“Hey… some co-workers of mine are going skydiving. You wanna come?” One of two expressions will come upon your face when you hear these words: the look of shear horror, or a giant grin from ear to ear. If you have the shear horror expression…maybe skydiving isn’t your thing. It’s probably better off that you stay home and catch up on whatever you’ve delayed watching on your DVR. But, if you are left smiling with such a proposition, you are either all in or on the fence. It is totally understandable to be on the fence about this… you want to do something a little on the wild side, but you can’t help but think about what could be the obvious worst-case scenario. I suggest you take The Leap of Faith! Here are five reasons why you should go skydiving:
1. Its Not as Risky as You May Think
I know what you’re thinking…”There is too much of a chance that I will jump out of the plane, my parachute won’t open, and game over.” The fact is that skydiving is relatively safe. According to the United States Parachute Association, In 2010 there were only 21 reported fatalities out of an estimated 3 million sky dives. That is a 0.000007 percent chance you will die from a skydiving accident. Statistically speaking, you’re probably safer skydiving than on your daily commute to work. Don’t forget that you have a reserve parachute, and an electronic device that automatically deploys your chute in case you are unable to. Let’s face it, there are inherent risks when skydiving is involved, but the same could be said about many other activities that most people would deem as being safe. Don’t let the tiny percentage hold you back.
2. You’ll Never Forget It
The feeling you get when you jump is unlike anything you have likely experienced before. It is absolutely exhilarating! When they open the hatch of the airplane and you see the earth below, the image will be burned into your brain forever. Let’s be honest…mowing the lawn is about as exciting as it gets for a lot of us. Now you have the opportunity to jump out of a plane with some friends…This is an opportunity to do something that will be approximately 13,000 vertical feet outside of your comfort zone. Life’s greatest rewards are almost always found outside of your comfort zone! Plus, for a little extra cash, you can have your jump video recorded so you can look back on your experience time and time again.
3. It’s a Great Bonding Experience
You can make your first tandem skydive a “team effort” by bringing along some friends to jump with you. Nothing bonds a group quite like throwing them all in the pressure cooker. Most likely, your friends will be feeling the same nervous excitement that you are. When you all land safely, there is a fantastic sense of accomplishment that is rarely experienced. Even if you are complete strangers before your jump, you will be hugging and laughing as though you’ve known each other for a lifetime right afterward.
4. It’s So Much Fun
There is no feeling on Earth like free falling from 13,000 feet. Is skydiving extreme? YOU BET IT IS! It will be an experience that cannot be described accurately in words. Will your heart race a little bit? Definitely. The free fall will be approximately 60 seconds of adrenaline pumping excitement. When your parachute opens, you will have several minutes until you reach the ground and you’ll be able to gaze upon some of the most beautiful panoramic views you’ve ever experienced.
5. People Will Think You are Crazy…and That’s a Good Thing
When you tell people you have decided to go skydiving the most common response is “YOU’RE CRAZY!” They will try to keep you firmly planted in the ground. The good news is that they care about your safety. The bad news is that if they succeed in convincing you not to go, you will likely regret it for a long, long time. Your self image will increase the second you land safely on the ground because you have just done something that most people would never do. Conquering fear is one of the most empowering, liberating things a person can do in life. Skydiving is no exception. People will look at you with a whole new set of eyes…heck, you’ll look at yourself with a whole new set of eyes. If you can do that…you can do anything!
The United States Parachute Association: www.uspa.org