The first parachute jump
I went to Taupo, New Zealand, and this was my first parachute jump. Skydiving was never what I desperately wanted to do, or even miss such a fleeting thought, but you know how they say when you’re in New Zealand …
And so I discovered that with strangers I was going to jump from 4,500 meters into the thin air above the stunning Lake Taupo, which from this distance looked like a simple pond on the horizon of tiny things.Although, as we were told in a security briefing at Skydive Taupo, the brain stops processing the distance at 600 meters. This means that 4,500 meters look the same, apparently. When asked whether it is safe to parachute, the instructors assured us that everything will be fine with us. All I knew was that we were picked up by a long old plane from the ground, and there was apparently only one way down.
It took 20 minutes to reach 4,500 meters, and in the end, only a few minutes to go down to the ground. But I’m ahead of myself.
As soon as I realized that everyone was jumping, and my turn would be very soon, I had a little panic, and I just reminded myself: “Fear is temporary, achievement is permanent,” as it is written at the Taupo Skydive reception.
I had all faith in my jumper. Skydive Taupo has a 100% safety record and told me that there has never been an accident, not even a broken toe, so I will be fine. The fact that I was attached to a guy with a big smile on his face and who seemed not to worry or speak out that he was afraid to jump from an airplane gave me confidence, and my mind began to enjoy it, and not be afraid of it .
I barely had time to finish this thought, as he showed me a sign, and now we are looking over the edge. I laid my head back, nudged my legs, and pulled myself toward my impending descent. I tried to process what he said to me on earth, but self-preservation attacked, and all I could think of was to put my head on his shoulder.
Seriously, it was a terrifying whistle, and we were almost outside. As soon as we sat on the edge, we were sucked out. My legs were swinging, and I tried to control my limbs and put myself in order.
What is it like a parachute jump from an airplane?
It is difficult to describe the feeling of skydiving, butterflies in the stomach, free fall and intense adrenaline. It is like flying. As soon as I regained my breath, I tried to look back and savor the moment. That was incredible. I fell at a speed of up to 250 kilometers per hour, and now I know it was not very fast, since I did not smooth my arms and legs to reduce the surface area.
I usually hate the phrase “breathtaking”, but this jump was literally like that.
Too soon, the instructor released a parachute, just after I felt it, but just as before I started to worry, it would not open. I was a little more than a minute in free fall, and this was one of the best, but the most confusing feelings in the world.