Sooo I kinda did something crazy recently… I WENT SKYDIVING!! It all started with trying to find something unique for my boyfriend’s birthday gift in June, and I casually asked him one day if he’d ever go skydiving (“Heck yeah I would!”) and there we were! I picked Skydive Midwest for their awesome reviews, and the fact that they were only an hour away.
Being first timers we did tandem jumping, which is when an instructor is on your back. We got there around noon, an hour before our jump was scheduled. It was a sunny afternoon and visibility was going to be amazing! I wasn’t nervous for some reason – mostly excited. We ate the sandwiches we packed as to not jump on an empty stomach later on.
They were a little behind since it was cloudy in the morning so we didn’t get called for our jump until after 3PM. As soon as we heard our names I grabbed Max and nearly ran over to the prep area, only to wait another 45 minutes before we actually got into the plane. We both paid extra for a videographer (how else could I get awesome pics?) and it was so worth it! I figured if I never do this again then at least I’ll have great pictures from my only time.
I got my harness on and suddenly the little propeller plane was there! We all crammed right into it, awkwardly and sitting backwards like sardines, and before I knew it we were off the ground. My tandem partner, Eric, was awesome and super helpful. He explained each step and made me feel super comfortable.
It took ten minutes to get to the 14,500 foot jumping height and the views were fantastic. Within seconds the light switched on, the door was opened, and Max and his partner were the first tandem jumpers out. It’s like, as soon as it’s your turn, you just go – there’s no, “Let me know when you’re ready,” – you just go.
My videographer Corn (Cornelius) was hanging on the side of the plane filming me and I was trying my best to smile, bend over, and cross my arms all at the same time, but it really felt like I was being sucked up by a whirlwind. And then we just fell out! It was insane! I had no idea which way was was up or down and Corn suddenly appeared and was yelling for me to smile but all I could think was, “Don’t puke! Don’t puke!” I didn’t want to open my mouth or scream too much for fear of something awful coming out of it and hitting my poor instructor in the face. I was really happy that I didn’t drink my entire blueberry pineapple smoothie that morning. All I could do was try to smile and make silly hand gestures to the camera!
Finally the free fall was over and we were hoisted up by the parachute (thank goodness). Once my head stopped spinning I finally got a good idea of what I looking at – the view was unimaginable! I could see Milwaukee, Chicago, and everything in between! At one point Eric said we were 1000 feet above the Willis Tower – insane! It’s crazy to think how long it takes to get to Chicago from Milwaukee when I just had to turn my head and I could see every major building in both cities. Unreal.
Once we got back on the ground I felt sick and dizzy for a little while but Max was ready to go again! I was like, “Yeah… it’s not happening.” I instantly thought that I liked it a lot less than I imagined I would. While waiting to feel better Max and I chatted with a couple girls who felt the same as me, and our laughing about how horrible we felt and terrible our pictures were going to be helped a lot. Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I think I’d jump again because I’ll know how it feels. I loved flying with the parachute, but the free fall just messed with my head. Still worth it, though!
I’ve always thought that if I could have any super power, I would like to be able to fly – now I’ve been granted that wish. If only the flight down in the parachute could have lasted longer 🙂 Bucket list item, check!
Scroll down for some of my amazing pictures and tips! Thank you so much to Eric, Corn, and everyone else at Skydive Midwest!
Pretty unbelievable, huh?
While it was an amazing experience, there are some things for which I wasn’t prepared. Here are some good-to-knows before completing your first jump:
Don’t eat within the hour of the jump. The harness is pulling on every part of you and you don’t need extra pressure on your full stomach while free falling at 175 feet per second.
The harness hurt SO BAD on my inner thighs. It didn’t hurt Max at all, which I thought was weird, but maybe because women tend to carry extra fat on their inner thighs it hurt me a lot worse? My skin felt like it was getting pinched pretty badly – don’t get me wrong, I was happy to be strapped in tightly, but I do admit it made me enjoy gliding down a lot less. I suggest wearing jeans or some kind of thick material for your pants because this would have been a lot worse with shorts or thin yoga pants.
I wish had taken a Dramamine pill before hand – not for the actual jump, but because we were packed like sardines BACKWARDS in the airplane (it makes getting out easier). Thankfully it didn’t take long to get to jumping height, but for someone who is prone to motion sickness this wasn’t too fun and made my stomach churn.
You might be waiting to jump for hours – it all depends on the weather and how fast they go. The crew hustles but you’ll have to be patient. Bring your crew and enjoy a picnic!
There’s a maximum weight of 250lbs, at least at Skydive Midwest. They will weigh you the day of the jump.
You’ll have to sit through a 15 minute class with an instructor to get a basic idea of what to do.
You’ll also have plenty of paperwork to fill out and pages of waivers to initial and sign!
Don’t feel nervous – it happens so fast that you’ll feel like you were dreaming one second and then floating gleefully through a cloudless sky the next. If you psych yourself out you might not jump – but if you really don’t want to, you don’t have to. Just remember you have to get down one way or another!