For those of you who haven’t read my previous posts, this was a work trip to Mexico for 5 weeks and I was traveling in a group of 5 people. Celaya was not supposed to be, but happened to be our 2nd stop. We were about to skydive, and the spontaneous and adventurous person that I am (borderline crazy maybe), I accepted it as a challenge!
Each time I have shared my story with people, I have come across reactions like “Really, you went skydiving in Mexico?” “Maybe because you don’t have kids” And they might be right, if I did have kids I probably would have thought it over more seriously, like what if I don’t touch the ground alive? What if this is the last time I saw my family? Looking back, I do feel glad I didn’t over think it. Moreover, I would love to do it again, and again and maybe even become a certified diver! Let’s see about that.
They made us wear something resembling spacesuits and then we got in line for training and practice. The opened up a parachute and showed us how it is packed, if not packed the right way, it does not open when required, oops! The 5 of us decided the order by ‘scissor paper rock’, the usual routine and guess who won the first slot – yours truly! I can’t resist saying that I was the youngest and the only girl in the group, what fun! The relief I saw on the others faces was uncanny.
So this moment when the plane was getting ready with our instructor, who would be strapped to each person when they jumped, I got a funny feeling in my stomach. In all this time, I had not even told my parents what I was about to do. Nervously I made a quick call and it sounded something like “I am somewhere in Mexico, and I will be skydiving in a few minutes.” There was silence on the other end of the line and then a cheery voice said “Go for it. Call me when it’s done”. It is in moments like these that my parents never fail to surprise me, that too in the most enthralling way!
I wouldn’t lie to you, there was a moment of “Am I really doing this?” but there was no time for the thought to lurk around as my instructor connected the links of his suit to mine and we moved towards the edge of the plane. It was just wind, 12,000 feet of emptiness and then land. The wind hit my face like a rock, my nose struggled to take a breath but my eyes, behind those blue diving gear goggles saw magic! It was that moment when I opened my arms and it seemed like I was flying. I knew it wasn’t a dream but it seemed like an out of the body experience. I saw the video camera guy float somewhere around me. But my mind was free – not a single thought, just the exhilaration of gazing at the aerial views and floating about in thin air.
The free fall lasted about 30 seconds, and then the parachute opened up. We started floating and navigating through the air using the parachute. As I landed on the ground in a pool of dust, it felt like coming home. As my friends’ quizzed looks surrounded me, my broad smile dismissed all their fears. I smiled and said, “If you are hesitating, I can take your turn!” And it was indeed one of the best days of my adventurous life!