We all have fears. They’re a natural part of life! Here is the story of my greatest fear, how I conquered it, and why it really wasn’t as scary as it seemed.
Ever since I was young, I have been afraid of falling. Not heights; I’m fine with heights. I’ve been to the top floor of the tallest building in the world, and I’ve been on over 100 flights in my life. Yet, falling always worried me so badly. It’s the exact reason that I hate roller coasters! The feeling of dropping is uncomfortable and scary, and I honestly hate the thought of it. So why in the world would I go skydiving?
Why I Chose to Go Skydiving
There are two reasons. First and foremost, the time I went skydiving was on my honeymoon as a surprise for my wife, who had already been skydiving and thoroughly loved it. It was my wedding gift to her, as a nod to the idea that together we can conquer anything – even my greatest fear.
The second reason is also just that; I wanted to conquer my fear! There are few things in life more satisfying than looking straight at your fears and conquering them.
The Morning of My First Skydive
There we were. We left our resort in Orlando Florida to drive to a place on Florida’s east coast. Angel still had absolutely no idea where we were going, and I kept it a surprise right up until the very end. We pulled up to our destination, Skydive Space Center, and I told her what her wedding gift was. She was shocked that I was willing to do this!
It got even scarier when we got out of the car. We had to sign 5 different liability waiver forms, including one that says we waive the right for anyone to sue on our behalf if we die at any point during the morning. Signing your life away, quite literally, is never a fun thing to do.
I almost backed out. This was too terrifying.
Little did I know that this “misfortune” was such a blessing in disguise!
Skydiving at Higher Altitudes is Actually Easier than Lower Altitudes
I later found out that the 11,000-foot jump is actually scarier than the 15,000-foot jump. The higher jumps are what you envision what you think of skydiving; you walk to the edge of the plane and tilt backward until you’re out of the plane and freefalling toward the earth.
The smaller jump is actually in a smaller plane, and you literally need to climb out of the airplane while holding onto the wing, and then you jump off of the wheel strut. Literally terrifying.
The other big perk of jumping from a higher altitude is that the airplane is moving faster when you jump. The airplane is actually moving faster than human terminal velocity, meaning that the second you jump out of the plane you actually slow down.
I’m not even kidding.
When you jump it feels like you land on a puffy cloud with a leaf blower blowing a ton of wind in your face.
It is an extremely relaxing and centering experience! On top of that, you get more freefall time which is a huge perk, because the 11,000-foot jump offers very little of that.
When you jump from the smaller plane at 11,000 feet, this is not the case. The plane is going slower than human terminal velocity, so you do feel like you’re falling when you jump. While some people might enjoy that, I much prefer the sensation of the higher jump.
What Does Skydiving Actually Feel Like and How Do You Land?
As I mentioned earlier, it depends on the altitude of the jump. If you jump from the standard 11,000 feet, you’ll definitely feel a quick drop in your stomach, but it doesn’t last long at all. Once you reach terminal velocity, which is the fastest possible speed an object can fall, that feeling goes away.
You reach terminal velocity very quickly, and then the rest of the jump is very relaxing. It really just feels like you’re floating! The only difference is that you can slowly see the ground getting closer.
If you jump from a higher altitude, like 15,000 or 18,000 feet, you don’t feel that drop in your stomach at all. In fact, you slow down as soon as you jump. It almost feels like jumping face-first onto your bed and then just laying there, except with high-speed wind smacking you in the face.
Once your parachute is deployed, you float slowly down to the ground. That’s all there is to it! As someone who was horribly afraid of falling, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Considering that you’re looking this up, I assume this is going to be your first jump. If that is the case, you’ll be doing a tandem jump, which is where you’re strapped securely to an instructor for the entire jump.
Since you have the luxury of being with the instructor, you don’t need to do a single thing for the landing other than tuck your knees into your chest as if you’re crouching. Your instructor will do the rest! It’s very easy and they do this all day long, so there’s nothing to worry about.
Overall, Is Skydiving Worth It?
To be honest, skydiving is expensive. In the U.S. you can find jumps ranging from $100 to $500 and even more. With that being said, I do think that skydiving is completely worth it, at least to do once. It will be one of the most expensive minutes of your life, but once you’re out of the plane you won’t regret a single penny.
Again, as someone who was very afraid of falling, I honestly had an incredible time and enjoyed every second of it once I was out of the plane.
I hope this post was helpful for you, whether you’re curious about how skydiving feels or are deciding whether or not you should jump.
Do you have a skydiving story? Share it with us in the comments!