The time came to get going to Miami Skydiving Center and my heart was nearly in my throat. All the anxiety I had been fighting all morning bubbled up and I felt nauseous and dizzy at the thought that in little under an hour, I would be willingly jumping out of a plane. On the car ride over, Somebody I Used Know played on Pandora and I tried singing along to get my mind off of what was about to happen but to no avail.
When we arrive, we are promptly given our death notices to sign. About 6 pages of liability waivers to initial on. Once we handed those over, we waited no more than 10 minutes and they began to work us into our harnesses. Demian provided us with a very quick instruct as to what we would be doing once we got to the drop zone. Arms crossed over your chest, head back and place your feet out of the plane. They would do the rest. Then tap on the shoulder indicated we needed to open our arms out while in the air. It was a very brief explanation which we would review once more in the plane before jumping. As soon as our instructors were harnessed up, we were in the plane. Jason jumped with Demian and I jumped with Imre. The plane was small and could fit no more than the four us. It was a very tight fit. The panic set in again as the realization set in that this was it.
The flight was not bad. I had heard others say the flight was the scariest part, but I felt it was just fine. Irme was very reassuring in his experience of over 6,000 jumps and tried to make small talk with me as we ascended to our drop zone. The flight was about 10-15 minutes and I actually calmed down a lot until the door to the plane opened at our 10,000 ft drop zone. Within the minute Jason and Demian were out of the plane. My heart sank as if I had just lost Jason. Then the scoot and move back maneuver to the door brought the attention back to my jump.
In near tears of fear, I place my feet outside the edge of the plane, cross my arms and lean my head back waiting for what seemed like forever for Imre to push us out of the plane. “Smile” he said for the video, but I could barely open my eyes from fear. A second later we tumbled out of the plane and after 3 spins I got the tap signal to open my arms. It was then I finally looked down and was amazed as we fell through misty clouds. It felt like a dream. As if we were floating in air.
Next thing I knew, Imre pulled the chute and we were just gliding back down to earth. Irme said to me, “the worst is over” and all I could think was yeah right we are still like 5,000 feet in the air and far from the ground! The view was spectacular it all really did feel like a dream as the earth was so far beneath me and the horizon was massive. But all I could think was when are we going to be on the ground again.
In about 6-7 minutes we were just above our landing zone and I could already see Jason and Demian on the ground but they still looked like ants! The landing was easy, lift your feet in case we had to slide on our butts then when we were close enough, we just set our feet on the ground in a light jog like motion. It was over. I had done it. Conquered my greatest fear of heights. There was Jason safe and in one piece too and we happily kissed.
A van was already there waiting for us and the ride back took about 10 minutes. I thanked Imre for being responsible for my life and he truly was a great instructor to jump with. Jason felt Demian was a little dry and reserved and it made him a little apprehensive since his life was in Demian’s hand but Jason is very good with small talk and got him talking to ease his own mind. Having jumped with a different company before, Jason advised the free fall felt very short although they said the difference between 13,000 and 10,000 feet is only 5 seconds of free fall.
The video and photos were alright considering the tandem instructor is the one recording the whole thing with 2 Go Pro cameras. But compared to Jason’s video and photos from 1-800 Sky Dive, they were pretty terrible especially when the cost is the same. 1-800 Sky Dive has a separate jumper taking video and photos in front of you whereas with Miami Skydiving Center, the camera is on the tandem instructor’s wrist providing a side view close up of your face. Not too appealing.
The other difference according to Jason is that 1-800 Sky Dive uses a bigger plane, fitting more jumpers and they provide you with a jumpsuit to protect you from the elements. We jumped in our clothes with Miami Skydiving Center with no jumpsuit cover.
Overall, it was a great experience and although I am not sure I would do it again, I would recommend that everyone give it a try at least once in their lives. The experience with Miami Skydiving Center was easy, fast and safe. And for 50% with the Groupon, it was well worth it.