Monday, April 19, 2010

Adrenaline Rush

I jumped out of a plane on Sunday, and lived to tell about it. Yep, that’s right, I can finally cross skydiving off my Bucket List!

As a graduation present for Stewart’s stepbrother, we made an appointment at Skydive Oregon last weekend, and by Sunday morning we were on our way to the jump zone. Surprisingly, I didn’t even feel that nervous. We arrived at 10 a.m. and less than an hour later we were walking across a field and climbing into a teeny, tiny airplane. You’d think panic would have started in by this point, but I was actually feeling great! The short flight to 13,000 feet went by quickly while we enjoyed the gorgeous views and got some last-minute pointers from our instructors. Then the door opened and it was time…

All of the sudden, Patrick was gone. As I inched my butt forward on the narrow seat as Stew looked back, gave me a thumbs up, and then he was gone. I scooted my toes toward the edge, looked to the right and gave my photographer a big smile, and jumped. (Okay, my tandem instructor might have had to give me a little push…) But there I was, experiencing the thrill of freefall for almost a full minute! I’m pretty sure I had a ridiculous grin on my face the entire time. The sensation wasn’t even like falling at all, it was more like flying. All I could think was, “Is this really happening?!” Then, the parachute opened and we began our swaying decent, enjoying gorgeous views of the mountains and Portland on the way. My instructor even let me steer! Awesome.

I am so excited that now I can say I have been skydiving! I never thought that I would do something like this, and I even paid an extra $95 dollars for photos and a video of the entire thing, figuring that it was a once in a lifetime experience that I would want to remember forever. However, now that I’ve done it, I would definitely say I would go skydiving again at the next opportunity! Woo hoo!

As if that wasn’t enough, I decided to max out my adrenaline for the day and sign up for another first… riding a motorcycle. I’ve always been terrified of these death machines, but Stewart’s dad rides and since it was such a gorgeous day we decided to take advantage of the opportunity and he offered me a ride. This is going to sound strange, but the motorcycle ride was much scarier than skydiving! I felt way more out of control flying down the highway on the back of that bike than I did jumping out of an airplane. Very weird. But when you skydive, the ground is so far down that it’s almost like your body can’t process what’s happening… it doesn’t even know to go into panic mode. But on a motorcycle, the pavement is just a few feet away, and it’s absolutely clear that if the driver loses control, death is right there to greet you in the form of smashing into the pavement. Yikes!

So I think I’m done defying death for now. I’m still coming down from my adrenaline high and I’m sure this feeling with last me a while. I still have bungee jumping to cross off my bucket list, but that can wait… for now.

Have you ever skydived? What are some items you’d like to cross off your Bucket List?


Rachael said...

I'm glad you had fun!! So it really was a full minute free fall?? I don't know where I got that 10 second thing, i must have made it up! And i agree, riding a motorcycle IS scary, and even if you crash and don't die, I hear roadburn is not fun. Way to rock the pink helmet though!!

Sarah Alway said...

Rach - Yeah, the freefall lasted much longer than I expected it to... A minute is a LONG time to fall! Oh and re: the pink helmet, it's even better when Stew has to wear it! ;-)

Stevie said...

I've never been skydiving, but have always wanted to do. I LOVE that adrenaline rush. And I love crazy roller coasters and all that stuff.

My dad has been riding and racing motorcycles since he was a teenager, so riding a motorcycle was just a part of my childhood. I LOVE it. Where he lives, the town is surrounded by farmland to the west, with long straightaways, and to the east there are lots of windy roads and mountains and stuff. It's a blast.

Sarah Alway said...

Stevie - The motorcycle ride was a total rush. I can completely see why people are so into it... It felt wonderful riding through the country in the open air... once the initial terror wore off, that is!