Sunday, August 7, 2011

Edge of Glory

Lady Gaga, thank you for your best song ever.


Yesterday Lucas and I went sky diving... it still seems a bit unreal to me. We watched a video, signed our lives away, and before I knew it I was putting on the gear that hung loose on by body (the man said that it was as tight as it would go) and practicing how to jump from a fake plane. Soon, Lucas and I were running towards the plane and my tandem instructor asked me if I wanted to go first. I, of course, said yes, both because I wanted to feel like a dare devil and also because I knew that I wouldn't be able to handle the anticipation of waiting to jump.

1000 feet... 2000 feet... 7000 feet (which is where you eject your parachute) 11000 feet, 12000 feet.... Three men who were jumping solo were the only people who went before me. I watched as an 70 year old man literally ran and jumped out of the plane, and I saw his body free fall for about an eighth of a second... the next two men jumped together out of the plane, and then it was my turn.

My instructor and I inched our way out to the front of the plane, where I grabbed onto my shoulder straps and put three inches of my feet over the plane's edge. This part was probably the greatest moment of the entire trip, as I sat on the edge of what felt like glory and prepared my body for the jump. My instructor yelled in my ear "READY?" (we rocked forward) "SET?" (we rocked backwards) "GO!!" and we were in the air.

Nothing can compare to the feeling of absolute floating as you watch the mountains that started out so small grow before your eyes. It doesn't feel like you are falling towards the ground, more that the ground is rushing up to meet you. I struggled with putting air into my lungs, even though all the air I could even want was rushing into my mouth. My arms were thrown out, my legs curled up behind me and my shoulder was resting on my instructors head.

After what felt like 7 seconds (but later I found out was close to a minute) we ejected our parachute. My instructor told me that I had the best form of the day, and we starting to fall slowly towards the ground. It was just so entirely peaceful as we drifted towards our landing. As my instructor tried to talk to me, I realized that my ears were completely muffled, and that they still hadn't popped. (It would later take about 7 hours for them to completely clear up.)

Our landing was a success! We didn't even have to slide on our butts, but we just landed and stood up on our feet. With a few clicks, I was free from my instructor. And that, my dear readers, is when the nausea hit and I felt like I was going to throw up. I saw Lucas, so I started stumbling towards him, and I realized that a woman was shouting at me to get out of the way because I was standing where another parachute was about to land. (I couldn't hear her, you see, so I judged by her waving arms and panicked face that I was in danger.) I stepped out of the way and sat down on the ground, breathing deep and praying that I wouldn't throw up in front of everyone standing around me.

I did throw up later, both outside the sky-diving place and then in front of a medical center. I dozed in the shade and ate jerky, and soon my energy and stomach were restored! (The instructor told me that a lot of people got sick after landing because heat combined with adrenaline is a sure way to get the sickies.)

It was an entirely amazing experience, and I would recommend it to anybody.

ALSO! :)

I competed again this year for the vocal competition put on by Jenny Phillips and Tyler Castleton... and I won. :) I get to be the vocalist on Jenny Phillips CD next year, I get $250 dollars, and I might get to record a couple of other songs. I am still so stoked that I won. Jenny told me that it was the easiest decision that they had ever made. I record next month exactly. (The website that proclaims me the winner!)

I am one happy camper right now, let me assure you. :)

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