It all started with a Bucket List, but it grew into something more. My husband and I have felt God metaphorically pushing us out of planes constantly, challenging us. We decided for our 2nd anniversary we would take a giant leap of faith and do the physical equivalent of what we felt God was doing in our hearts.
The drive there was filled with excitement, nervousness, and, from my husband, nausea. There was no backing out now, we were feeling ready… for the most part.
Once we arrived, we were led into a room with an old TV playing a “safety video” that dated back to the “90’s” at the very least. The owner told us he didn’t care if we watched the video, but that we had to fill out the paper work. Good start.
After signing our lives away, we waited impatiently for about an hour before our turn. During that time we met our tandem buddies for the day, Mo and Luigi. They put our harnesses on and walked us through what was going to happen on the plane and more importantly in the air.
Finally, we were up. Mo and Luigi walked over to us to once more tighten our harnesses. Next thing we knew we were being led into the plane. We were both in the back with another couple in front of us. Right before takeoff the instructors shut what looked like flimsy manual garage doors on either side of the plane. I just remember thinking holy crap this is happening. We kept getting higher and higher and my heart started to beat a little quicker than when we were on the ground. I was officially scared. In my heart I knew I wanted to do this, but the reality of it didn’t quite match that enthusiasm. My shoulders are literally getting tense right now as I’m writing this. My videographer turned to me and asked how I was doing, while letting me know we were only half way up. I kept getting high fives and words of encouragement from the instructors. I guess my face matched my nervous feelings. In my head could hear Tim McGraw singing “I went skydiving, rocky mountain climbing…” on repeat the entire time we were ascending. All at once all of us were hoisted onto our tandem instructor’s laps. They tightened down the harness so tight there was no way I could move – thank goodness. It made me feel safe.
It was time. I don’t even remember seeing the first couple jump. I just remember crawling towards the now open garage doors of the plane and seeing my husband get sucked out. I let out a quick exhale paired with a tiny exhilarated scream. Then I was the only one left. We made our way to the edge of the plane and Mo rocked me backwards three times and then once forward. WE WERE FALLING!
I let out a scream as my stomach dropped and I looked down. The sensation is totally different than, a roller coaster for example. There was no track. Nothing holding me but Mo and the harness attached to him. He tapped my shoulders letting me know I could put my hands out. It felt like we were moving so fast, the air rushing past was so loud and my lips stuck to my teeth. It was exhilarating, an adrenaline rush to say the least.
Then, the parachute shot out and pulled me vertical. Mo loosened my harness, which was a little nerve wracking, but I felt like I could breathe a little easier. I literally felt like a bird up there. Holding the parachute, directing it where to go with Mo’s help of course. It was a cloudy day, but the horizon was so beautiful. One of the most beautiful things I’ve seen to this day. There was a beautiful blue haze where the sky kissed the earth and I couldn’t get enough of it. I felt so free as we drifted through the air. My legs were just dangling, well technically my whole body was, and I loved it. I thought once the parachute opened that the fun would be over, but I enjoyed that more than the jump itself. It was so peaceful and gorgeous.
I could see my husband’s orange parachute drifting below me. When I landed it was so good to hug him and relish in the adventurous endeavor we’d just experienced together. Afterwards, I asked him about the Horizon, how I felt so free and knew it was a moment I’d remember for the rest of my life. His response, was “what horizon?! I was staring at the ground the entire time!”
The rest of the day we walked around Indy and kept saying “Dude, we just jumped out of a plane.” We kept passing people and thinking out loud “They have no idea we jumped out of a plane today.” It was the best feeling and I loved getting to create that bond with him. He’s my best bud and I love that we’re bros for life. Whether we’re in our home town, jumping out of a plane, or following God across the world.
Side note: The song Step Out Jose Gonzalez perfectly describes the parachute feeling