I have always thought it would be cool to fly! So cool in fact, that many years ago, before Kelly and I were married, I told her that I wanted to try skydiving. Now this was during those early courtship months when I thought it sounded cool to talk about engaging in such an adrenalin-infused activity. I never was really serious about wanting to do it; I mean who really wants to jump out of a plane!
A few weeks later we were enjoying a nice dinner celebrating my birthday when she handed me an envelope. Now I should have had some clue what it was, but upon seeing the gift certificate for a jump I knew I had to seriously rethink my courting strategies! Didn’t she understand that us guys say these types of things all the time but don’t really mean what we say? I feigned my excitement and quickly brainstormed possible scenarios to avoid having to follow through with the jump.
But our relationship was in that early, blissful, do-no-wrong, magical stage where putting all the cards on the table was still a few years away. So I was stuck and knew I had to jump or risk looking like an idiot. When the day finally came, she appeared quite relaxed. I on the other hand was doing everything possible not to pee my pants! We spent a short time reviewing the jump, our equipment, and how long it would take until the speed of our fall reached terminal velocity (about 122 mph). None of this made me feel much better.
I jumped first and remember little about the first few seconds. After about 15 seconds I reached terminal velocity and the sensation of falling ended. It was as if I was in front of a giant fan, arms outstretched like wings, and for the first time I was flying! I remember looking down on the valley below and feeling a sense of freedom like never before. I understood, if only briefly, why people skydive.
And then as quickly as I had experienced flying it all ended. The chute broke the fall and my guts sucked up into my chest. I landed with a thump and thanked God it was all over. Kelly landed seconds later and we embraced. My heroic courting efforts officially ended. But then I couldn’t help myself. How about next week we go bungee jumping?