When the weather and my wallet allow, I find a small aeroplane with a willing pilot, climb in, let the ‘plane climb up and climb on the outside of the plan and drop off. Wearing a parachute I hasten to add.
Comments on this hobby of mine range from ‘oh my god, you’re so brave’ to ‘why do you do that?’ to ‘you must be such an adrenalin junkie’. I’m sorry to disappoint on the first and last. I’m not that brave (you’d laugh if you saw me shaking with my back to the wall at the top of the Empire State Building) and I’m not an adrenalin junkie (after 10 mins on the motorbike taster course I decided it just moved a little too fast for me). This post will hopefully answer the ‘why do you do that’ question though.
Don’t get me wrong, the first jump out of a plane was the most frightening thing I have ever done. And I generated so much adrenalin I was very glad wasn’t driving myself home from the airfield – I’d have been dangerous on the road with both fight and flight instincts raging through my body.
The reason I carried on, was because of the peace it brought me and still does. I multi-task, frequently and not always in the most organised manner. To the extent that it drives me mad sometimes. I’m meant to be packing, studying Prince2, finding a tenant, responding to bookmooch requests, deciding which shipping quote to go with, preparing food with what’s in the freezer and cupboards, working out when to see all the people I want to see before I go, fixing the heating so that more than just 2 radiators work, remembering to buy a lightbulb and all the while this blog post is creating itself in my mind.
When I’m skydiving, I think of one only thing. Flying myself – my body in freefall and the parachute once it is open. This video I shot while jumping shows the freedom and peace I experience when I skydive.
This is why I do it. https://vimeo.com/51352154
(the observant watchers will note that I land in Texas, having taken off in Oxfordshire. This is a bit of poetic licence made possible through editing software)