well i think it was back in the spring when this one all started. my tall, adorable friend michael was looking for sponsors for his cycle for sight ride in june. upon receiving my donation, he emailed me and said that if he reached his fundraising goal, the plan was to go sky diving. 'gee, that sounds like fun,' i replied. and holy crap, the next thing i know i'm signed up and we're jumping here on the 18th of july up in cookstown!!!
and, after mentioning it to a few of my friends and clients, little miss betty decided to jump on board !!!
come sunday morning, i went for a run to keep my mind occupied - not that i have trouble with that - and finally made my way up to cookstown. once there, miss betty was waiting for me and we managed to find michael and his buddies. after a short video explaining the waiver - basically saying if we die, and we try to sue them, we're screwed. so don't bother trying ! haha! the second part of the video explains some of the techniques of jumping and landing - all of which i promptly forgot the minute i walked out of the room. there was a really amusing bit where they demonstrated, a couple of times, what happens when you don't lift your feet on landing (but i will come back to that later . . . )
here's a pic of some of the guys signing their lives away.
while we were waiting around for more instructions, i mentioned to the gang that i'd like the guy that looks like he's from 'top gun' as my partner. hehe! after a couple of hours - it took that long - they finally called the first group to the floor to be suited up. and with some last minute instructions, 5 of our peeps and their instructors headed to the plane ! then they called the next group - including me - number 13 - to start getting ready. my jumping partner, oleg, was nowhere to be found, and finally, with about 5 minutes to go, my wish came true - i was getting maverick - aka j-rodd the hunk ! yahoo ! he came running over in shorts and barefeet, and proceeded to throw me into a barney-purple suit, wrench me into my harness, throw a hat on my head, grab his own shoes, and hustle me to the plane. good grief - i wasn't at all comfortable with this, and even mentioned it to him. he just laughed and said, 'relax, i do this all the time.' once in the plane, he managed to attach me to him (and the parachute), put on his shoes, and give me some last minute instructions. when we reached 12,000 feet, it was time to go. michael was first out of the plane, followed by (oh for the love of god i can't remember his name.) WAIT - ryan just emailed me back, it's joel. (sorry joel) and finally, MY TURN ! 'now remember kendra, as soon as you're out, arch your back and kick my ass.' 'oh, and keep your mouth closed and breath through your nose.' we crouched beside the door and it felt like i was going to be sucked out of the plane! 'ready, set, go . . . ' HOLY CRAP ! the first thing i did was arch my back, kick j-rodd's ass and scream !!! it only took a few seconds to remember NOT to open my mouth ! hahaha stoopid dora !! the sound was deafening and it was all so overwhelming ! i can't describe the feeling, other than pure exhilaration! we were free-falling, i think, for about 45 seconds. when we got to 6000 feet, it was time to pull the chute. i couldn't find the stoopid cord, so j-rodd had to take over. that was really cool too - we stopped real sudden, and then bounced upright into the air. after a few seconds we settled down and it was sooooo quiet. it was amazing. i apologized for not being able to find the cord, and he just laughed and said 'that's why i'm here.' i'm not sure the exact time, but we floated slowly down for about 5 minutes. with 20 feet to go, i lifted my legs and we hit the ground on our butts and skidded on the grass for 5 feet. WOW ! (i found out later that poor brian forgot to lift his feet, and pretty much duplicated what happened in the video). he was okay, and we all had a good laugh over that one!
michael getting his !!! what an incredible guy !! and the really cool thing is that he was actually able to see some stuff while up there ! (i won't mention how nervous he looked just before he jumped . . . )
and the whole gang - except for miss betty - who had already left.
so i guess there's another thing to check off my bucket list - not that it was actually on the list - but what the hell ! thanks to everybody there who made the day so much fun. more thanks to ryan for organizing it. and finally, big special thanks to michael for 'enabling me'.
love you and don't ever stop dreaming big . . .