“Flight is the only truly new sensation than men have achieved in modern history.” James Dickey
We indoor skydived today! I’m not even sure if you can call it skydiving but they do, the lovely people at Airkix.
We arrived early but it gave us plenty of time to sign the disclaimer they had on the photography of the day and watch videos of other people doing it which was fun and scary!
Soon after we arrived, Fred, the guy training us how to do it greeted us and we watched a basic 10 minute video on positions to keep your body in (basically you keep your chin up, your legs up, spread out and slightly bent and your arms out and slightly up) and hand signals for inside the wind tunnel as you really can’t hear anything except the extremely loud fan (seriously loud, even with the buds the provide to put in your ears, it’s a definite ‘woah’ moment when you get in there!)
After the film, we got given our flight suits, which went over our normal clothes and also the helmets and goggles but we just carried them over to the building with the fan because we weren’t to ‘fly’ for about ten minutes.
Over at the building with the actual wind tunnel we were able to sit and watch the other people in the group before us having their dives and it was pretty impressive seeing it close up (watching the force of a fan keep someone floating is pretty amazing regardless, I think!).
Then it was our go (queue dramatic music!)! There were four people in our group and somehow I was the last one to have their go which was a little nerve wracking, on the upside I got to watch for tips and techniques though, which helped. When the person before me left the tunnel, I was helped in (the instructor grabs hold of you and indicates to put your chin up, ready to get into position). The first time you feel the force, it’s insane! The wind is like nothing I had ever felt before and it took a few seconds to get into the right position as the instructor held on to me because it’s also acclimatising to the situation. Once acclimatised, the instructor let go and I was floating, mid air! It was pretty crazy, you literally are controlling yourself in terms of floating position because if you put your head down, then your body doesn’t float as it should so it’s parts concentrating on that and part being astounded by floating mid air – it’s a really insane few feelings.
Now, I like to give an objective view of things so despite the fact that it was fabulous to be floating and a great adrenalin buzz, I was pretty uncomfortable. I was tired having had to get up at 4 a.m. to get there and I had a headache and these two things coupled together made me a little stressed and the wind felt really intense against me which made my head feel worse and I couldn’t seem to regulate my breathing properly (I could still breathe but it was a little challenging for some reason – I don’t think it’s a common thing, I think I was just a little stressed) and these things together detracted from it for me. By the time I was given my second go, where I was due to do a sort of tandem float with the instructor up higher in the tunnel, I actually passed it on to Lee because everything (including some nerves) got the better of me andI knew he’d enjoy it a lot more than I would.
Would I recommend it? Yep, wholeheartedly, there’s so few times we ever get to feel that way so it’s such an amazing opportunity!
Am I disappointed that I didn’t have a second go? Yes and no. Yes in that I wish I could confront every fear I hold but no because I flew a plane and because of that I know that I can confront the heck out of fears and I’m still happy with that and I know that there’ll always be the next time!
Spreading my wings even further….