As you can tell from my video, I was super nervous and so excited to skydive I could hardly contain myself. The anticipation alone was an adrenaline rush. From the moment I booked my ticket, which was only hours before jumping, my heart was pounding. Now it’s a day later and I am still on a skydiver’s high.
The scariest part about the whole thing wasn’t the jump but the flight to the top. As the plane climbed in elevation, my heart started beating faster. My breath started to get shorter and my palms started to sweat. I knew this was the moment I needed to use the tools I’ve gained from the hours of yoga I have been doing! So, I began to practice my yogic breathing to calm my nerves. That, along with some oxygen did wonders! Despite the fact this all felt like a panic attack, I never once questioned my decision to jump. I was determined to see it through.
I was persuaded to jump from 15,000 feet rather than 12,000 feet because it would give me more time to free fall, which is the fun part! And I live by the mantra, “go big or go home.” Once we reached 12,000 feet, the five other people jumped, leaving me as the lone ranger waiting for the plane to take me even higher. Seeing everyone jump just made me more nervous. Thankfully, my tandem partner had a killer sense of humor and a knack for distracting conversation topics. This helped me forget about the fact I could be falling to my death.
Finally, at 15,000 feet, we got to the edge, took this fun photo, and literally rolled out of the plane.
I am not certain if it was the fear, the cold, or the jolt of the wind that took my breath away, but it was gone. I gasped for air multiple times and once I finally found my breath and realized I wasn’t going to pass out, I was in sheer amazement. I was falling from the sky! It wasn’t until the parachute opened and we started gliding through the air that I started to fully enjoy the view of Great Lake Taupo.
Once we landed, I could hardly walk. My entire body was vibrating and I felt like I had electricity running through my veins. It was the biggest surge of adrenaline I had ever felt.
Not only was this experience one for the books, but to make it even better, my tandem partner was Michael Holmes. Michael is an expert skydiver who, nine years ago, thought his life was over when his parachute and reserve parachute both failed him. He fell from 14,000 feet and landed in a blackberry bush with only a few manageable injuries. He recovered and still jumps almost 15 times per day. This may be the most extreme example of not letting a setback stop you from following your dreams and doing what you love.
You can find his whole incredible story here – Skydiving Miracle: Man Falls Two Miles.