In honor of Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, we’re posting a flashback to an adventure Kathryn and I embarked on with our mom a few months ago – Skydiving!
I had always wanted to go sky diving and after finding out that our mom wanted to go too, Kathryn and I decided that’d be a great Mother’s Day gift. So only 7 months later, last November, we finally scheduled it! We planned a weekend trip to our parents’ condo in Lakeland, Florida and found SkyDive City in Zypherhills, just about a half hour away (and found discounted jumps on Groupon!).
We arrived at SkyDive City in the afternoon just before our reservation and after checking in, went to wait in a picnic area where we could watch planes take off and jumpers land. Looking around at first at the others waiting, we noticed that the crowd seemed a lot older than I would have expected. After talking to the 87-year-old man sitting near us, we learned that there was a JOS event going on – Jumpers Over Seventy. They were attempting to set a record for the most jumpers over seventy years old, 22 jumpers in one formation. Not even kidding, JOS is a real organization…still trying to find confirmation of whether they set a new record that weekend!
After chatting with our new JOS friend and watching several jumpers land, it was our turn to suit up. We were doing tandem jumps, so each of us had our own instructor who we were jumping with. They helped us into our harnesses and gave us a quick individual tutorial on what to do and what to expect.
After the brief lesson, we boarded the plane. It took about 20 minutes to get up to 10,500 feet and on the way up, our instructors checked and double-checked our harnesses, repeated the instructions a few more times, and cracked a lot of jokes to help ease our nerves (like “if you look out the window on the left, you can see earth” and “I found a parachute for us to use!”).
Then it was time to jump! One tandem pair at a time, we scooted awkwardly to the door (that was open for most of the way up!), and before I had time to think, we were tumbling over the edge into the sky. It was awesome! After 45 seconds of free fall at nearly 120 MPH, my instructor gave the signal to pull the parachute and then I had a chance to help steer as we floated the rest of the 5 minutes to the ground. Mom and I ended up with sitting landings but Kathryn managed a graceful standing landing!
Once we were back on land, our instructors gave us a debrief, including an official entry in our new skydiving logbooks and a certificate!
It was such an awesome experience and it was great for the three of us to be able to cross this adventure off our bucket lists together!