As part of our First Timers series, fans were asked to submit their stories. Here’s one from Alice.
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I bought sky-diving tickets for my then-boyfriend on his birthday. We broke up shortly after, and I ended up with 2 tickets that expired a year after purchase.
About 11 months later, I finally got up the courage to go, and a good girl friend of mine agreed to come as moral support.
We arrived and signed pages and pages of liability forms. Then we sat waiting. We saw 1 plane take off with about 5 riders, and later those same riders came down as little colorful specks in the vast sky.
That first day, after the one plane took off, the winds got too fast, and they had to cancel the rest of the flights; we all headed home.
The next week, we came back, and this time there was barely any waiting. They hustled us onto the plane; we were 3 pairs of tandem riders. And suddenly, we were at 16,000 feet in the sky. And the door of the plane flung opened, and the first tandem pair approached the door. The instructor told the rider to put his legs over the ledge, and as soon as he did, he instantly disappeared into the wind.
Before I knew it, it was my turn. I just started grabbing at everything I could to stay in the plane. But my instructor told me to relax, and guided me to my inevitable destination.
Then, I was flung over the edge and into free fall at 16,000 feet.
At first, I was screaming so much, I wasn’t breathing in. My instructor kept yelling, “Remember to breathe in! Breathe in!” I finally did, and thought, “Oh, I’m gonna live!”
After free falling for a bit, the parachute was released, and we slowly glided down and I took in the beautiful slice of New Jersey we were floating over.
Actually getting myself to go through with sky-diving made me feel like there’s probably nothing in the world I’m too afraid to do. Any time I’m faced with something scary or difficult, I just say to myself, “I jumped out of a plane at 16,000 feet in the air; this–this is no problem.“