In preparation for doing another tour in Iraq, I decided to knock a few items off my bucket list. One of those things was jumping out of a perfectly good airplane (I also took some road trips, went to a few new states, went to Disney World, and spent New Years on Times Square). I wasn’t the only one who wanted to jump out of a plane, so we got a small group together and booked our jump with the Chicagoland Skydiving Center. At 18,000 feet, they claim to have the highest tandem skydive available in the USA.
The experience was amazing. It didn’t really occur to me what I was doing until I actually stepped up to the door of the plane to take the leap. A few seconds later we were falling from the plane and all I can remember thinking was “holy shit, I’m actually doing this!” The first minute is nothing but freefall. If you’ve never gone skydiving, you’re probably thinking it’d suck to feel like you’re falling at 120 mph towards the surface of the earth for an entire minute, but it doesn’t feel like you’re falling at all. In fact, it just feels really, really windy. Some people really enjoy this part (I’m not one of those people).
What I enjoyed was when the chute finally opened and we started gliding through the sky. The view is spectacular from so far up and it really sinks in how small you are compared to the world. I wanted that part to last a lot longer. Afterwards, we went and celebrated with cheeseburgers (yum)!