To Skydive or Not to Skydive, That Is the Question



Answer me that, Hamlet. Well, after you figure out all that other stuff about whether it’s nobler to suffer in the mind or to take arms and fight and all that. Anyways, I’m leaning towards just going for it, but whenever I take too long to think about skydiving, I get irrationally (okay, slightly rationally) horrified. I might need some serious persuasion to make this happen.

First, let’s get something straight. I have never, ever had the desire to jump out of a plane. Therefore, it was only to be expected that skydiving did not make it onto my Bucket List the first time around. What in the world could be more ludicrous than hurling yourself from a flying contraption thousands of feet up (besides maybe Ludacris wearing a leotard and rapping Mary Had a Little Lamb)? But my biggest objection to skydiving is that I would be too scared for the entire ordeal and therefore wouldn’t get any enjoyment out of doing it. An activity that combines my intense fear of heights and my extreme dislike of the prolonged tummy-tickling feeling of free falling? No thank you, Tom Petty.

Just to give you an idea of where I’m coming from: At a neighborhood party my friend’s dad pushed me on a rope swing high enough to touch the leaves of an oak tree, and I was so terrified that I stopped breathing and was unable to croak out the word “Stop” until he had pushed me several more times. I then proceeded to collapse off the swing and run to my parents crying. This was in fourth grade. I’ll give myself some credit, I’ve come a long way from that day. Now when I cry after going on rope swings I don’t have to run to my parents for comfort.

But heights is one thing; the feeling of falling lasts the whole way down. Experience has told me that I don’t do well with that feeling. Six Flags is a place I usually avoid at all costs; by now I have discovered that Canobie Lake Park offers the ideal type of “just outside my comfort zone so they’re actually slightly in my comfort zone” rides that I can handle. Usually I can convince my friends to head to Canobie for the water rides, but when Six Flags became one of the destinations for our Senior Week trip somehow I knew I would have a harder time single-handedly convincing my entire grade that riding on the Mini Dinos would be more fun than Bizzaro.

Anyways, it had been long enough since I had last been on a roller coaster that I figured my intense dislike of them was probably something I had outgrown. I therefore foolishly decided that I would make my first ride the biggest roller coaster Six Flags had to offer, making everything else in the park child’s play. Thank goodness my saner friends convinced me to go on the medium-to-small wooden roller coaster at the entrance first. I nearly shat my pants, cried, and passed out all at once. Thankfully I managed instead to walk away shakily and merely fess up that I did not think roller coasters were my thing. After that it was all Buzzsaw and Swing Rides for me (and no, not the Texas SkyScreamer swings that stand 40 stories tall, but the kind you would put a toddler in while they ate an ice cream cone).

Despite all these obstacles, skydiving finally made on the list once I learned it feels more like floating than falling, but even looking at pictures kind of stresses me out. Have you ever gone skydiving? Give me the most convincing pitch for me to go do it! (Slash if you went and hated it…maybe I should know that too).

PS: Go check out the Bucket List Challenge of the Week and DO IT!

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11 responses »

  1. What a great piece of writing 🙂 I was smiling, laughing, and empathizing with you the entire way through. Funny, I just wrote about something similar to our comfort zone. I have never skydived and can’t say that it’s on my short list of things to do. But hey, you’ll never know unless you try, right? As they say, in the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take. I know, not a very convincing pitch, but it should at least nudge you in the right direction 😉

    • Hi Dave,
      I just read your piece and I cannot say enough good things about it! Honestly, even though you haven’t skydived, your words are far more motivating than much of what I’ve heard from people who have gone before. In the end, I need a greater purpose to go than “It was fun”, and I think your pitch provides me with just that(: Thank you so much for your encouragement!

      • You’re so very welcome … that just made my day (smiling from ear to ear) 😉 It is an awesome feeling to help someone move towards their dreams and aspirations and I am so happy that I could play a small part in it. Now, jump in … our out, as it may be 😉

  2. I don’t have a fear of heights, but I do fear falling. Actually not the falling part so much as the hard landing. Skydiving however did make it to my bucket list and was checked off as done in my (much) younger years. I was promised it felt like flying – and that was the experience I wanted to feel. I was not disappointed. It was amazing. They did have to pry my fingers off the door frame of the plane … but after that it was amazing. Would I do it again? A definite maybe … I’m pretty sure they would still need to pry my fingers off the door frame 🙂

    • Hahaha that is so amazing that you did it anyways!(: And I’m so glad you enjoyed it too! 😀 I think it’s just so cool how you took on what you feared. Thank you so much for telling me about your experience; this definitely encourages me to face my fears as well!

  3. What a funny post! I have issues with heights too but I want to go skydiving so bad just because it’s a way of saying I have control over my fears. You should do it and let me know how it goes afterwards…even though that makes me sounds a little cowardly.

    • Hahaha not cowardly at all, trust me! I’m terrified myself! That’s awesome that you want to go. It took me a while to even get to that point. I’m putting money on the fact that I’ll be shaking too much to stand once I finish. I will definitely let you know how it is once I get around to going, or you can come with and we can be totally terrified together! hahaha how funny would that be?! Thanks Lindsey!(:

      • Me too! I think I would get there and just die of fright! That would be hilarious if we did it together but super fun! Looking forward to hearing about more of your adventures!

  4. Great post!
    I’m here to persuade you that sky diving would be amazing 🙂
    From my experience it feels like floating more than falling, the ground is so far away that distance isn’t on your mind. I was more in awe of the spectacular view!
    Mine was a 60 second free fall which goes fast! Then it was a beautiful 5 minute sail down to the ground, I even got to steer the parachute!
    I think it would be a fantastic way to face your fears and it is definitely nothing like a roller coaster where most are designed to be terrifying!
    I wish I could publish the video of mine so you could see how much fun it is!
    Skydiving felt so perfect for me! (I love a thrill as well as heights). I will always talk about my experience to anyone with ears ;P

    • Thank you so much Laura! It’s great to hear how much you enjoyed it, and I appreciate the encouragement to go for it! And I always am glad to hear that it’s not like a roller coaster(; I’m hoping that I will be in too much awe of the spectacular view to notice how terrified I am!(: Sorry for such a delayed response–I was in Europe for a few weeks!

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