Updated: Jul 9, 2020
What better feeling than flying high !
13000 ft – 4km – 2.5 miles
The wind wasn’t passing by, it was tearing me apart. Thanks to all the aunties who did chubby cheeks to me, that I could really feel my cheeks struggling to hold on.
Like the nursery rhyme, up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky – it was ecstasic , an out of your head feeling, seeing the beauty of our land from the sky, all of this in 30 seconds was such a rush.
And what was shocking to me was that on an average about 100 human souls jump off the plane from 13000 ft everyday at Skydive Dubai.
Until I read about it, I had no clue that sky diving is also parachuting, I had thought both are different, it is infact parachuting from an airplane, adventure sport level 2.0. Most people like me do it with a tandem jumper, there are places where one can get trained for a month or so and even jump individually. Unlike most para-activities, in skydiving we often wait to descend to open the parachute, until then just gravity, air pressure and god knows what else.
One off my bucket list and definitely one of the most exciting things I have done in life. The sense of being at the edge of anything can happen just lets you think how light we are all when compared to everything around us and how insignificant our lives may seem in the whole picture.
It made me realise the value of things we often take for granted in life, the value of time, the value of being cautious and putting safety at first. When in an aerial view, I saw the magnificent city of Dubai, I realised how much we as humans have invaded this planet to serve our wants, desire and fantasies. I have always questioned everything I do as need beyond want, quality over quantity and so on.
Might not be the same for all, but when we are all co-living on this only planet with human existence I feel it is high time we focus on being sustainable, at least till we discover a planet that can support life.
The best part of skydiving was those few minutes of free fall through the air prior to opening the parachute. I felt every single bone, muscle, joint, tissue in my body, until then I didn't think air at high pressure had so much potential. I was overthinking even there and thought if sometimes goes wrong, my bones will crush and become powder.
There are ways to have a longer free fall too, that is by jumping of the plane from much higher altitude but this requires pressurized oxygen within the aircraft as well as bottled oxygen. During a whole course of the dive, total freedom and control of the air can be enjoyed to the fullest, though I saw some co-skydivers who were professionals do complex and spectacular manoeuvres like flat turns, somersaults and formation skydiving, even being able to see them fro their territory was itself overwhelming. Generally, the term ‘skydive’ refers to the time spent in freefall from exiting an aircraft to deploying a parachute only but it does include more aspects and skillsets such as accuracy landings and canopy formation, etc.
The landing was fun, as we are suppose to do it right to help our tandem jumper find balance, that contribution of landing right is something I am proud of.
This activity made into my books of bucket list items after I watched Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, until then I wasn't super excited about it, knowing of how the actors trained themselves pushed me to read about it a lot.
Also the only answer from anyone who has ever skydived or have been sky diving for a long time about how does it feel doing it is, they'll tell you it's one of the most amazing things they've ever done!
Skydiving is a real sport, and one that requires confidence, the urge to explore, see beyond what is normal and also physical dexterity, agility and strength. While I was in my waiting area, I saw many fly in the aircraft yet returned without jumping even though they were fine loosing 2199 AED which is a lot of money for me at least.
Like I said before, once we jump off that airplane, our perceptions and realities of the world around us changes. Everything that once were your list of things you thought would be hard for you will seem doable now, or at least you ll have a feeling of trying things in life.And the best part is how you realise when we focus on things that really matters to us, we don't worry of other things bothering us from around, it is all about what we carry within ourselves, of course no one would think about their worries while falling at 120mph through the sky, the ultimate release.
Mental health wise, I felt the activity very helpful, that feeling of you've conquered something as challenging as skydiving is totally empowering, momentarily it is too emotional but it does have a longer impact.
For me it always opened new dimensions to the word "trust" how it is not only dependent on people we know well, a stranger I met few hours ago can be my tandem jumper and I can put the stake of my life in his hands and jump off a plane.
Hats off to all the tandem jumpers and cameramen who on an average jump 7 times a day and on that day, mine was the 9th jump for Alejandro Q & JP N.