March 25, 2012

Day 55, 11th October 2011. Moab, Utah

The day I jumped out of a plane!!!

I woke up naturally at 8am this morning, but laid in my sleeping bag until 10am worrying about what laid ahead of me today. I couldn'tget my head around the fact that I had agreed to do a skydive, because I always said that it was something I'd never do. I think it was a good thing that I never really had a chance to think about it for months beforehand, because I had less than a day from deciding to do it to actually doing it. 

So after I'd spent 2 hours snuggled in my sleeping bag just Facebooking and Tweeting from my phone, I decided I had to get up and get ready. We didn't have to leave camp until 11.30am to get there so it was a nice easy morning to get ready slowly, although it probably would have been better to not have time to think because I was starting to get really scared. I had some cereal this morning, again this was one of the only mornings I actually had breakfast, and then those of us that were doing the skydive just sat around waiting to leave feeling really nervous.

The people that weren't doing it had already gone out for the day to do some hiking or other activities, so there were just 9 of us in total out of both the groups waiting to go. Kait drove us to the skydive place which was about half an hour from camp. The company was called Skydive Moab and it was at like an airport place.

Snake on the runway

When we arrived we walked over to the skydive part of the airport and we were shown a short video which made it look really exciting, and then we were given a ridiculous amount of forms to fill in. This freaked me out a bit because there were so many of them and they all said things like 'you might die' on there, and loads of stuff about parachute malfunctions. This is what I was more scared of than doing the skydive. Most people were scared because it was a scary thing to jump out of a plane, but I was mainly scared that something would go wrong and I would die. After last nights disaster in Canyonlands, I felt lucky to be alive and didn't really feel like risking my life.

I was kind of freaking out and was totally having doubts. I was seriously considering not doing it. Justine and Cece went first, and I knew that I was being silly because Justine is so scared of heights and she was being so brave by doing this that I knew if she was doing it then I had no excuse to back out.

Justine and Cece ready to go!

The plane, it was tiny!!

When they were on their way up, someone in the group was really trying to wind me up saying that I should back out and not do it. The fact that this person was telling me I couldn't do it just made me change my mind completely and I knew 100% I was going to do it because it would have made that person so happy to see me fail and there was no way I was giving them that satisfaction. 

The man who worked there then told us to go outside because we could watch them jump. When we looked up to try and find the plane in the sky it was the tiniest dot ever, making us realize how high up they were. It was at a height of 10,000ft and we could just about see them as ever tinier dots when they jumped out of the plane. It definitely made the day more fun that we could actually watch everyone jumping. I took loads of photos which is why this is going to be another long one.



Well done girls!!

Seeing them do it and land gave me the motivation I needed and I actually got excited. Me and Gary ended up being the last ones to do the jump which was annoying as it meant my nerves kept resurfacing. Carlos and Zoe went next.

Getting ready



Leah went afterwards. As there was an odd number of us, she went alone.

Justine, Cece and Zoe had to leave straight after they had jumped because they had booked another activity for the day. I was sad that they had to leave because I wanted their support to tell me I could do it, but at least I had Carlos and Leah who were being really great and of course Gary. Carlos and Leah had both loved their jump so much, so the fact that they were so happy and excited about it made me feel so much better, I'm so glad they were both there with us. They were all getting their jumps video recorded, so while we were waiting around we watched everyones video's which was really fun.
Lisa and Donna did their jump but I didn't really pay much attention as me and Gary had to start getting ready for ours. We had to get weighed which shocked me because I had lost so much weight, because I hadn't been eating anywhere near enough. Then they started getting all our stuff ready and we had to decide if we wanted photos/videos. I would have been happy with just photos but Gary wanted us to get videos too so we did.

Scared face

Getting my harness on, that was my instructor, his name was Aaron.

Gary and his instructor, Pat

We drew things on our hands before so we could wave them in the video, I drew a heart on my palm and Leah drew a funny face on the other side of my hand.

Gary's hand

Before we got in the plane, they did little video interviews with us, which I look really silly in because I was so nervous, we had some photos outside the plane and then it was time to get in....!

