I have always wanted to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Well, maybe not "always" but for several decades. It looks like it would be so peaceful gliding along with the birds, suspending by an updraft. I would have put it on my bucket list, but my husband was fairly certain he would need the bucket to pick up the pieces after I came crashing back to earth. So, alas, no skydiving for this Granma.
As contemplation of flight rattled around in the back of my head, I happened into Costco - where they were selling half price coupons for indoor skydiving. Clearly it was confirmation to seize the day! No plane, no parachute, no bucket needed! Though I did need a compatriot to join me in the adventure: someone willing and excited about the prospect - a flight plan partner. I needed a GRANDBOY - and lucky for me - I have five of them! And lucky for Bryce, having experienced Granma for almost a decade, he was the logical choice.
As a side note, you can fly as young as three, which means I could have taken two other little boys with me. However, the thought of herding nine, four and three year old grandboys into a wind tunnel in order to experience two one-minute flights did not appeal to me. I am Granma. I strive to stay just south of certifiably crazy!
Last week, Bryce and I reached for the heavens! We arrived an hour early, as required, for a training that took ten minutes. We suited up in some rather stylish suits, took our place on the bench and waited in rapt anticipation while watching an exhibition featuring our fellow novices in their preliminary aviary attempts.
One minute in a wind tunnel is longer than you might expect while trying to hold your body in a certain pose absolutely twitch-free. I cannot explain the physics that drew me up or down or toward the side or in a circular pattern. Fortunately, the instructor is a better science student than I. He also had a watchful eye and a guiding hand that protected the surrounding glass from my intrusion. All the while, my cheeks, exposed to the rushing wind, were trying to duck behind my ears. It's best not to try to imagine what my upper arms would have looked like had they not been encased in a flight suit.
So here is the really good news: Bryce and I had an absolutely wonderful, memorable day together. We learned that defying gravity for even just 20 vertical feet made us appreciate birds without longing for feathers of our own. We have decided to leave the jumping from perfectly good airplanes to the rest of the crazies out there. And if they need it, we will even loan them our buckets.