Sunday, August 29, 2010
Why would someone jump out of a perfectly good airplane?
Last weekend of summer turned out to be a pretty damn good weekend. Trav and I had a lovely evening on Friday night walking to and from dinner discussing how much we DO NOT want to go back to school. We then donated $10 to a fundraiser the restaurant was promoting. We're pretty good people, I know.
I, then, had two of mah biffles join me at the condo for the latest episode of Jersey Shore. Has to be one of the most entertaining shows I've watched, but enough with the Sammy-Ronni drama. Get over it Sammy, he made out with some grenades...shit happens.
Stephanie, Kasey, and I wake up Saturday morning to get ready for any other normal Saturday. Wait, no....not any other normal Saturday. We got ready to go...SKY DIVING!
Yes, I went sky diving, and it was the most amazing experience of my life. For people who say they would never do that or that they're scared, man up. You have not lived until you've been sky diving.
Steph paid for Kasey and I for our birthday presents over the past 5 years. Pretty damn good friend=pretty damn good present. Thanks Stiffy! I did not get the video which I'm pissed about, so I don't want to talk about it...
The weather was simply amazing. Not a cloud in the sky and no wind. You literally could not have asked for a better day than yesterday. Only three tandem divers could go up at a time, so we thought that would be perfect. Well, we were wrong. Since Steph was the first person to hand her paper work in, she had to go with two randoms. So the girl who paid about $645 that day, had to go by herself. And her boyfriend was actually the third for our trip. Ms. Garrison was not too thrilled. Sorry your shit is weak Steph and you didn't read any of the million paragraphs on the waiver and just signed your life away to be the done first.
Steph is the first to go and when she comes down, the first thing she says is "That was f*cking.... (we're all waiting for: awesome, the coolest thing I've ever done, amazing) sooooooo scary!" Steph then goes on a ten minute rant of how it was the scariest thing she's ever done and it was fun, but so scary!
Thanksssssssssssss. Kasey, Chris, Lauren...you're up. Good luck!
So once you're in your suit, your partner comes over to strap you in and talk to you. Things got pretty awkward, especially for guys. There is a lot of touching and awkward position, I'll leave it at that.
So we're going up in this tiny plane and there are 6 expert divers in front of us who think it's fun to f*ck with the newbies. I did not enjoy their presence. So we finally get up to 14,000 feet and my diving partner decided to give me a high five. Sorry I'm not sorry my hands were sweaty...at least I did pee myself...or worse...
So Kasey is the first to go out of the three of us and she goes up to the open door with her partner strapped in behind her. On 3, they jumped and then DISAPPEARED. It was insane, now you see them, now you don't. That was after Kasey looked back at me with a look of sheer terror on her face. And after Steph's comments of this being the scariest thing she's ever done, I'm just about ready for jump out of a plane.
So my guy, Walt, and I shimmy up to the opening and I look out to see nothing but blue sky and a tiny landscape 14,000 feet down. I start to think "Holy shit, I'm going to jump into the air with nothing underneath me...What if the chute doesn't open? What if my guy has a heart attack mid-way through the air? What if..." My thoughts were stopped by Walt: "Okay, here we go!"
Luckily I was not the one who had to do anything except lift my feet and go into "banana position." As soon as Walt is happy with my position, Walt jumps out of the plane.
Talk about a truly 'Holy Shit!' moment.
My stomach drops. Wind is slamming me in the face. I'm free falling through the air at about 120 mph. Luckily my stomach only dropped for the first few seconds and I kept thinking "I don't like this, I don't like this!"
I was free-falling for 45-60 seconds thinking "I'm not talking through this entire thing!"
Then Walt pulled the chute. BINGO!
That shit wakes you up!
So now Walt and I are chilling thousands of feet in the air, and I can't shut up. I must have said "This is f*cking awesome!" about 87 times. I also said "This is literally the coolest f*cking thing I've ever done!" about 39 times. It was just amazing. I can't even describe how incredible this experience was.
Walt turned into quite the tour guide. He showed me UConn, Gampel shines brightly when the sun is high. He showed me Springfield, MA. He then whipped us around and showed me Hartford.
And just as I'm beginning to relax, he goes "Are you comfortable? This looks a little tight." And then loosens my chest strap! I grab hold even tighter, white knuckles at this point, and go "Walt! No!! I'm fine, don't loosen anything!" And Walt has the nerve to go ahead and laugh about it!
We then see Kasey floating through the air pretty closely and Walt says, "Let's go see your friend." So we float on over to Kas and her instructor, who desperately wanted Steph.
Kasey and I were like little school girls giggling like crazy and screaming "This is f*cking awesome!" Then our instructors let us "see-saw" with each other and then we eventually parted.
At this point I'm pretty calm, I even let go and was just sort of hanging loose. Then Walt asks if I want to steer. At this point I'm getting pretty damn ballsy so I say "SURE!" I then continue with "You're not going to let go though, are you?"
And again, Walt thinks he's hilarious f*cking with the amateur and he goes "Well what do you mean? Like this?" and he lets go of the steering handles! I, of course, scream "WALT! NO! Are you insane?" Basically having a heart attack mid-air and he goes "It be a pretty dumb design if it stopped working if you let it go." And then I thought well, yes, but that doesn't mean I don't want to punch you in the face any less.
So I take the handles and start making turns left and right, going up and down, and then we tried a bunch of spirals which were freakin' nuts and amazing.
Then Walt drops the ball that I have to make sure I can lift my legs straight up for our landing. So he asks me to lift my legs and I can barely get them at a 20 degree angle. In my head I'm like "Shit, I'm not flexible enough for a smooth landing." Walt then tells me it's because I, I'll repeat that, I (would make that a bigger font if I could) have to adjust the straps. So I have to lift my leg and pull the strap down my thigh making things looser, aka, scarier.
Once I adjust both legs I feel like I'm going to fall out of the chute. Luckily I was only about 4,000 feet in the air. As we come in for our landing I ask Walt if we're going to slow down and he says, "I'm not really sure, most likely since it's not that windy, but possibly no. Okay, Lift your legs!" So as we're zooming into for a landing I lift my legs and we land. My feet hit the ground first which didn't feel too hot on my ankles, and then my ass hit, pretty hard. However, not as hard as this other kid Eric who was pretty sure Walt had a thing for him. We don't think Walt minded the hard ass-fall for that same reason.
So Walt and I get up, he unstraps me, gives me a hug, I tell him how much I love him and then I run over frantically shouted "That was f*cking awesome! Coolest thing I've ever done!" I, then, proceed to jump up and down actually jump on Kasey who is toothpick thin at this point. Not the best idea, but it's alright because she was freaking out just the same.
Walt asked me to sign his log book and I go, "Okay! Can I also write something?" And he said "Sure, if you have some room." So I sign: Lauren Catalano :) F*ckin Awesome. Walt was not pleased. I think he was expecting a thank you.
After we went, we had to wait for our massive group to go. And it was the same for everyone. Scared and awkward beforehand and then jumping and screaming like a moron afterward.
We then went to barbeque and have quite an enjoyable day of day-drinking, which we all know is the best kind. (Cava, I know what I said, but I had to drink after sky diving. It would have been a sin not to.)
Kasey and I then proceed to drive home to Down the Hatch and then we triumphantly ended the night at Tom and Jerry's in Brewster. All-in-all, best day of my life. Garrison, thank you a million times and more for the best present I've ever been given.
And now onto my second year of teaching...this should be interesting...
P.S. 8 Mile Tempo Run on Thursday...Who am I? B-Rabbit.
P.P.S. 9 mile run tomorrow.