Have you ever felt so trapped in your life that you would do just about anything to regain the sense of freedom? Well, that’s how I felt back in 2012. For many years, my world was no bigger than my 900 square foot apartment, and I’d fallen into the same routine day in and day out. I needed to do something crazy, something nobody would’ve expected — not even myself.
Without a thought of hesitation that’s when I decided: skydiving. I did a quick Google search and found the number to a local airstrip 30 minutes outside of town that offered tandem jumps. I called them up right then and there and scheduled my jump for two weeks later. Immediately after hanging up, I asked myself aloud, “What did I just do?” I couldn’t bail out now; there was a “no money back” clause. Either I’d jump within the year, or I just made this company free money.
The day arrives and my younger brother and I arrive at the airstrip to find out that I’m scheduled behind a large choreography jump and would have to wait a little while. Turns out “a little while” means five hours, with no way for me to use the bathroom. A younger guy about 28 crouches next to me in my chair and introduces himself as my tandem partner. After a couple minute discussion on how things were going to go down, he excuses himself to go get the equipment prepared. A few moments later, an older gentleman, who had a striking resemblance to Hank from “Breaking Bad,” walks up and informs me that he would actually be the one taking me up. This makes me even more nervous; it gives me the feeling that the company or their expert jumpers don’t really know how to deal with disabilities. I guess I was their first wheelchair skydiver. But his confidence puts me back at ease as we work together to put on my jumpsuit and harness.
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