The other day between one of my flights, I received an phone message from a college buddy of mine name Kent Brantly, whom I was planning a visit to a few days thereafter. The message was slightly mumbled, or maybe that was the roar of the 737 engines, but the single word that I caught was Skydiving.
It’s been on my mental lifetime “to do” list for quite a while, so I immediately called him back, asking if all that he said was true. He said yeah, he’s wanted to go for a while.
“I’m in” I said.
A couple days later I landed in Indianapolis, home of the great Hoosier Kent Brantly himself, and made plans to hurl ourselves out of a plane at 11,000 ft at 10:45 the next day. The rest of the day we received nothing but a hard time.
“I know this one guy that bounced off the ground after his parachute didn’t open.”
“Ever heard of an Iron Lung? Have you heard what those people sound like?”
These were a couple of comments made by Kent’s boss at Interstate Batteries and his ER Doctor father, respectively.
I called my parents that day and talked to them about sending my birth certificate so I can get my passport, and at the end of the conversation I ended with “I’m goin’ skydiving tomorrow I’ll call ya when I’m done.”
All I heard was “WHHAAATTT???”
“Gotta go mom. Talk to ya lata.” Click.
We left at 10:00am. We searched for some music to get us goin and to shake the nerves, but all Kent had was sappy love songs to non-existent girlfriends, classical, and slow dull Christian songs. So we jammed to a mix made by some wierdo’s from ACU that made the CD as an ode to they’re house.
We called all our friends to say our goodbye’s, just in case things didn’t work out the way we wanted. We also called Kyle Carter, who had recently been skydiving, for some advice.
“well” he said . “Just go out and enjoy it.!”
None the less, we were still pretty nervous about the whole thing.
We arrived a few minutes early, walked around the campers trailers into a barn looking structure, and all we saw were two people looking at a computer and a girl going to town packing parachutes back into the sacks. I don’t think she slowed down the entire time we were there.
Eventually the girl looking at the computer came over and asked if we’ve been helped. We said no and as she walked away, she stopped, came back, and said that I looked pretty shaken and worried. I really wasn’t that nervous I told her, just “really confused at the whole operation going on here.”
We then went and watched a short video on first time skydiving (that was us!), got put into jump groups, and sat around, watching people go up...then come down. As the whole thing went on, we relaxed, thinking “this shouldn’t be so bad.”
Finally our names got called, we got strapped into our harnesses, briefed on what was going to happen (this lasted a total of 10 mins. Tops.) then waited for the plane to come down. An announcement came on, saying we had 15 mins before we went up.
Finally, our instructors came and got us, saying it was time to go. We walked out of the barn out to the runway as the airplane landed and turned around, leaving the gaping hole in the side of the airplane that we were about to climb into…and 11,000 feet later… jump out of..
Continue with the Saga Here...