Last year I decided that it was about time I did something that really scared me and throwing myself out of a plane seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Arriving at Headcorn Parachute Club last week armed with a stomachful of butterflies, the idea didn’t seem quite such a good one. After eight hours waiting for the rain to stop and cloud to clear so it was safe to jump, finally there was enough blue sky and donned our attractive jumpsuits, Gimp-like hats, goggles and the all-important harness that attached us to the person who actually knew what we were doing.
My body turned to jelly as I realised that it was really going to happen. As we climbed higher and higher into the sky I couldn’t believe what I was about to do, and when the door opened and I found myself perched over the edge of the plane with the ground 12,000ft below it was like having an out of body experience – and then we fell. Freefall was loud, fast and surreal, then the small chute steadied us so I could take it in and then the main chute lurched us up and suddenly it was completely peaceful and I could take in my surroundings properly for the first time, which felt very strange. We slowly descended, gracefully landing on our feet and the adrenalin left me shaking for the next two hours. Would I do it again? I don’t think so! It was an incredible experience, and I’ve raised about £1,000 for Mencap, but I’m not sure I want to be that scared again!
Ready for the off – Did someone say “break a leg?”
Going up – first floor underwear, haberdashery
Arghhh – I don’t want to do this
Oh please open, please
Actually, this isn’t that bad
I am starting to enjoy this
I can see my house from here
Oh, very elegant
Made it – I feel great