A year ago, I swore I would never jump out of a perfectly good airplane. However, when I was unexpectedly asked to skydive as part of an adventure show I hosted, my spontaneous ambition (and perhaps a little stupidity) got the best of me.
Don’t get me wrong. It was an amazing experience that I’m grateful for. However, I am usually not one to tempt fate and go against all rationality, let alone the laws of gravity.
Was it worth it? Absolutely. Once in a lifetime opportunity? Sure. I’m just glad my parachute opened, and I landed on my feet.
Fast forward to two weeks ago when I got a call from a very good friend who is a member of the US Army Golden Knights Parachute Team. I quickly realized he was going to make me test fate once again.
My inner adrenaline junky took over, and I once again committed to throwing human instinct out the window… literally. Acknowledging that the Golden Knights are the best of the best when it comes to skydiving, I figured the odds were in my favor. Being strapped to a Golden Knight gave me enough sense of security to hurl myself through the air at 115 MPH.
As luck would have it, when I went to go shoot my story on the Golden Knights for the KVJ Show, the winds were not in my favor. We had to cancel the first jump. I figured it was a sign, and I would gladly take it as an excuse not to risk my life that day.
A few days later, the weather cleared up, and my Golden Knights skydiving instructor, Joe, gave us a thumbs up. After a one hour refresher course, I was suited up and ready to do.
We boarded a tiny eight-seater plane that had I not planned to jump out of, I would have been scared to board. Because the plane was so small, you could feel every “bump” as we ascended to an elevation of 12,500 feet.
Let me just say that it’s scary enough skydiving, but when you have to do it on camera, you feel incredibly awkward knowing that you have to present well. Nonetheless, I knew I could count on Joe to push me from the plane, so that made it a little easier.
He was driving. I was just along for the ride.
I learned from the experience that it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve skydived before. It’s just as terrifying as the first time, but just as incredible, as well.
When you first jump from the plane, you anticipate that feeling in your stomach that you get when go down a drop on a rollercoaster. At least I did anyway. So, I tensed up and shut my eyes when we first jumped from the plane.
However, once I was in the air, I didn’t really feel anything. After I realized that I didn’t have to brace for an impact, I opened my eyes. There was this brief moment where I was able to look around, and I thought to myself, “This isn’t so bad.”
Then, the parachute was pulled, and I was pulled up like a toddler on a body leash. From that point was smooth sailing. As I got closer to the ground, my heart rate slowed down, but it was definitely still pumping.
When my feet finally touched the ground, I felt like I had a new lease on life. I had so much adrenaline coursing through my veins that I was convinced I could run a marathon right then and there.
It was an amazing experience… absolutely incredible.
One of my favorite things about hosting is it’s incredibly unpredictable. One minute I may be reporting about fashion or interviewing the latest NHL draft pick and the next, I’m zipping up my yellow jump suit to go skydiving.
In all sincerity, I really am a chicken and dislike heights. But when presented with an opportunity of a lifetime, I embrace the mantra, “You only live once!” All in a day’s work.