The word "skydiving" has a different impact on different kinds of people. There are some people who think that it's a dumb idea jumping from an airplane and says something like, "Why on earth would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?" The entire act is horrifying for them.
Some people love adventure in their life similar to a relentless Mountain Dew commercial, with all their experiences flickering by in jump cuts as they endlessly quest for the next big rush. These kind of people are always looking for a high adrenaline rush in their body.
Then there are people like me who wants to experience all their fear and conquer it. These people have an instinctual fear of skydiving but also knows deep down that if they could find a way to break through that fear, they would really enjoy it. Hopefully, that is, if they are alive at the end!
I did my first Tandem Skydiving on 30th April 2016 and the entire experience was exhilarating and challenged me to move out of my comfort zone. You can read about my entire experience here. Recently, a good friend of mine asked me for any tips I had to offer for her very first skydive. While I have only gone once, the act of considering my experience allowed me to relive the many stages of emotions and thoughts I endured during my first dive.
1) The "I Want To Do Skydiving!" Stage
Most of the people keep skydiving in their bucket list. And so did I. It was my long awaited dream to experience skydiving some day in my life. I shared this with my family many years ago but they never took it seriously until the last month when I literally booked Tandem slot and told them.
2) The "Today Is My Skydiving Day!" Stage
You'll be eagerly waiting for this day as soon as you'll book your Tandem slot. You'll experience endless sleepless nights thinking about your D-day whether you can do it, be scared or chicken away!
3) The "How Is The Weather?" Stage
As soon as you'll get up from your bed, you'd be looking nervously out from the window and see how the weather and wind are outside? You'll desperately pray to God that the weather shouldn't change before your jump.
4) The "I Am Going To Sign My Life Away!" Stage
You go to reception where your skydive has been confirmed for the day and you've to sign the waiver. Oh God! Am I doing something wrong? It begins to dawn on you that this is actually happening and the anxiety really starts to kick in. You forcefully make friendly banter with the other faces of terror around you while signing forms that talk about death and liability and make you feel like you're already doomed.
5) The "Are You Scared?" Stage
Your cameraman will come after some time and ask you several questions. The dumbest question is, "Are you scared?" As any normal person on this planet would be scared if he/she is going to jump from the moving airplane at any height. And secondly, when you're asked about your last words before the jump, you'll feel awful.
6) The "Here Comes My Lifeline!" Stage
You'll be meeting your instructor who will be your lifeline in the upcoming drama. You'll try to convince yourself that he/she is an experienced professional and it's his/her daily cup of tea. You'll get 5 minutes skydiving lessons from your instructor - cross arms, head back, knees bent, jump. One tap on the shoulder to open your arms. Second to bring arms to the chest as the parachute opens. Knees bent for landing. Questions? You'll wonder, "Oh! That's it... anyone can do it!"
7) The "Universe Now Conspires Me To Jump!" Stage
As soon as you'll enter inside the airplane and doors shut, you'll feel that its the time of no turning back and not freaking out as now universe also conspires you to jump! You'll feel nervous, scared and all the frightful feelings come. But as soon as you will reach half the height of your jump, your brain will give up. And you'll feel nothing!
8) The "I Have To Take A Leap!" Stage
Well, this stage varies from person to person. This is the moment of truth stage. Your legs are now dangling off the edge of the plane but you don't have long enough to even think about it. A normal person really feels the consequences of what could occur. For me, it was something like, "I am such a moron."
9) The "Holy $%#@, This Is Amazing!" Stage
You're falling and tumbling really, REALLY fast towards the earth. But it doesn't feel like it. It feels more like you're floating on a cushion of air. No words can describe the adrenaline rush you get which is strangely euphoric. These sensations are completely new to you and you're seeing the world from a whole new perspective... it's hard to believe that it's real!
10) The "Do I Still Have A Face?" Stage
Within a fraction of the second of your jump, your face goes away. Like, completely goes. There's absolutely no controlling it as the force of the air fills your cheeks, so you might as well embrace it. Or just scream some more... that seems to ease the feeling that your face is about to be blown off!
11) The "Hell Yeah! I Am Alive!" Stage
After what feels like the longest, yet quickest, a minute of your life, the parachute opens up and you're being pulled back up through the air really fast. As you glide around admiring the views, you're suddenly very aware of the fact that you can now see your feet. And then there's silence. You can finally breathe a sigh of relief. You're alive! You made it!
12) The "I Am Top Of The World!" Stage
As soon as your feet are firmly back on the ground, you'll feel the top of this world. You just did something that most people don't have the courage to do. Now you're alive to brag the tale of your first jump. And it is going to be one of the best tales to talk about for the rest of your life.
And if someone will ask you whether you'll go for skydiving again? Hell freaking YES!
The brave may not live forever but careful do not live at all. All you need is 60 seconds of great courage and I bet, you're going to have the best moment of your life!