Dozens and dozens of colorful parachutes dot the skies of Taupo every day. “Would you ever want to do that?” Frank asked. “Never,” I laughed. We both agreed, however, that if you were to skydive, you couldn’t find a more beautiful place to jump than here.
This morning, we heard a small plane and looked at each other. “Are you sure?” Frank smiled, “I don’t want you going home with any regrets.” “OK, why not?” I answered. Before I could change my mind, we made a reservation and drove to the airport.
I suited up, met my fellow jumpers, watched the safety video and was introduced to Ryan, the young guy I would be “attached to.” Frank took a few pictures. All good.
Let me say, I am deathly afraid of heights. I hate tall escalators, open staircases, glass-bottomed skyscraper viewing areas and being close to any edge looking down. But I never get nervous flying — and I wasn’t nervous as I boarded or as the plane took flight. It didn’t faze me as the “12,000-feet” couples jumped off. The plane climbed higher, my partner and I slid forward. We took our place at the edge of the open door. I was directed to look up and smile for the exit camera. SH*&%, WHAT WAS I THINKING?!
Too late. We flipped out of the plane into free fall! It was cold, my cheeks were flapping. Ryan tapped me on the shoulder. “What did that mean again?” Oh yeah, I can let go of the straps. I did and spread my arms. I was flying! The camera guy flew by – Thumbs up! Smile!
Just as I started to loosen up a little, we were propelled upward as the parachute engaged. The float down was magical — the lake, the mountains — so beautiful! I got a little queasy when Ryan switched directions but surprisingly, the height never affected me. We gently swayed back and forth and before I knew it, we landed.
Although skydiving wasn’t on my bucket list, I am so glad I did it. Next time I’m asked if I want to try something new, I hope I’m not too afraid to say “Why not?!”