Flashback Friday: Skydiving the Florida Keys

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Almost everyone I know has either experienced skydiving, or has it on their bucket list. Maybe I just hang out with crazy people, but regardless it was definitely on my bucket list as well! So when a friend of mine in Key West randomly called me asking if I wanted to go skydiving, I didn’t think twice. It was something I had always wanted to do, and what better place than soaring above the Florida Keys? Within 10 minutes of my friend asking if I was up for skydiving (pun intended), we were en route to Skydive Key West.

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The company we used was a small one, and instead of going up in the plane together, we would each go up separately as they only had one “jumper”, and not a whole lot of room in the plane. That didn’t bother me, and I let my friend go first. They were so high that you couldn’t see when my friend jumped out. I watched his plane, knowing he had jumped, but was unable to see him until he was close to landing. It was amazing watching that little tiny dot, which was my friend, get closer and closer.

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When it was my turn, the pilot flew us around for a while, allowing me to take in the views. I wasn’t completely terrified, but I am sure I would have enjoyed the views just a tad more if I wasn’t getting ready to jump out of a [perfectly good] plane! I still remember those views so vividly almost 10 years later, and the next time I return to the Keys, I definitely want to take a helicopter ride for those views again.

I don't remember feeling nervous, but I definitely look nervous in this picture!

I don’t remember feeling nervous, but I definitely look nervous in this picture!

The flyer and I “practiced” ahead of time, and the instructor told me that before we jumped out of the plane, he would tap my shoulder. I don’t know if he did or not, but if he did, I definitely didn’t feel it. It all happened so fast that I didn’t have time to be scared; one minute I was sitting in the plane waiting to jump and the next I was flying (falling) towards the ground. The flyer would tap me once again while we were freefalling, and this was when I was supposed to stretch out my arms to prepare for the parachute but for whatever reason, I didn’t feel him at all. My video actually shows him tapping me several times! I am assuming it was a mixture of adrenaline and being so caught up in the moment that I was completely unaware of my surroundings.

So much happiness in this picture - right before I started freaking out!

So much happiness in this picture – right before I started freaking out!

It wasn’t until we were floating with the parachute out that I was actually scared. I remember looking down and seeing only ocean, and wondering where we were going to land. Also, the way the harness laid on my legs made them go numb and difficult to control for landing. By the time we got to the ground, my legs hurt so bad that I was ready to be done.

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Afterwards: I did it!

Would I do it again? I’m not sure. I think it’s something everyone should do once, but honestly, with my legs going numb it was kind of difficult to enjoy after the freefalling portion was over. I am glad I experienced it with the company and in location that I did; they were wonderful at accommodating us and made us feel comfortable and at ease.

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Note: Picture quality certainly wasn’t as good almost 10 years ago as it is now! 

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