Published on October 15th, 2011 | by thevyne2
Bucket List Item #11: Check!
By Nikki Bolt
Do you have one of those lists of “things you want to do before you kick the bucket and meet your maker at the Pearly gates? Well I have one and I’m happy to say that I completed a big one yesterday. I jumped 10,000 feet out of a perfectly good plane on a perfectly beautiful fall day. What was I thinking, right? Well I enjoyed every minute of it. It was one of those few precious times in my life where I can say, wow, I did that and according to my 3-year-old daughter, ‘I did good and I didn’t get hurt’.
Now I will say it took some time to build up the nerve to actually do it. I received one of those deals via email where you get half off of crazy things you would have never thought to pay full price for. I got this deal for sky diving in July. After marinating on it for a bit, I went ahead and booked my experience for October while secretly hoping for a torrential rain or another chuck e cheese kids party on the day of. Was I getting nervous, no I honestly wasn’t, but I wasn’t getting super excited about it either.
Fast forward to the day before the event. I told the kids I was skydiving and that they would come see mommy jump out of a plane. With a perplexed look on their faces, they asked why? Do boys and girls jump out of planes mommy? Will I jump with you? Why would you do that? So, I decided to show them what mommy was going to do by doing what any self-respecting modern women would do to educate her kids…we watched other people skydiving on youtube.
They loved watching the videos and my daughter was impressed to see girls jumping too. My son was more impressed with the cars (with people in them) skydiving. They were excited for mommy and that she was going “sky-DYING.” That’s what my daughter calls it and she didn’t want to be corrected either. The good thing was that they were prepared for seeing mommy jump from the plane, but was I??
On the morning of, still not nervous but I started telling people what I was going to do. I got some great advice: Make sure you pee before getting on the plane…Take 2 aspirin before taking off… Make sure your life insurance is in order for Cas and the kids. I didn’t take the aspirin, but I did follow the other words of wisdom. 🙂
I also got dolled up. Did my makeup – check! Hair done – check! Nice fall jewelry to match the fall foliage – check! Nice jeans – check! I mean, there would be pictures and a video so I had to be somewhat cute right? I also made sure to have matching cute underwear…just in case of a hospital visit. I could hear my mother telling me now to make sure that all of that was in order ;). All of my glam preparation was for not because I had to take off all my jewelry because they might get blown off… my hair would just end up a blown out mess because HELLO, I was free falling 10,000 feet in the air and my nice cute jeans would get ruined on the ‘butt slide’ landing. Well at least I wore matching clean underwear and my makeup was in check.
Rome, my good-looking Brazilian tandem partner was great. He tightened my straps and told me jokes to keep my mind ‘occupied’. My training consisted of a 5 min talk to kneel down and put my legs back during the free fall. He’ll tap me to open my arms and tap me again to close them again. Training class finished. Wished all trainings were that simple.
When we got in the plane, space was tight! We were literally sitting in between each other’s legs in a space that fit about 10 people. I then quickly noticed that I was the last one on, so you know what that meant… I had to be the first one off. Yikes!
Ladies, the view was breathtaking as we made the climb into the sky. The trees had beautiful hues of green, oranges and reds. There was a quarry nearby and the water was a crystal blue. While I wanted to just be still and take it all in, the crew talked a bit. It was ok, because it was nice that the crew appeared to love their jobs and enjoyed cracking jokes on each other. I will admit at one point during that flight, I thought what am I doing, really Nicole, but there was no turning back.
1…2… Jump! I jumped and am proud to say I followed instructions very well…The initial fall was fast and furious and all I could do was think was, OMG OMG OMG!!! The fall was freeing because at that moment I had no control over anything. I opened my arms and legs and just let gravity do it’s thing. I often think about what am I going to do next, mind always racing. But at that moment…I was in the moment. I was present, which is rare, and it felt good. Oh, and the gorgeous Brazilian taking care of me during the fall didn’t hurt either.
The parachute ride down was bumpy but amazing too. Rome thought it was funny to whirl us around a bit, but I felt safe and just went with it. Ok, I will admit, landing was a bit nerve racking, not because I could potentially break something, but because I didn’t want grass skid marks on my jeans. I’m not a superficial person, but remember I got dolled up and wore a pair of my ‘good jeans’. Thankfully, neither my jeans nor I were ruined during landing.
My husband and kids were there to greet me with high fives all around. They were happy and proud of me and that made me proud too. I completed one of the items on my bucket list and survived. It was a crazy thing to do, but I’m glad I did it. I would encourage everyone to make a list and start doing one thing at a time. It’s freeing and since I started completing them, I’ve felt more alive and free. Life is too short and I’ve learned that tomorrow is not promised.
I was asked afterwards would I do it again and you know what…I would. On to the next item on my list…
Check out Nicoles Skydiving experience video here!