Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Skydiving in Music City



Getting ready to skydive was almost as much of an adventure as actually jumping out of the plane! Kandace and I had originally signed up to go back in October 2021, but it was raining that weekend so we had to re-schedule. We re-scheduled for a few weeks later, but again - rain. We rescheduled AGAIN for November 14 and got a call the night before that it MAY be too windy, but they would keep us updated. Saturday morning Danny said we were a go, so we drove out there.

Once we arrived, the staff gave us all the directions for positioning, and harnessed us up. We climbed into the plane, full of nerves, and took off! 

Y'all. When they say "you're flying in a tin can," it is the actual truth. In fact, a tin can may be a little more upscale! There was LITERAL DUCT TAPE in this airplane. Yet somehow, I had no qualms about flying it it. There was a parachute attached to us after all! (I still had MANY qualms about jumping out of it).

When in the plane, you sit between the tandem-divers legs. It was a tight squeeze with the four of us, the pilot, and the training pilot. The door to the plane was made of fabric and plastic. We had to manually roll it up/down and velcro it with our hands! There was NO extra space, and I wasn't convinced that Kandace wasn't going to fall out. 

They monitored the wind on our 20-minute ride up. I enjoyed the first half of the ride, but then I realized how high up we were and stared at my feet instead in an attempt not to think about it. I was terrified. Absolutely scared out of my mind. I was really going to do this. I was going to have to be pushed out, but I WOULD do it!

With 5-minutes to go, we got connected to the guys - I with Poly and Kandace with Jason. We were about to the point where we roll up the door, when they called it off. The winds were upwards of 65 - 70 MPH at our altitude (when we landed, the people on the ground said it looked like the plane was moving backwards it was so windy!) so we began our descent back to the ground. 


Danny gave us all his apologies and we re-scheduled again.  

After a total of five appointments (four cancelled because of wind/rain/cloud level and one on our end) we finally headed back to Waverly for attempt #6! We were schedule for 2:00 PM and were to be the last jumpers of the day. We got there at 2 and watched the plane go up three times, and watched nine divers jump out and reach the ground. It was really fun to watch, and it definitely helped calm my nerves seeing all these people survive their plummets to the ground.

We got harnessed up, and at around 5 PM, when it was FINALLY our turn.....the low clouds came in. So we waited. And we waited. And we waited. And it was decided they weren't leaving any time soon - so we re-scheduled for a seventh time!


Luckily the guys there are really awesome, and all the hours spent at the hangar were enjoyable. They joke around and are a real hoot. There were a few other guys there too who were students training to skydive independently, so at least we had company during the wait.

Take #7....I woke up in the morning with a stomach ache which I was dreading. The stomach bug had been going around school all week, and though I had been wearing my mask in an attempt to not get it, I was a little afraid that was what was happening. In an attempt at positive manifestation, I chalked my twirly stomach up to nerves (even though I didn't have an anxious stomach any of the other 6 times!), and picked Kandace up bright and early. She brought donuts for the guys for good juju, because we needed all the positive energy we could get!!

When we got to the hangar Danny made the rule of NO high-fiving until it was over - we were NOT jinxing this one! (We had made the mistake about high-fiving that it was finally happening when we were there the previous weekend. Not this time!)


We were slotted to go first. The clouds were a little low, but they had to fix the plane anyway, so we hung out for awhile. Finally, it was time to harness up (for the third time!) We headed up in the plane, though I don't think Kandace or I actually believed we would jump this time. I wasn't scared at all. I think by now I was just so excited to finally go that my nerves had run themselves out. Also, since we got to see so many people go the last time (and they all survived and had fun!) it didn't seem so terrifying. And as I said, I don't think we actually thought it would happen.


After the 20 minute ride up, Jason and I shifted to the door opening to get ready to jump - this was the part I was most anxious for. I was told I would sit on the edge of the plane with my feet tucked under it, Jason would rock back and forth and count to three, then we would push off. I am 99.9% sure I was NOT sitting on the edge of the plane - I was sitting on straight air!! My butt was NOT in that plane! 

Before I knew it we were falling at 120 MPH out of an airplane 11,500 feet in the air. I don't remember rocking or counting to three, just sitting on air, then BOOM! Falling!

At first I kept my eyes closed and began counting - I wanted to know how long we free-falled (free-fell?) for. I got to about 10 and as I felt the ice from the cloud we just went through pelting my face, I realized I wanted to see my surroundings so I opened my eyes. It was surreal! I kept counting to about 20 but then got distracted my how freakin' cold my face was!! I don't even want to know what the temperature at that altitude was considering on the ground it was roughly 50 degrees.




As I watched the ground coming at me, I began to wonder just WHEN I should be concerned that the parachute hadn't deployed yet. At that moment I felt Jason moving behind me and figured he must be about to open it. Sure enough I heard a WHOOSH and felt a jerk as the air resistance pulled us up. When I asked, I was told we fall for 30-50 seconds before the parachute is pulled. Honestly, that time went SO fast!


The glide down was fun, but nauseating. Jason told me I should eat something before we went, but I was pretty sure I would throw up if I tried. In hindsight, he was probably right. It was fun to look out over the landscape, but the swoops and turns we made made my stomach even more twisty than it had been before we started.  Also, the chest strap on my harness made its way up to my neck and I had to avoid being choked. 

On the landing, we're directed to put our legs up in a pike position. I did so when told, but couldn't hold them up long enough. I let them down for just a couple seconds to get the strength to pull them back up and made Jason panic! I did get them back up in time. Later we were told that a girl the previous weekend didn't follow that direction and broke multiple bones in her leg!!




After all was said and done, it was TOTALLY worth the wait and I would definitely do it again! Also, I 100% recommend sky-diving at Music City Skydiving. They were incredible! And if you go, definitely get the video/photo package! The experience goes so quickly, I was so happy to have the pics and video to look back on.

We got our certificates, the guys have us hugs, and we said we would see them at the company Christmas party in December since we're all besties now. 

We treated ourselves to milkshakes at The Milkshakery as a reward for our perseverance and bravery!


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