I had (well have because I didn’t finish) a list of 25 things I wanted to do before I turned 25. On this list was Skydiving. I’ve always wanted to go skydiving I just never did. Although I was two weeks late, I decided on impulse to do it last Sunday. I had paid the nonrefundable deposit so I had no choice, right?
My check-in time was 10 am. I picked up my rental around 8:30 and hit the road for Aberdeen, MD (about 1 hour and 15 minutes away from me). On my way there about twenty minutes out I received a call from Skydive Baltimore that said as of right now they weren’t completing any jumps because of the clouds. I had the choice to turn back around and reschedule or go and wait it out. Because I had just passed a toll and had only twenty minutes left to drive, I decided to continue on to the airport.
Once checked in, I was again told that it was unlikely that any jumps would happen and I could reschedule or wait it out. Again, I chose to wait. I’ll be traveling every weekend for the next month and didn’t know when I’d get the nerve to go again if I had to reschedule
If you have to sign a There were a few people there when I got there and few more trickled in and out. On woman had Ubered from Philly and the driver stayed and waited it out with her. I wanted so badly to ask how much that fare cost her but I didn’t. Her driver, an elderly black man, reminded us how crazy we were for doing this. I felt extremely bad for her because not only did she pay what had to be an insane amount in Uber fare, she was originally from India and going back in a couple of weeks.
Throughout the day I met a variety of different people all there to either Skydive or watch someone Skydive. A woman celebrating a milestone birthday had what seemed like her entire family there with her from babies onto the elderly (who shared their snacks with me). There was a couple there who had had to reschedule two weekends in a row due to weather. The clouds seemed too low and wouldn’t clear up long enough be cleared for jumping and when they did, the wind would be blowing too much for a safe landing.
I decided to leave around 2 because it didn’t look likely that any jumps would happen. Bummed wasn’t even the right word to describe how I felt.
After leaving the airport I decided to visit a Target nearby to get a few items before my drive back home and money for the toll. My friend Ashley called and we talked for about twenty minutes while I walked around the store. Once I got back outside I realized the clouds had cleared up a bit and checked one more time before I got back on the road. (Shoutout to Ashley) I called and was told that a test run was being performed to see if it was safe and to call back in 30 minutes. After calling back and feeling hopeful I headed back to the airport.
From then everything seemed to go really fast. After paying the balance for my jump, I was introduced to my instructor, and told that I’d be on the next plane up. That’s when it got real. Seeing the first group of people go up and then land made my heart start racing. I said to myself “alright Ashleigh it’s not or never”. Once in the plane that’s when nerves hit and I kept asking my instructor when I would receive my “training”. He assured me everything would be fine and he’d go over everything before we jumped and while in the air.
Dangling out of the plane for all of five seconds felt like five minutes and the first 30 seconds of the jump felt like ten. The free-fall was the worst part. That’s the only time during the jump that I regretted my decision. I hate the feeling of falling and that’s all you feel before the parachute is released. You are headed head-first towards the ground and it feels like at any moment you’re going to hit the ground. The wind is smacking you hard and you’re gasping for air. All of this while trying to keep your head towards the camera. You know, for good shots LOL.
Once the parachute was released it was smooth-sailing from there. The view on top of the clouds and then the surrounding landscape was unreal. The landing was a breeze and besides a little soreness for a few minutes, everything went well. Oh, with the exception of splitting my pants. I joked about that minutes before going up and it actually happened. Funny right? It’s okay, you can laugh. I split my pants Skydiving. Luckily, they were an old pair of leggings that won’t be missed.
Overall skydiving was one of the greatest experiences ever and I’d definitely do it again. The jump takes all of like four minutes, you’re really not in the air that long. So if you’ve been wanting to try skydiving but are too afraid, go for it. You won’t regret it.
Check out the full video of my jump below and ignore all my crazy faces and lips flapping hahaha.