On our 17th anniversary we went to Jumptown in Orange, MA to watch Jen’s friend celebrate her 25th birthday by skydiving. I thought it would be cool to watch and take some pictures. When it was time for her friend to get her jump training we were asked if we wanted to go in with her. Couldn’t pass that up, so we watched her learn how to exit the airplane and how to arch her body during freefall. Cool stuff. Then it was time for her to get suited up and get in the plane. We went over to the spectators area and waited. After a while we could see tiny people falling in the sky, and then a little while later parachutes opening. Not knowing who is who I just took a bunch of pictures. Once she landed Jen said “we need to check into this.” So we head in to find out what the cost is and when they have openings. We figured it would be another week or so, sounds easy to say we’ll do it later. They told us they had two openings on the next flight and they would give us the group discount….. OK, so sign us up! We do our flight training class and then get suited up. After we hang out for a bit walking around with these straps between your legs, now if you’re a guy… well you probably get the picture. Once it’s time to board the plane you enter and and straddle a bench facing backwards. Not a problem, but different. As we’re gaining altitude Muppet, my jumpmaster (the person you are strapped to), explains some things and starts attaching your harness to his. A little later on someone slides open the door and you hear the noise from outside, just like the window is down in your car while you’re on the highway, but you are 13,000 feet above the ground. You slide forward on the bench as others are sliding forward. I saw Jen go out the doorway with her camera man and jumpmaster. See you on the ground! A couple others go, then it’s my turn. We walk toward the open door crouching while having someone strapped to my back. As we get to the door…. wow, that ground is way down there! Oh yeah, while we were sitting on the bench I asked Muppet how we actually go out the door. He says that we will say “Ready, Set, Arch” and out we go. I ask “am I stepping out the door or what?” He says “I’m pushing us out”. 🙂 Ok so back to being at the open door 13,000 feet up. I look out and think it’s a good thing he’s going to push me. Ready, Set, Arch! and out we go, as we fall out the plane we do a flip and see the plane flying away as we fall on our back. That was so awesome! Then we turn around get in the arch position and freefall for around 30 seconds. Now this is very loud as you hear the air rushing by your ears at over 100mph, kind of like sticking your head out the window on the highway. Muppet pulls my head up so my camera man, Ben, can get video/photos of my face and not the top of my head. We were told about that in the training class, but when you are falling it’s so hard not to look at the ground. It’s mesmerizing. At 5,000+ feet Muppet moves his hand in front of my face and then points to the rip cord. I have a couple seconds to pull the rip cord or he will. I pull it and then feel a lot of pressure between my legs as we slow down from 130mph to 15mph and the parachute is open! Gotta love that. Now we can talk since we don’t have the noise of the air rushing past us. He does some tricks with canopy, pulling on one side causing us to spin fast. Then he shows how you can feel weightless, he pulls on one side then the other quickly. He then let’s me hold on and help steer while his hands are holding above mine. That was pretty cool. Time to practice lifting legs for the landing, you don’t want your feet/legs to hit the ground or you become a pivot point, not good unless you want to kiss the ground. We land smoothly and it’s over. I’m ready to go again. We get disconnected and I go over to see Jen and we they get a shot of us together.

I can’t wait to go again!


I posted the videos and pictures from both of our jumps in the Skydiving album.

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