Friday, May 27, 2011

Skydiving Pt 3

A quick summary:
  • I’m going skydiving tomorrow morning.
  • I’m not starting with the tandem jump, where you’re strapped to an experienced skydiver.  I’m starting with Accelerated Free Fall, the jump you do yourself.
  • I’m starting with AFF because I want to see if I’ll do something absolutely terrifying to myself.
  • I didn’t go on my birthday because there was rain and hail.
I’m somewhat excited, and only a bit nervous.  I’m not really nervous because it turns out that I’m more likely to die crossing the street than skydiving.  On the other hand, my mother doesn’t want me to call and say goodbye each time I cross the street.

(Hi, Mom.  I told you not to read these posts!)

I do have a few reservations about skydiving:

Reservation 1 – Hangers on
When I scheduled my AFF class, I imagined it would be something like this scene from Babylon 5:

However, in looking for AFF pictures to post, I found they all looked like this:

These two guys have to hang on to me the whole way down to make sure I pull the chute.  It sure takes the romance out of throwing yourself into the abyss knowing there are two guys clinging to you like rats to a meat truck.

Reservation 2 – Visitors
When I signed up, the guy suggested I bring my family so they could watch.  (he suggested my wife jump, too).  Then my wife’s family wanted to come.  Now the attendees may be:
  • My wife
  • My oldest son
  • My youngest son
  • Mother in law
  • Father in law
  • Sister in law
  • Wife’s nieces
  • A friend who is still mad I moved to Chicago for 2006 (Hi Cindi!)
  • Three homeless guys from San Francisco
  • The cast of Glee
  • The entire psychology department of UCSF
Now, I love that there’s all this support, but it’s contrary to my aforementioned goal of seeing if I’ll jump.  I was hoping to do it without judgment.  It didn’t matter if I did it or not; I just wanted to answer questions about myself.  Will I throw myself out of an airplane?  Will I suddenly find sanity?  Will I pee on myself like that guy I worked with at Eidos who fought in Grenada?  Now, if I decide I don’t want to jump, all these people will be disappointed.

So, if you’re coming, don’t get your hopes up.

Reservation 3 – I Might Not Die
In my opinion, there are only two good ways to die.

The first is in an ironic way.  The Darwin Awards are filled with people who get crushed while trying to shake the money out of a vending machine (and are found to have wads of cash in their pockets), or who pull up all the stop signs on a road and are creamed going back through an intersection.  Being crazy enough to jump out of an airplane and finding out that it was the worst mistake in your life is wonderfully ironic.  I’m worried I won’t get a second chance at that kind of death.

This is the second good way to die:

Reservation 4 – I Might Like It
This is an expensive hobby.  I really hope I don’t turn out to really love it.  On the other hand, my kids don’t really need college…

2 comments:

Morris West Montana said...

Maybe if I squint really hard from Salt Lake City I'll see you!

More likely not.

Have fun, or, whatever!

M. A. Kagle said...

Thanks!