“So how exactly do we land?” I nervously asked.
“Shut-up dude, we haven’t even jumped out the damn plane yet!”
This wasn’t exactly the response I was looking for.
As my feet dangled out of the plane and I looked two and half miles down, I thought, “This is a really bad idea.” But before I had time to second-guess myself, we were hurtling.
I plummeted. It was different from anything I ever felt before. Unlike the roller coasters at Cedar Point, I was naturally accelerated by gravity (as opposed to a motorized track). Plus, I was so high up that it didn’t even seem like I was falling towards the ground- just floating while 130 mph winds blasted my face. Forty-five seconds later, the chute deployed.
Still three quarters of a mile up, it was uncomfortably silent. My instructor whispered to me, “Do you know what the three inch heart attack is?”
Before I had time to answer, the tranquility of my parachute descent was crudely interrupted by the feeling of falling again. I almost soiled my jumpsuit. Turns out my instructor thought it would be funny to slightly loosen my harness from his, causing me to believe for a brief moment that I would be free falling again, only without a parachute or a trained professional on my back.
As we floated above the disappointing scenery of Ohio corn fields, the instructor finally told me what to do when we landed. He said that all I had to do was point my legs out and slide butt-first to the ground- which I executed perfectly.
Right after I landed, I watched my dad come soaring in. After he touched down, we gave each other a big hug. The instructors asked us if we’d ever go skydiving again, and we answered almost unison. The only difference was that I said “Hell yeah!”
He said “Hell no!”
I wish I had more exact details to share about the experience, but truth be told, the sheer terror of jumping out of a plane completely blurred my memory.
What I’ll never forget, however, is how great of a dad I have. The fact that the same dad who couldn’t manage the smallest kiddie rides without getting sick jumped out of a plane with me- just because he couldn’t let his son do it alone- is a true testament to what unlimited love looks like. I’m forever thankful to have him as my role model, and it feels good to know that even at 13,000 feet in a plane with no door, he’ll always be by my side.