Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I jumped out of a fucking airplane

On Saturday, my friends and I drove up to Cookstown, and a little place called Skydive Toronto. You might be asking yourself, "Why would you go to a place called Skydive Toronto?" If you did, you're really dense.

Our trip was born out of a pact. A promise between friends that we would experience the feeling of jumping from an airplane before we turned 30. My friend Jay Tse jumped two years ago, and allegedly asked me if I wanted to come. Last year, we put it off, either out of laziness or I-don't-have-moneyness. I don't remember.

But this year, there couldn't be any excuses. That's because Jon (the stupid Korean in the back) turns 30 in November. You can't go back on the pact. So I went back to Jay and asked him where he went. Reserved the date, and put a countdown on my blog. 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Booya! August 18 rolls along, and here we are, harnessed up and ready to do it!

I knew that we'd be asked to sign a waiver, relinquishing our rights to sue in the event of injury and/or death. What we didn't know was that they were going to make us watch a crusty 30 min video from the early 80's. The shit was friggin hilarious! It was hosted by the guy from Idomo, and from the Family Ties dad.

So we suit up, and head out to the airplane. Up to this point, I wasn't nervous at all. the first point I tensed up was when we got into the plane. The shit was held together with duct tape. My estimate was 4 or 5 rolls. If something happens to the plane, at least we have parachutes, right? Well, actually my tandem partner has the parachute, not me. Errr....

The second point of nervousness came at 10,500ft. Thats when the pilot opened the door. I took a peek and could still see the ground. The wind was blowing hard into the cabin. My instructor told me to head for the door, just like we practiced on the ground. I reluctantly moved towards the door, put my hands across my chest in the shape of an X, and waited for him to count us down. "Ready?! ... one ... ". That's when he pushed me. I got pushed out of an airplane!

The first 3 seconds, I think I went numb. We were falling head first. All I remember was seeing the ground. I don't remember hearing anything, I don't remember feeling anything. Only vision. I've never experienced that before.

After that, we stabilized, and I felt like I was a bird, flying in the air. What an awesome feeling. I hammed it up for the camera a bit, probably longer then I should have, because when I first checked my altimeter, we were already at 7000 ft, only 1000 ft from the point when we were supposed to deploy the chute. Damn, we've already been in freefall for about 20 seconds?!

So, while training on the ground, we were taught how to find the parachute ripcord. When I got the signal from my tandem partner, I did what remembered. It should be somewhere just above his hip. My hand was flailing around, but I couldn't find it. Uhhh, this kinda sucks. I hope my tandem partner is going to pull this thing, cuz I'm sorta starting to panic.

The second half of this skydiving experience, the slow flight down under the canopy, was almost as amazing as the freefall. Who the fuck am I kidding, it was nowhere near as amazing! But it was still cool.

When we landed on the ground, the videographer rushed in for my reaction of the dive. I had all this wicked shit planned. I was going to brush the dirt off my shoulder, smirk at the camera, and tell him it "ain't no thang". I was going to tell Shaun that he missed out. It was going to be wicked. But that's not what happened. I was stunned. I was shell shocked. I stuttered and mumbled. I'm actually kinda scared to see my video, I'm probably going to look and sound really stupid.

You can see my pictures here. Thanks to Joe, my tandem partner, Peter, my videographer, and everyone else at Skydive Toronto. TeamID, we did it! Well, except for Shaun and the wife. Y'all missed out! This experience was so sick, I guarantee that I'll be back for another jump. If you haven't been skydiving before, I recommend it!

--- Living is overrated underrated tour 2K7 ---

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