Skydiving is synonymous with the stuff good, or even great, blockbuster action movies are made of and is known for being a term that causes heart palpitations amongst us regular folk. Nevertheless, I decided to combat my anxiety, give up my obsessive need to be in control of every situation I encounter and hand my life over to my tandem instructor, Dan, as we fell 14 thousand feet out of the sky. Ok, so maybe I’m being slightly dramatic… I definitely didn’t hand my life over; yes skydiving is an extreme sport but one of our biggest fears- equipment failure- is actually an exceptionally rare occurrence. Simply put, some calculations suggest we’re +/- 24 times more likely to die in a car accident than skydiving. It does come with risks attached, but these are calculated, accidents few and far between. We also didn’t fall the entire 14 000 feet. Free-fall lasted about 45 seconds and the remaining 5 minutes were spent blissfully floating back down to terra firma.
But don’t get me wrong, an adrenaline rush it was. From the second you step in to your suit, excitement will begin to bubble, peaking as you leap out the plane after the 15 minute ride up. Skydiving is most definitely the most liberating feeling I am yet to experience, even though images of me screaming my lungs out may suggest otherwise. Overcoming my inhibitions- because in all honesty I think most of us are more anxious than actually afraid- was the best decision I’ve made. So if you can, I recommend you jump at the next opportunity you get to dive through the sky and- even if only for a fraction of time- fully experience the peaceful feeling that maybe, just possibly, you could fly!
Note that skydiving is still a dangerous activity. Freak accidents can and do- albeit extremely rarely- happen. By choosing to skydive you are taking a risk. To minimize all possibilities of something going wrong, do your research! Plan your dive with a well-established company who have a trustworthy track record. I chose to skydive with Skydive Australia, a large and extremely reputable firm that operates across the country. At the end of the day, your safety is key so make sure not to take any short cuts!
© Flora Straeuli 2016