Photo: runnr_az, flickr

Skydiving Arizona

Near the end of my first year at Arizona State University, myself and two other friends decided to take a leap into something we’ve never done before.

The chance to jump out of an airplane from 13,000 feet in the airPhoto: Ryan Harvey, Flickr was presented to us, and we weren’t going to turn it down. Getting the three of us on board with the plan was an easy task; we had all been craving a new thrill, and skydiving was high on our list.

In the early morning we gathered together into one car and made our way to Eloy for a visit to Skydive Arizona, a company that provided everything we would need to complete our skydiving adventure.

After about an hour-long drive from Tempe, we arrived at our destination where we wandered the site a bit and watched other skydivers coming in for their landing. Soon we learned the basics of skydiving safety and how our jump would work. Next we put on our harnesses and headed to the plane that would take us up into the sky.

A little car that looked like an elongated golf cart with no roof took us to the plane just as our nerves came into full swing. We hopped off the cart and climbed into the plane that had benches lining the Skydiving, Eloy, Photo: Ryan Harvey, Flickrwalls instead of the rowed commercial airline seating that I was used to. This was definitely the smallest plane I had ever been on.

After a fairly quick take off, we were headed up to our destination of 13,000 feet. Hip hop music played over the speakers as we nervously joked around and took pictures with each other.

Soon it was time to jump out of this plane that I had just started to get used to. I watched the first two people, who were experienced jumpers, flip out of the plane and quickly fall away into the sky. As I inched forward and approached the door, I got my first real glimpse of the wide open sky and a small world down below. In one swift motion the entire world was flipping above and below me, like nothing I had ever experienced before. It was amazing to see and feel such a huge mass of land being thrown around me like it was nothing.Skydivers, Eloy, Arizona, Photo: runnr_az, flickr

After free falling for a short time, I pulled the cord that released the parachute, and while pulling on the handles to steer the parachute into some drastic and very amusing turns, I gently floated back to ground level. I landed smoothly into the grass, quickly followed by my other two friends.

The rest of our day and night was spent in a euphoric state, reveling in what we had just experienced, and eager to do it again.