It’s become apparent that this year has been a write-off in terms of experience for many people. i have found myself reflecting more on the stuff i have done in the past years, one of them being my charity skydive last year.
i’ve ALWAYS wanted to do one. It was just perfect timing that Fitzroy, a charity very close to my heart that helps people with severe learning and physical disabilities, was looking for individuals to raise money and jump on their behalf. This was the perfect excuse and best way to scare my mum (sorry!) to do something incredible and exhilarating.
Why write about it now, Lizzie? Because time is flying by. i don’t want to forget it and i want there to be information out there for folks seeking the same experience but are unsure of what to expect.
i wasn’t too bothered and went into it just knowing i was going to be jumping safely whilst strapped to someone else, known as a tandem skydive.
How can i raise money?
-Bake sales, shout about it, ask
-Raise as much awareness as you can amongst friends and family – share it on social media and get them to share it too
-Express how much it means to you
–Smile! You would be surprised how much this can benefit you when asking for anything and showing how you feel
–Shout about it after! When you’ve proved to everyone you have done it, show off your photos (i warn you they will be very unflattering with the wind flapping your face about in the sky, but who cares?!)
What happens on the day?
My 10,000ft skydive was in conjunction with GoSkydive – i went to the one in Salisbury – which meant an early start to get there for 7am on a Saturday.
After signing paperwork, you join everyone else that is jumping to watch a video to get you pumped and talk you through what to expect. Afterwards, you are given the option to purchase filming/photo packages for your jump (which i would highly recommend!)
Throughout the day, you are then left waiting to hear your name called out, as everyone is paired with an instructor based on similar height and weight. When called, you are kitted out with a harness, jumpsuit, gloves and hat (cute – not.) and given a mini induction of the 3 main positions you will use on the aircraft, during your jump and when you land. They talk you through the parachute used to show you are SO safe, including a back up one.
The instructors know what they are doing – they need to do at least 800 jumps – yes. EIGHT HUNDRED. – before they can take anyone else.
Part of my video package included me filming a video for me to use to raise even more awareness of Fitzroy and explain why i was jumping, as well as show how excited i was! Shortly after, my name was called and my jumping partner was Mac. We got on great and were both raring to go!
Batches of 10 to 12 people (from what i can remember) go up in the aircraft. For a 10,000ft jump, it’s a 15 minute ascent. During this time, your instructor straps you to them securely whilst you slowly feel the adrenaline building.
At this point, i still can’t quite believe how calm i was, especially when i was given the news i would be the first to jump! At least i didn’t have to watch anyone jumping out before me!
Next comes the blur…
For a few seconds, you hang out of the plane (it is rather cold up there, but you’re not there for too long) with your feet touching the base of the plane, and then WHOOSH.
You are weightless. Falling. FAST. For 30 seconds, your cheeks flap around, your arms come out and flap. You try hard to look pretty with saliva coming out. BUT WHO CARES?!
And before you know it, BAM! The instructor shows you the pressure monitor on their arm, counts to 3 and releases the parachute. I cannot even remember the jolt it must have done to my spine, but it was all over so quickly – TOO quickly. And then….
Peace. Bliss. Utter bliss. The sun was shining through the clouds and I was able to look down onto Salisbury and the cathedral, everything so quiet apart from my elated, swearing mouth. i would advise not to yank on the handles too much to change direction as they can leave you feeling pretty sick… take it easy.
I wanted to do it all again. I still want to.
It took about 5 minutes to descend and land which was utterly smooth. Here, i took a moment to make sure i didn’t vom before relaying my reaction back on camera. It was immense: an amazing, unforgettable experience.
I still want to do it again.
-If you’re like me and a bit of an adrenaline junkie, you will want to do ANOTHER!
-You will most likely feel sick… the build up of adrenaline and excitement will catch up and hit you. Fortunately i was not sick, but close, whereas others didn’t deal with it quite as well….
-Take it easy – i made the mistake of driving down alone so i had to be careful not to make myself sick when driving home! If you have someone to support and take you home, hallelujah!
i raised over £600 – offline and online via a justgiving page. I had to raise about £400, then anything extra went to the charity
-Wear a top when you jump – extra warmth and advertisement!
-Photos! get it filmed! (these cost a little extra)
-Shout about it after
-Bring someone with you! For moral support and to take you home!
-i was not nervous AT ALL. i mean it
-my heart rate peaked to nearly 190bpm, but i honestly felt amazing
-WHEN AND WHERE CAN I DO MY NEXT JUMP?