,
Fear is the mind killer
Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration
I will face my fear
I will permit it to pass over and through me
And when it has gone past
I will turn the inner eye to see its path
Where the fear has gone
There will be nothing

Only I will remain.

-Frank Herbert

Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to do something with the people who’s slogan is “embrace the fear,” maybe it wasn’t a bright thought to jump out of a perfectly decent plane, and maybe just maybe, it’s dumb to pay to fall from the sky. Maybe…but I don’t think so.

Stepping into the room where they pack the parachutes was a little nerve-wracking. About a dozen people were on the ground stuffing parachutes into bags, laying on them to make them squish more. Everyone kept asking, “Are you nervous?” and I was always like, “um…yeah.”

I was the only kid there, which wasn’t super reassuring. This nice man with a mustache helped us get our giant red jumpsuits. We just waited after that until our tandem masters (the guys we were jumping with) came to claim us. In case you didn’t know, not just anyone can skydive by themselves. You have to have a license. My mom and I were tandem skydiving, so we were attached to a person who actually knew what the heck they were doing. My tandem master (Jake something or other) told me to put my legs under the plane when the doors opened and make a shape like a banana. They really stressed the banana shape. There were signs for it everywhere. When you land you’re just supposed to stick your legs straight out and up and let the professional do the work.

Next stop, cramming into the teeny, tiny planes. The plane itself was a little sketch, not exactly EVA Air.

The mountains shrunk, as we climbed higher into the sky. I basically felt like throwing up on the guy in front of me, as the tandem guy strapped me to him. Complete and utter nausea. We learned later that there were actually sick bags in the harnesses, because people had thrown up as they were falling. The door was opened, and the air flooded the plane. My mom jumped first (thank goodness), then we scooted towards the open door. I stuck my legs out the door and tried my best to make a shape like a banana without going into shock. People always say, “jump out of the plane.” We didn’t jump, we just sort of leaned forward and fell. We did a front flip and a half, I felt like throwing up. I spread my arms out and fell. It’s a strange feeling, falling through the sky. The wind spread my mouth into a maniacal smile, which wouldn’t go away. Suddenly, BAM! He pulled the parachute, and we shot up a little. Floating through the sky is almost weirder than falling. The straps pulled on my already sore legs. We spiraled around the sky, slowly coming in on the ground. My ears popped as we drifted around. The ground was soft, as we had a gentle landing.

Then, it was over. I gave Jake a high five and walked away. On the bus drive back… I almost vomited. I had a fear of heights, now I’m over it. Jumping out of a plane is a good way to give you a confidence boost. It was scary, not gonna lie, but I’d do it again in a second. Now it might be plain stupid to jump out of a plane attached to almost a complete stranger at 9,000 feet. Well if it is, then we’re stupid too. – Ella


10 Responses

  1. Dawn Reaves

    WOW!!! Another thing I will NEVER do that you guys are doing on this trip. Glad you are getting to experience this.

  2. Gwynn

    So very cool! So how long did it actually take to get to the ground? Love your description, Ella!

    • Chrishicks5

      The free fall lasted 25 extremely LONG seconds, and then we floated for like 7 minutes

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