Tuesday, 23 August 2011

How do I breathe???

How do I breathe? - This was my one and only concern when I decided (I didn't decide actually I was cajoled, pushed and bullied) to go for a tandem sky dive.
Before I jumped with my sky dive instructor
(c) fifiheavey

We were in New Zealand, I already had the bruises from Skiing, money was short and we needed to make some decisions: bungee jump, black water rafting or sky diving.

Bungee jumping was immediately ruled out – it only lasts a few seconds, you have to jump yourself (in sky diving the instructor does that for you) and you dangle upside down and may hit the water – no flipping way!
Black water rafting – this seemed like fun, it was unusual and involved abseiling, climbing, cave tubbing and a lot of, eh black water. But by this stag of our trip we had snorkeled, scuba dived and surfed so we had ticked the water sports box enough.

Sky diving it was then. New Zealand is the best place for your first sky dive (yes that is a biased opinion) and Lake Taupo is breathtaking (with or without a parachute).
So we booked our appointment with Skydive Taupo, I informed family and friends of my impending death and we anxiously waited for the big white stretch limo to collect us.

The stretch limo
(c) fifiheavey

I didn't sleep the night before, I was excited (really I was shitting it) the next morning I didn't eat, the limo arrived and inside we met some Irish lads (of course) also paying for the service to jump out of a perfectly good plane.

Sky high
(c) fifiheavey
They chatted with my boyfriend about what music they would choose for their DVD of the experience. I didn't partake in this trivial chat because all I was worried about was “How exactly do I breathe?”

I understood that thousands sky dive probably each week (I made up that stat!) and very rarely does anything go wrong, but I just couldn't comprehend how I was supposed to breathe in the face of free falling at over 50mph for one minute.
Sixty seconds of 50mph wind in my face – where, how when was I supposed to breathe?
It seemed so unnatural, so wrong.

These questions all seem irrational, even annoying now, post sky dive but before hand, no amount of talking or explaining would calm me. My instructor did a great job of distracting me and he reassured me I would be able to breathe, he promised his life on it – if I arrived alive I would keep him to that!

So up we went in the pink plane, and actually inside I regained my nerve – on the other side of the small aircraft however I saw my boyfriend's face and realised panic had just crept in.

The pink Skydive Taupo plane

Despite my pleading to be the first out, I had to watch the other two fall from the plane before I got my turn.
The experience was out of this world, the free fall exhilarating, the pull of the parachute released, the feeling of flying, the view of the two New Zealand islands, the lake, the birds and clouds.
Even the landing was so much fun.
Sky diving is a high like no other, those who are thinking about take recreational drugs should be first introduced to this, a high adrenalin activity that cannot be beaten.
Preparing to land ...
(c) fifiheavey
How did I breathe? Well actually quite easily and once out there it was the least of my concerns, I just wanted it to last longer, to see more, to feel more.
Sky diving is a whole lot better than drugs – but be warned it can also be highly addictive!


  1. @tink - glad you liked it - thanks for your comment, you have made my day!