f r e e k f l y - h o w
i left for bryant college in the fall of '93. that spring i was walking with my friend jota through the student center as we walked past a stack of flyers with the word skydive in big print. i grabbed one and took a quick look, 'because you've always wanted to do it' it said......and all I thought was, ‘you're dam right i have’! i looked at my friend and we made the call. that weekend we were at the dz signing up for our first jump. i remember we had to wait for the plane to get there since they were flying it in from some other airport. when we were getting in i just remember the fact that i had always said duct tape was the answer to everything.......i guess this holds true for 182's as well. but that didn't matter, with the adreneline and the fact that we had parachutes it just seemed to cancel out the fact that the plane probably shouldn't have been flying in the first place. i'd find out a few years later that this was the second week that the dz had every been opened for business. i had never been in a small plane before but it wasn't that big of a deal. once hooked up and on jumprun i remember the eye opening reality of the door being flung open and the rush of wind. as it rushed through the cabin and created tons of noise, it was an overwhelming attack on the senses for the wuffo clutching on to his harness. i was going first, and i remember my instructor pete saying just put your foot out on the step........that was all fine and dandee from in the plane, but when i stuck my foot out into the airstream it took 3 or 4 tries to finally plant it on the step. 'hey....it's pretty windy out there!' once out, freefall seemed to be instant and the next thing i knew i was under a canopy. i guess for some it feels like an eternity, well for me it seemed like it was only a fraction of a second.
pete took us straight over the runway so we would catch the thermals and we actually rose above jae and the other instructor. they landed first and then we had a nice stand up landing. once i was down i went running over to jae who was sitting with his arms linked around his legs. when he looked up, i still to this day have not seen anyone whiter that he was. the expression ‘pale as a ghost’ was a perfect fit. after i calmed myself down from flying high on well......flying, i asked him if he was ok and did he have a good time. he looked up at me and said something that I won't ever forget, 'that was the most amazing thing i've ever done.........and i'm never going to do it again.'
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