The First Step Is A Big One

We’ve got this.

So apparently I really like jumping out of perfectly good planes1.

That’s right folks, today marked the second time in my 36-point-something years in which I hurtled myself towards the earth from a height in excess of 12000 feet, with only fabric preventing me from plummeting to a very flat end. And as was the case with my first jump, I loved every freaking second of it.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

It’s Dr. Beardo to the rescue!

Today was a very long day – but for all of the right reasons. It started relatively early so that we3 could try to get through Toronto rush hour traffic prior to our 10am appointment with gravity. The day started with a warning-slash-educational video; the same video we saw when we were jumping in Hawaii. After that we were given a booklet of waivers and forms that we were to review, sign, date, sign again, date again, sign once more, initial, check, date, sign, and witness. Oh, and sign and date again.

After so many pages, I basically gave in and just signed and dated anything – even if it asked for a phone number or address. I’m pretty sure that in the chaotic symphony of signing and dating, I signed and dated away the parental control over my first-born child. This means I don’t need to save for their education, right?

Especially if you die. Ha!

Next up – further training, some waiting, more training, and then we were fitted for our jumpsuits. This included a sporty jump-cap, gloves, and of course the harness that makes sure we remain attached to our jump-master.

In no time the plane was taking off. Rick and I were sitting near the back going over last-minute instructions with our jump-masters, chatting with each other, checking our altimeters, and watching as the ground sped away below.

And then the door was open and Rick was gone. I watched in amazement as he fell away beneath the plane.

And then I was at the door’s edge with crossed arms and an arched back. I took one as-deep-as-I-could-breath and then I was falling. Or floating. Or flying. I’m not really sure which. Perhaps all of these. The sound of the rushing wind filled my ears, I saw the ground beneath me, I saw the sky above, and it was all perfect. Absolutely perfect.

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s possibly Rick!

Around 5000 feet the ripcord was pulled. The roar of the air stopped and everything became serene as the parachute slowed our descent. I could see Barrie, Toronto, Lake Simcoe, and so much more. The air was cool and the sky was blue with just the right amount of clouds. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Of course eventually we had to land. The ground came up quickly but we still managed a very smooth return to terra firma. After watching Rick land, and after celebrating another amazing adventure together, we returned to the terminal to process all that we’d done. It was at this point that I started wondering when I could jump again.

Clearly I’m hooked.

Rick, thanks again for another awesome adventure. It really wouldn’t be the same without you4. Thanks also to Verena, Rob, Ryan, and Mum for welcoming me on this little adventure, and for making today so awesome. You are all amazing.

For those interested, I’ve posted some of the pics from today below. Enjoy.

1 And by that, I mean that I’m looking forward to my next skydiving adventure2. I’m not exactly sure when that will be, but I’m pretty confident that it’s going to be this summer.

2 In fact, I think my next adventure is going to have to involve a solo jump. Which means I really should update my Not-So-Bucket-List list to reflect this new challenge.

3 Me, Rick, Rick’s two brothers (Rob and Ryan), Rick’s sister (Verena), and Rick’s Mum, plus two of Ryan’s colleagues – Barb and Jenny.

4 Sentiment.


9 Comments Add yours

  1. Carolyn says:

    If you want to jump again, let me know. I think I might want to try it. =)

    1. dangillis says:

      Done and done! I definitely want to do it again. I’m hoping to go solo next time, and work up to my certification so that I can jump and free fall solo.

      1. Carolyn says:

        Sweet. OK definitely in. Statistically speaking, I probably won’t die, right?

        1. dangillis says:

          Statistically speaking, I think you’re more likely to die by ninja attack. True story.

  2. chrisivory says:

    Great photo’s!! Really Cool.


    1. dangillis says:

      Thanks. I can’t wait for my next jump (maybe later this summer or early autumn).

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