Going sky diving has always been on my to do list but some how always gets pushed to the back burner in favor of other activities. This is until my niece Alex asks if I will go skydiving with her. We find a free weekend and I reserve our spots for Memorial Day. This weekend we are also building our deck. I spend both Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning working on this. We just take a little break to jump out of a plane.
We get to the Finger Lakes Skydiving 10 minutes before our scheduled jump time at 11:00. When I enter the building I can tell this is a labor of love and not a huge tourist attraction like it would be if we went skydiving at a destination location. I love it, the room has a big kitchen and feels very community based. We check in then go outside and watch the fellow skydivers when we wait. Finally it is our turn for instructions, right foot, left foot, cross arms, fall and bend your legs, seems easy enough. We chat with the owner who told us how he got into skydiving. He knew from a young age that he was either never going to skydive or do it everyday. Seems like he made the right choice. Alex debates wearing a jump suit and makes me try on a few because we have time to kill. To her dismay and my enjoyment I couldn’t find one that fit we well. Since we are a group of 3 we had to be separated to 2 groups to jump. My husband jumped alone then Alex and I would go up in the plane together.
Alex and I hang out on the picnic table and wait to see Garrett falling out of the sky. Strangely enough he is scared of heights and offered to go first. We watch him land and he is super pumped. His reaction is intoxicating and I finally start to get some gitters. Next up Alex and I have to go board the plane for our one-way trip up. We sit on the floor in a small plane for a 20-minute ride up over the Finger Lakes. For some reason planes always put me to sleep, not sure if it is the consistent noise or the slight vibration but I fight the urge to close my eyes. The pilot kindly points out Seneca and Cayuga Lake to me. Alex peeks over her should, she looks scared and excited. I’m happy to be able to take her on this adventure. Finally we start to get strapped to our tandem instructor. This is a bit weird, you pretty much feel like a horse being saddled and mounted from behind. For someone who likes personal space this was difficult for me, but when I jump out of the plane I find it extremely comforting to have someone strapped so close to me.
Now we make our exit. Right foot, left foot, arms in, jump. When I exit the plane I forget to bend my legs at first so we tumble a bit, which was actually really fun. Then my instructor tells me to bend my legs and I listen. We free fall for a bit, I close my eyes for a moment and feel the air rush all over me. I don’t want to close my eyes for too long though I could miss the awesome view of the Finger Lakes. From the sky the lakes look so close together. We fall into a cloud, there has been a few times when I hike into a cloud but this is a whole new experience coming from above. I take a deep breath of the thick air. Chris pulls the parachute out. Guess what it opened, looks like I am in the clear. Not going splat today. Chris passes over the reins so I can control the direction of the parachute for a bit. He lets me do a few spins but keeps it on the mellow side since it is my first time. We make our final descend I lift up my legs and land on my butt. Chris put a gopro in my face and asked me how it went, I respond with a very true statement ‘ it was very good.’ I think he was expecting a more animated response.
We go inside for our final paperwork; they give us a certificate that we jumped and a little card to track your jumps on if you do more. My tandem instructor writes that I did a good job; I interrogate him if he puts that on everyone’s. We laugh a joke about what it would say if you did a bad job. I question them I what it would take to for a solo jump. I think I could get into this whole jumping out of planes things if I didn’t have too many hobbies as it is.
For me I loved it but didn’t get the thrill I was hoping for. Maybe it is because I was too busy the week before that I couldn’t stress myself out about it or maybe I was still trying to decide if I was running a marathon or 50-miler the following weekend. I would love to go back and have an all you can jump day pass. If you are interested in skydiving I highly recommend Finger Lakes Skydiving! Everyone was super cool.