Inside, the plane was even smaller than it looked from the outside. It was just me and Gary, the 2 instructors and the pilot and it was such a tight squeeze. The views on the way up were beautiful, I was getting so scared but it was nice to look out over the pretty scenery. Aaron kept waving the video camera in my face asking me questions but I could barely answer them because I was freaking out so much. We got all strapped together really firmly and I did feel really safe, the only thing that was worrying me was if the parachute didn't work.

Gary was nervous too, but more excited. I was just nervously nervous. I really didn't want to die.

It took a good 20 minutes to reach 10,000ft and when we got there I barely had a chance to realize what was going on before the plane door opened. We had decided that I would go first because I didn't want to watch Gary jump in front of me. 
I got some goggles put o my face and my legs were pushed outside the plane and before I knew it I was spinning in the air. Didn't have a chance to get scared because it happened so quickly. I did get a chance to tell Gary I loved him though just before I got pushed out.... just in case!! I'm really glad he didn't hang around on the side of the plane because it meant I didn't even get a chance to be scared.

It was such an amazing experience. The only time I was scared was when I was sitting in the plane, as soon as I was thrown out I completely forgot how scared I had been. Of course I'm not afraid of heights or anything so I loved being so high up. The feeling was very different than I expected, it didn't feel like falling on a roller coaster at all, it was like there was a pillow of air below me. My biggest concern was that I was so cold! The freefalling was of course the most fun bit, it was crazy to just be falling through the air towards the ground, I loved it. We were falling at 120mph for about 35 seconds before the parachute was pulled. In some ways it felt like it was much longer than that, but yet it seemed to be over so quickly.

Gary was jumping out of the plane about 20 seconds after me, so he could see me below him.

When the parachute was pulled (yay, it worked, I'm going to live), it was about 5 minutes of floating down. It was then that I really got to appreciate the scenery. It really did feel like we were on Mars because all you could see in every direction was red rock and canyons.
I got to steer the parachute for a bit but it was really tough, I wasn't very good at it, my muscles weren't strong enough, haha!

Some photos Carlos took of us from the ground

LOL at Gary's hair

The landing was much softer and easier than I had expected. All I had to do was lift my legs up a bit and all of a sudden we were on the ground, I expected it to be a lot more bumpy. As soon as I realized I was on the floor I looked up to see if I could see Gary then I saw he was landing right next to me.

Their parachute landed on top of their heads, haha.

As soon as we were freed from our harnesses we had another little video interview to say how much we had enjoyed ourselves and then that was it! It was over so quickly but really was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Totally amazing and once I was actually out of the plane, not scary at all. SO glad that I did it.

All smiles because we did it!

We were all laughing at the background of these photos because it looks like we are Mars explorers lol

As me and Gary were the last ones, we just had to wait for our photos and video's to be put onto a DVD, then we watched them while we waited to be picked up.

When we got back to camp we had these weird flavored hot dogs for dinner, I don't know what Mark had against normal food, but we never got any! Luckily there was a shop outside the campsite so I had an Ice Cream for dinner. I had hardly eaten anything today because there was nowhere to eat at the skydive place. It was cool to go back to camp and tell everyone about our fun day though.

After dinner I had a shower, and then spent the evening in Kirsty's tent helping her write her diary from day 1 which she had decided to start now, on day 50something of the trip! Gary was hanging out with Nick and Dean over at the other camp and as soon as we got back we went to bed. 

This was definitely one of my favorite days ever, so glad that I did it! 


  1. Ahhh that's amazing!! You are so so brave!

  2. You are a badass Lauren! This is so crazy. I could never do it (I hate rollercoasters and that weird feeling you get in your stomach when you go down, so I don't know how you could stand a free-fall from so high up! lol), but that's awesome that you guys did it together. It's sort of like you "took the plunge", before you take the "(marital) plunge. " ;)

    1. I still can't beleive I did it either! My whole life I have said thats something I would never do, I don't know what came over me when I decided to do it LOL