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We just finished our second annual Santa’s Bailout (Christmas skydive). It reminded me of my first jump. Below is a copy of what I first wrote about that experience almost immediately after I returned home. While it may not be very coherent, neither was I at the time.
The fear is building, slowly, steadily. The others talk amongst themselves as our time draws near, loud and exuberant, trying to set me at my ease, yet I can scarcely manage more than the occasional nod or forced smile. The sound of my own heart, the blood rushing through my veins is so loud I can barely hear our final instructions as they are given. The amber light comes on and now it’s time, time to stand, time for one final inspection. My limbs are leaden, fingers tingling; my legs hardly bear the weight of my slight frame. Finally green…ONE…TWO…THREE…and now here I stand with one hand either end side of the door, the fear eating at me so strongly I can feel it dancing throughout my body...I jump when the hand slaps down on my shoulder, my heart clenches and…
The wind is rushing past my ears with such violence I can’t here my own screams of joy. I am an eagle diving for his prey…until the SLAM of the chute catching air…followed by…
…Peace…floating gently to the ground like a leaf in a soft summer breeze.
This, as always, is dedicated to those that have done, and continue to do, this in sacrifice and service. Heads Up, Asshole!
And to those of us that do it for joy...No Bouncing!