Jumping Out Of The Plane

I went sky-diving yesterday.

I wasn't planning on it. I've never had any desire to jump out of a plane at 10,300 feet above the earth and plummet wildly toward the ground. You'll notice that sky-diving is not on my bucket list.

It just kind of happened!

Let me explain. My brother and sister have been talking about sky-diving for years. I thought they were crazy. Much to my dismay, they disregarded all my warnings of possible death, and they insisted upon going anyway. A few months ago they decided that they were going to go this summer.

Derek really wanted to go as well. Sky-diving was always something he wanted to do, but I was dead-set against it. I did not want him to go, because what if something happened and he died? I think it would just kill me. I asked him to please not go, and that combined with the fact that it is a rather expensive convinced him that he better not.

My sister wanted us to come watch when she took her fateful jump yesterday, and I wanted to come too, just to make sure she didn't die (I know, there's not much I could do from the ground, but it seemed important to be there). Derek wasn't sure if he wanted to go, because he was afraid it would be hard to watch my brother and sister sky-dive when he wanted to as well, but this morning he figured he'd come anyway.

Interestingly enough we ran into my second cousin at the sky-diving place! I didn't even recognize him - he's grown up alot since the last time I saw him. I guess he repacks the parachutes. It made me feel better for Josh and Rachel that it wasn't all strangers working there.

When we went into the sky-diving office, immediately the girl at the front desk asked what everyone's excuse was for not going. Just looking at Derek's face I could tell that he really wanted to do it, and he got all quiet after that. He just looked at me a certain way, and my heart kind of twisted. I finally whispered that if he really wanted to, he could do it.

You should have seen the way his face lit up! He was so happy, and ran off to reserve his place in line. I ran off to the car "to get a book", with tears in my eyes. What if he died and I was left all alone? Thankfully I was wearing big sunglasses, so no one could see.

We proceeded off to a field by a reservoir to wait for my brother and sister. As we watched them from the ground I was in turmoil. Derek was going sky-diving. Without me. Slowly I began to realize that I'd rather go with him than watch him from the ground.

Then I saw that it looked pretty easy when I watched my brother and sister go. Then I thought about how we went para-sailing together on vacation, and it was so non-scary it was almost boring (I thought sky-diving might be easier than I thought too). We had done para-sailing together, and it struck me that we could do this together too.

After my brother and sister landed, I started to get this feeling that I'd regret it if I didn't go too. So I grabbed Derek's neck and told him that I might want to go with him if we had the money.

That's all he needed to hear. We had some extra "cushion" money in our account, so it was settled. I was going.

An hour later we were all harnessed up and climbing in the plane with the licensed sky-divers to whom we were going to be strapped. It was a tiny little plane - Derek sat in the back with his guide, and then my guide and I climbed in, and then the videographers came in after that. We were all squished together in the little plane, and it was kind of weird because you actually had to sit on your guide's lap so they could get you strapped in properly.

We took off in the plane with the door open, and it was so neat to hear the motor and feel the wind whistling past the plane. As we flew over to the jump area, the guide and one of the cameramen, who I was sandwhiched between, pointed out different mountains and cities far below.

Oddly enough I wasn't nervous at all. I think it was because Derek was doing it at the same time and was sitting right behind me and my guide, and I also knew we were going with licensed tandem sky-divers who knew what they were doing. So it really wasn't scary; I actually enjoyed the plane ride.

We got close to the area where we would jump, and my guide started giving me instructions.

The door is going to open, and you'll have to put your goggles on. Cross your arms and hold on to your harness. We'll be sitting on the edge of the plane - bend your legs under the plane. When we take off arch your back and tilt your head back on my shoulder. After we're out of the plane I'll tap you on the shoulder and you can put your arms out.

Derek and I leaned over and gave each other a kiss. Then before I knew it the door was open, we were on the edge of the plane, I tucked my legs underneath and tilted my head back, then all I could see was sky.

We did a couple flips out of the plane, and I could see the clouds spinning in circles. Then we were falling straight to the earth, the air whizzing through my hair. I don't remember feeling a distinct tap, but once we were free-falling I figured it was alright to hold my arms out.

I screamed a little bit on the way out of the plane, but once we were falling my yells were more energetic, adrenaline-rush shouts. It was so exhilarating! But at the same time you weren't really aware of falling so much as you were aware of the wind and the earth underneath you.

All too soon my guide deployed the parachute, and he had me bend my legs so he could drop my harness down a little to prepare for landing. Then it was more of a peaceful float to the earth. I was able to take off my goggles and my guide pointed out a few interesting sites, including Derek and his guide with their parachute deployed and the cameraman still falling beneath them. He also spun us around a few times, and it was so fun - it felt like a roller coaster!

