Bucket list achievement | My first skydive

Bucket list achievement | My first skydive

Written by Heather

Topics: Planning & Reflection

Five years ago I celebrated one of my biggest bucket list achievements.

How I never managed to write about it in the 4+ years I’ve had this blog, I don’t know.

But we’re approaching the end of summer, and as I’ve spent the afternoon reminiscing about my first skydiving experience, I thought I’d share some photos.

You know, to prove I actually did it.


Why did I jump out of a plane?

Before I started my master’s degree, I promised myself that when I graduated, I’d do something I’d been wanting to do for years. Skydive.

Two years later, I graduated, went to Australia for three weeks, started my new job, and spent the summer wanting to skydive. But I didn’t want to go alone, and I never found a willing partner.

Until the next summer. Enter one of my work colleagues and her mother. The three of us bravely signed up for a tandem skydive with a local company, and a group of supporters rallied around us.

We arrived at the hanger to find some encouraging words.

Skydive Orange, Virginia

Shut up and jump

If at first you don't succeed...

After checking in, we watched an informative safety video before signing our lives away at least 12 different times. Notice we were still smiling though.

Skydive safety video

Skydiving paperwork

Before we could jump, we had to learn about technique and how to work with our tandem jump master.

Skydive preparation

And I marveled at the folks who packed the parachutes. You couldn’t pay me enough to do that job.

Parachute packing

Once our lessons were done, it was time to wait. For a long time. Nerves settled in but I smiled anyway.

Pre-skydive jitters

Eventually it was time to suit up!

Tandem skydive prep

And meet my jump master, who would really do all of the hard work. He was clearly more relaxed though.

Tandem skydive partner

Skydiving jump master

first skydive

Skydiving plane

Once on board, the nerves REALLY kicked in.

Too late to back out now

Seriously…don’t I look THRILLED?!

First skydive nerves

I still remember standing in the doorway and the jump master counting to 3…and on 3 we fell out of the plane.

first tandem skydive

skydive -- first jump

tandem skydive -- first jump

I LOVED the first minute or so of free fall. Incredible. I also loved the attractive look I achieved with my goggles.

first skydiving experience

first skydive face

skydive -- attemped thumbs up

tandem skydive over Virginia

When it was time to open the parachute, the force pulled up one side of my pants leg and pushed the other side over my shoe!

skydive, parachute opens

Before I knew it, we were coming in for the landing.

skydive landing

tandem skydive landing

And once we landed, I wanted to get back on the plane and jump the rest of the day.

first skydive - smiles!

A few weeks later, I was still incredibly proud of my skydive, but I no longer felt the need to jump out of a plane and free fall toward the earth again.

Five years later, maybe, just maybe I’d consider another jump. After all, it would certainly fit one of my life quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt to “do one thing every day that scares you.” But not today.

What’s one of your favorite bucket list achievements?!

6 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Mom says:

    Whew! I feel breathless and nervous just reading your blog!

  2. Priya says:

    This is awesome! This is on my “bucket list” as well, only I’m not sure when I’ll do it and I’m kind of (OK, A LOT) terrified.

  3. Jayne says:

    These photos are awesome Heather. I did a skydive in New Zealand in 2007 but the photos didn’t come out. I always said that after doing the first jump I would like to do another as I think I would enjoy it more. Still haven’t got around to it though….

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