I did it and it was an experience, especially doing loop the loop!
So something to do before I was 50.
I decided on a skydive.
I had two problems in my way for this one.
1, I was 3 stones too heavy
2, I didnt think I would be brave enough to do it!
Tackling the first one took me while to do but eventually I managed it.
The second one was going to be a challenge!
I came to the conclusion the only way I was going to do it, was if I did it for charity. After all I couldn't let them down. I decided to do it for the Stroke association since Kevin had, had a stroke two years ago.
I booked the skydive through skyline.com to do it on the 3rd August and set up a Justgiving page. Ok I thought thats the easy bit done.
I did this back in March and apart from sharing my giving page on facebook and taking my form to work, I didnt really think about it.
July soon came around and thoughts of what I had booked kept coming into my mind. It sounds silly but I kept bending over looking at the floor and imagining what earth would look like from 10,000 feet!
I had to be at the parachute site for 7.30am so I decided to book into a hotel the day before to save me panicking on the drive up.
As there weren't a lot of hotels near the airfield that catered for a family, I decided to book into Thurnham Hall self catering apartments.
It ended up costing the same as booking two rooms in a hotel anyway and it looked far nicer.
As the day arrived the weather changed and I had my doubts about whether or not it would happen this weekend. I decided just to enjoy my day in Lancaster, Thurnham Hall and being with my family, minus Georgia and Josh who kindly stayed behind to look after the menagerie!
Thurnham Hall didn't disappoint the apartment was huge, modern and had everything you could possibly want.
In the morning I was up at 6am ( after not sleeping very well, from nerves, not the bed) we had just booked out of the room when the phone rang to say the weather was too bad, no flying today.
To say I was disappointed was an understatement! But I did have a nice time in Lancaster.
When I was home I rang them and rebooked...weather permitting for the next day, I couldn't leave it any longer my nerves might not stand it.
As I set off the next day, the weather was getting better and better and I knew today was going to be the day.
The 'drop' was at the Black Knights Parachute Club in Cockerham near Lancaster.
It was set in the middle of no where but I suppose it has to be but it was very easy to find.
The staff were immediately welcoming and put me at ease.
We were able to watch all the take offs and landings to get an idea of what I would be doing.
They do tell you to expect to do a lot of waiting and they weren't wrong. But they had a cafe and settees to lounge on and videos of parachuting to either help calm you or make your nerves worse!
After a couple of hours I met my instructor Ralph, who talked me through exactly what would be happening step by step, making sure I understood at each stage what was expected from me.
After this I felt much less nervous and just wanted to get up there!
After we boarded the plane, Ralph gave me clear instructions and fastened us 'together'
As the plane got higher and higher I looked out of the window and felt surprisingly calm, it was just how I imagined it would be when i'd been 'practising', looking at the floor. At this point Ralph showed me his 'gadget' on his wrist to show me how high we were. It was pointing to one, 'that must stand for 11,000 feet ' I thought. 'Are we ready then now Ralph?', I asked. No! We are only at 1000 feet another 10,000 to go yet'
I did ask if he was joking but as the plane climbed higher and higher I knew he wasn't.
He showed me again at 5000 and then 8000 feet and at that point I did ask if it was too late to change my mind. It felt as high as when I fly on a boeing 767 on my holidays! Nothing like I expected.
The next thing I know we are shuffling to the edge of the plane and as I hung over the edge wondering what the heck I was doing, we were out!
Falling at 120mph doesnt actually feel like your falling at all, the best way I can explain it is as if your whole body was in one of those Dyson handdrying things you find in public toilets! Cushioned by air rather than falling. I was in shock and couldn't speak for a few seconds but then realised I was falling to earth and screamed. Surprisingly, you cant hear yourself, it was so noisy from the wind.
After 50 (million) seconds and the ground getting closer by the second, the parachute opened. I didn't shoot upwards as expected, I was just thrown from a horizonal position to a vertical one!
From then on it was amazing, the views, the silence, the floating sensation Ralph twirled me around showing me some famous land marks all which lasted about 15 minutes. The landing was very smooth and gentle. Much better than I had expected. Phew!
It was over, I had done it!
Would I do it again?
I wouldn't ring up and book another but if someone asked me to do another, I would.
And I have now raised nearly £1000 for the Stroke Association!
Mmmmm what next.....