Then the people waiting on the ground became more and more distinct and I had to lift my legs out in front of me for the landing. We skidded to a sitting position on the ground, with the chute floating to rest in front of us. My whole family was there watching, and my mom took a couple pictures. Derek landed right next to me, so we started and finished it together.

The videographer asked a few questions and my guide helped me out of my harness. Then he shook my hand and said "Thanks, Callie! You made my job easy."

That kind of surprised me, because I realized I hadn't crossed my arms but had just grabbed each side of my harness instead (fortunately I was told that that was acceptable too). I also think I had my head down at one point when it should have been up, because I remember looking up and seeing the photographer. But it must not have been as bad as I thought, after all.

It was so exciting, and even as I type this I still have a hard time believing we actually did it (especially me - I knew Derek would have no problems doing it)! At the same time it was over all too soon, and I kind of wish it had lasted a little longer. It almost feels like a dream, but the more I remember about the jump, the more fun I realize it was, and the more I think I'd do it again!

I know it was a good thing to do, because I felt better about going sky-diving with Derek than I felt about not going. I've ignored those feelings in the past and been more "safe", and I've regretted it later, so I'm so glad I didn't ignore it this time! I'm not sure what brought me to agree to such a thing, first when Derek wanted to go, and then for myself. But I just knew somehow that we would be alright and the Lord would take care of us if I decided to go with Derek. So we went. And He did take care of us.

What a blessing to be able to have such an experience with my husband! I laugh at myself, because even yesterday morning the word "blessing" would not have been one of the words I would have used to describe sky-diving. But it was thrilling and amazing, and inspiring. It's an experience we will always share, a bond we have, and a story we will always be able to tell together.

And to think I could have missed out on the blessing of such a thing if I had ignored the Lord's prompting! It seems odd to say that I felt He prompted me to go with Derek, but I rather feel like He did, because I had more of a peace about going than not. And I think that perhaps it was to bring to my attention something that I would not have thought of otherwise.

If I can trust Him with taking care of us when we jump out of an airplane, I should be able to trust Him with anything. If I can step out in faith at the prompting He gave me to go sky-diving with Derek, then I should be able to step out in faith and follow His prompting in anything. I realize He'll always be there with me when I follow His lead in such a way. And that is a truly thrilling, amazing, and inspiring thought.










One of our licensed sky-diving guides, showing Derek and me how we were going to exit the plane.



Derek:



Me:



Both of us after we landed!

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Kelley said...

ahhh that looks like so much fun!

chloƫ. said...

good for you! haha thankfully my husband went skydiving before I met him, so even though he pines to do it again, this time with me, at least he's already gotten it out of his system once ;)

but you make it sound mighty convincing!

Anne said...

This is so cool - what a fun story!I have mixed emotions about sky-diving. I think it would be awesome, but it scares the heck out of me at the same time. It is so cool that you were able to do it together!

LeAnna said...

You are AMAZING! I bet it was exhilarating!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! So glad you decided to go! I saw your tweets yesterday and was praying for your comfort(... and snuck in one about you having the comfort to try something so memorable).

Mrs. Lukie said...

How FUN!! Hubby and I have both been skydiving (separately, before we even knew one another) and are both dyyyying to go again. This post may have been the fuel we needed to get us out there ;)

Anne @ Sincerely, Britches said...

Oh. my. goodness. I can't believe you did that! LOL My husband would LOVE to go sky-diving, but I know I couldn't handle it myself. He took me on my first rollercoasters last night and I swore I'd never do that again. It was awful. BUT, way to go girl! What a leap of faith (no pun intended...) :)

Ashley said...

That is so awesome!!! I'm proud of you, Callie.:) That's an inspiring testimony too, I'm encouraged by your faith and trust! And truly, we CAN trust Him with anything - even jumping out of a plane!!

Lauren said...

OH my goodness!!!! Good for you! What a great story and I'm so glad you were able to experience it together!

Tatiana said...

Good job for going through with it! It looks like fun! I've been wanting to do that for a long time, but the older I get, the more of a chicken I become, so I guess I better hurry up and do it soon :-)

Jenene said...

I can't believe you went skydiving!! It's something that I want to do someday. I think I'd be scared, but I want to be able to say that I did it. And for some strange reason, I'm totally against bungee jumping. It seems less safe!

Cheyenne said...

My husband went skydiving lat year without me and I felt the same way you did! He was doing it with his mom for mother's day and I was working and I was sooo scared for him! (and my MIL too of course) Now he wants me to go sometime and I'm kind of freaked out at the thought, but your description made it seem like it wouldn't be so bad. Glad you went and had fun!
Btw, I was watching "Leap Year" the other day and I realized Amy Adams makes me think of you. Maybe you don't look as much alike in real life, but in your pictures, you kind of look like her!

Jen | Our Life Accounts said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! Hubs and I have talked about doing this for years, one of these days we'll get around to it!

Unknown said...

WOW! I would love to do something like that. Now you can add and tick that to your bucket list.

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