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Skydiving Essay

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Submitted By kcheers16
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I. Overview and Title Seeing the World from a Different Point of View This essay shows my life experience of skydiving. I show that skydiving was definitely not something I ever pictured myself doing. But after I received a ticket as a gift I knew that it was for me. After two times of bad weather we were finally able to jump from the airplane. This was definitely one of the best experiences of my life, and I will never forget about it. II. Synthesis of research III. Essay Freefalling about 7,000 feet from an airplane is not many people’s idea of fun. Most people would rather be secured to the ground looking up at the people jumping from airplanes. Now let me say something first -I am afraid of heights. I will not even climb up a ladder unless someone is holding me and the ladder! I love rollercoaster’s, but I must be strongly secured in the coaster. When I first received my ticket to go skydiving, I was not very sure if it was going to be the thing for me. Jumping from an airplane was not something that I ever saw myself doing before. Yes, I had been flying before, but I was secured in a seat, barely even looking out the window. I always wondered why people jumped from airplanes. Is it the rush they get, or do they just do it for a job? Skydiving is definitely one of the most incredible things anyone could get to experience because of the feeling of freedom that comes with falling from the heavens. Before I had even planned on jumping out of an airplane, I was just a normal student about to graduate high school. But everything changed when my boyfriend, Dante, bought me tickets to go skydiving as my graduation gift. Dante, his sister Dominique, and his brother Mike had also all received their tickets as gifts from previous holidays. We set up a day to go, and I became very anxious and excited. To go along with my graduation gift, Dante’s parents bought me a video experience. As I was in the air, someone else with a camera would jump with me and tape my entire jump. After the jump I would receive the pictures of my jump, and a few weeks later they would mail an edited video of my experience. This video is something that I can keep for the rest of my life as a memory of my experience. Since I was already nervous enough about skydiving, a three hour car ride definitely did not help. The site that I jumped at is in Grove City, Pennsylvania. The building where all of the training and setting up took place at was called a hanger. It was pretty small, but with tons of equipment in it for skydiving. It was pretty far in to a rural area, with little no tall buildings. Because the site was pretty far away, we decided to make a day out of it. The first day we went the sky was filled with clouds. We called the site to make sure we would still be able to jump, but they said we should still come because the weather was supposed to get better. We learned while we were there that the pilot had to be able to see the landing strip in order for us to jump. With all of the clouds in the sky, it did not seem like a possibility. When we got there we got all our training done, which included watching a movie, and signing many different papers. I thought there was going to be a lot more to the training, but the movie pretty much covered everything. By the time we were done they had decided they were not letting any planes go up that day. We left, disappointed, but hopeful for the next time. Our next try to jump came yet again. But, everything happened the same exact way. This time we even had our jumpsuits on, and were ready to go! We waited around for a few hours until the staff at the site decided today was not a good day to jump. As the weeks passed by I became more and more anxious to go skydiving. On our third try we were somewhat hopeful. When I saw one cloud in the sky I doubted our chances to go up. I definitely did not want to get in the car for another three hours for absolutely no reason at all. When we got to the site things began looking up. Things move a lot faster when people are actually jumping. There were a lot more people there, and they all looked a lot happier. The atmosphere was so cheerful- everyone was outside having a good time. They were even getting ready for picnic, and had dogs running around everywhere. The airplane was barely taking any breaks in between landing. We literally had to run up to it and jump in before it took off for our jump. When I first went to the skydiving site I expected some crazy people to greet me. I pictured people that were pretty much out of their minds that would be working at a skydiving place. It was nothing like what I expected. Everyone there was pretty much like me- They just loved to skydive. As I talked more and more to the people I really started to notice some neat things about them. One man worked a computer job through the week. We laughed and joked with him because we could not picture him sitting at a desk all week, and then coming out every weekend to skydive for a second job. All of these people love what they are doing. Although it does not seem like an ideal job, and some days would really drag due to weather, they loved it! Lori Steffen writes in her article “Why do People Skydive” that people who skydive understand something greater than someone who has never skydived before. Most people will never understand that thrill people get from skydiving. I was one of these regular people until the first time I jumped. I did not see what all the hype about skydiving was until I was actually up there in the plane ready to jump. My skydiving jump was what they call tandem jumping. Tandem is when you have a more experienced person attached to the back of you. This person is there because they know how and when to pull the parachute. One of my favorite parts about skydiving was what the plane looked like. It was so small, and had colored polka dots all over it! The inside was just enough to fit about 3 people- comfortably. We fit about 9 people. Since each of us needed our tandem jumping guide with us and our camera person were not all able to go up together. I got to go up in the plane with Dante. You would think that the hardest part of skydiving was actually jumping out of the airplane. It actually was not. My tandem guide did not really even give me a chance to think. As soon as those doors opened he literally just pushed us over to the side and counted to three. Before I knew it we were freefalling through the sky. I can definitely relate this part to James Clashes “Take a Leap” where Clash writes “Your face begins to distort and your cheeks to flap once you hit terminal velocity, about 120mph.” My face had definitely never experienced anything like that before. The hardest part about this whole thing was that I had to remember to keep my head up to look at the camera! After about 45 seconds my guide pulled the parachute. We floated around in the air for about 6 minutes and just stared at the beautiful scenery. It was the most amazing experience of my life. My guide even let me take the handles of the parachute and spin us in circles! The landing was what I was most nervous about. Many people get injured while landing. I even witnessed a man land and slide on his knees. This can be very dangerous because he could have really injured his knees- especially if he would have hit a rock! I just had to remember to put my legs straight out in front of me, and we would just slowly glide down on our bottoms. Thank goodness that is how it happened, and everything worked out wonderfully. After doing this incredible skydive the one thing I could not figure out was how my guide found where we had to land. I definitely could not find the landing spot while we were up in the air! I came to the conclusion that these people are professionals. In Mike Camunas’s “Just Boogie on Down” he writes that at one point in their skydiving party about 45 people jump at one time to form different formations in the sky. That would be incredible to see something like that. Although I would love to be a part of it, I know that you have to be a professional to try something tricky like that. In this article he mentions that it looked as if it was raining people. I believe that it is interesting to compare this 9/11. People said that it looked as if it was raining people because of everyone jumping out of the buildings. It’s strange to think that skydivers do something like this for fun, but during 9/11 they were just doing it to save their lives. They were definitely not having fun. In conclusion, skydiving is definitely something that I will never forget. I am so grateful to my boyfriend for giving me the chance to do so something so awesome. I am also grateful to his parents for buying me the video experience. I will keep those pictures and the video for the rest of my life. Every once in a while I even pull them out to look at them, or to show other people. I think that the video and pictures are pretty funny. Every time I look at them I cannot help but laugh at the faces I made while I was freefalling. Many people that get to see them are very jealous of me. Even people that know that they would never be able to do anything like that! I believe that skydiving is something so beautiful, and it is sad that many people will never experience it. The world is so big and beautiful, and to see it like that- well, there are not really any words to explain it.

Works Cited Camunas, Mike. “Just Boogie On Down.” St. Petersburg Times. 16 December 2008. LexisNexis. Web. 09 April 2010. Clash, James M. "Take A Leap." Forbes 172.12 (2003): 280-282. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 09 Apr. 2010. Steffen, Lori. “Why do people Skydive.” 2006-2010. 09 April. 2010. <http://www.miziuk.daytona-beach.fl.us/recreation-and-sports/why-do-people-skydive.php>

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