Over the last few years, I’ve seen multiple ads for Indoor Skydiving at Paraclete XP. I’ve read their website many times so I knew it was the largest vertical wind tunnel in the United States. Military personnel and skydiving teams from all over the world come here to train. Indoor skydiving was always something I had thought about doing, but never had the nerve. With “52 Weeks of YES”, it’s a whole new ballgame. I knew I had to do it.
At 9:30 this morning, I headed out on a 1 1/2 hour drive to Raeford, NC. I was feeling pretty good until I walked into the Paraclete Observation Deck and actually saw people flying around in the tunnel. That’s when my nerves kicked in. But as with zip lining, I knew I had to get in the right head-space. Don’t over-think it — just do it. I refused to focus on how scary it was gonna be. Instead, I focused on how exciting it was gonna be. I’m learning quickly that fear is all in my head and most of my fears aren’t based on actual reality, but my own (mis)perception.
So, I signed a waiver, watched a 3-minute instructional video, learned the 4 hand signals, and suited up. It was go time!
Round 1 was pretty much a practice run to get us used to being in the wind tunnel – how to properly hold our arms, legs, head, etc. Then came Round 2. I was doing pretty good and getting good height on my own. All of a sudden, I heard the wind tunnel rev up big-time, my instructor grabbed my waist, and the next thing I knew we were being blown 50+ feet in the air to the top of the wind tunnel! We came down fast and just when I thought I might hit the floor, we shot right back up again. And yes, I screamed like a girl the first time we flew up to the top. But, the second time I was screaming and laughing all at the same time.
As I look at the video, I laugh every time I see the two ladies who were sitting on the bench. When we flew up in the air, they jumped off the bench and ran to the glass, staring up at me in amazement. Apparently, it startled them just as much as it startled me. LOL!
At the end of the experience, I could honestly say that I had so much fun. If any of you have contemplated Indoor Skydiving, do it! You won’t regret it. Plus, it felt real good to check something off my list that I thought I couldn’t do because of fear. I’m starting to learn that I’m a much tougher chick than I ever gave myself credit for. Get it, girl. 😉
So, what’s my new experience gonna be next week? You’ll just have to stay tuned and see…Hint: Relax, relate, release.
“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” — Will Rogers