Good Gracious God. I was 2nd in line and therefore saw the first sky-diver launch himself forward and leap into the air. He disappeared in no time. It was like a magician’s show except I was part of it, I was the common fool ;) It was just a matter of a snap of the finger!
As the aircraft lifted, I was excited but I think it was just my display of bravado to myself. I was singing in my head, in my usually annoying high-pitch tone ‘I’m so excited for mysellllfff’. But boy those knees were trembling.
The first few seconds as we accelerated did not feel as though I was leaving my heart behind, like you would in a rollercoaster. It was different. It was scary because I felt I was falling and I knew I was afraid. I think what I felt was excitement and helplessness; the feeling of falling into and within nothing(ness). There was no end, no beginning, no sense of time nor space.
I cannot believe myself that for most of the stills and videos taken of me, I seem as though I cannot stop smiling. Sometimes I wonder if the wind blowing into my face entered my mouth and stretched my cheeks out to create a very very wide smile. Because I remember being terrified for a lot of the part!
We free-fell for about 50s at the speed of 120 miles per hour. Steve Murphy, my very comical instructor, released a punch bag after a few seconds to stabilise our speed at 120miles per hour. After awhile, I felt like I was flying over a column of rushing cold air. But for the most part, the cold, the exhilaration created a sensory-overload and I was unaware of exactly what I was doing.
The scenery of the clouds was breathtaking. As we plunged down and earth appeared to me, I understood the vastness and greatness of God’s Creation. And how insignificant we are in the face of it.
The parachute ride was beautiful. It’s so quiet up there. So peaceful. And I really felt freedom, like I was flying. And he pulled the cords of the parachute so we could sway from side to side and we did pass through a bit of cloud. But I could feel my body fly from side to side and I loved that feeling.
1. I think what was really amazing about this Sky Dive was we were free-falling for about 50s before he released the parachute. And when I see my life, I measure it according to months and years, but not seconds. So there are very few moments of seconds in my life that I can visualise and live through clear memory of it. Very few moments of seconds. But this one, it was 50s, and although that 50s is nothing in my 21 years of life, it was something I did that amazed me. And I can measure that in that 50s. I can visualise and live that memory in those 50s.
2. My mama would tell you she is confused about how and why I decided to do this sky-dive because she can recall many of my many moments of cowardice. Until today I am aware of the coward in me. I never was a brave risk-taker. But I think Afghanistan changed that (slightly). And in the way that Afghanistan made that difference to me and allowed me to explore my inner free-spirit and wilderness through this sky-dive, I am glad I used this sky-dive to make a difference back to Afghanistan.
3. Next on my list: Para-gliding in Europe in July.