5 Things You Need to Know Before Skydiving

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's just The Chosen Juan plummeting back to earth.
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Skydiving was one of the activities on my itinerary that I really looked forward to. I imagined myself jumping out of the plane and being one with the sky, relishing what I believe would be a fun and exhilarating experience. But for a moment there, I felt like I bit more than I could chew.

You see, when you’re staring at the world from 10,000 feet above ground, fear suddenly becomes real. I felt as if no amount of preparation could have made me less terrified when the sky was finally right before my eyes. After all, skydiving will always be considered a risky sport—but I decided to take the risk anyway. And it was one of the greatest experiences ever!

Think you can skydive? Allow me to share these five things you need to know before taking that big jump.

1. It’s okay to not know how to fly.
We humans can only wish that Tinker Bell’s pixie dust was real so we can fly. That’s why you’ll be briefed by professionals about what you should do before, during, and after skydiving—including how to handle fear once you’re up there. Remember to take the orientation seriously because just like everyone else who jumped before you, you’re literally only human.

2. The jumpmaster knows what he’s doing.
Before skydiving, a jumpmaster will guide you throughout the whole experience. The jumpmaster assigned to me has done more than 4,000 jumps so I’m certain that I will survive the fall. You will also be skydiving in tandem, which means you’ll be in a harness attached to the jumpmaster. So during the entire duration of the fall, your life will be on his hands. But these professionals are not called jumpmasters for nothing, so you’ll be just fine.

3. It’s really cold up there.
The plane that will take you to the sky will be rather small. In my experience, it only had enough room for three people: me, the jumpmaster, and the pilot. And once you’re up there, the wind will be very strong and really cold. Good thing my jumpmaster lent me a sweater. But to be honest, I wasn’t really sure if I was shaking because of the cool air, fear, or even both.

4. The hardest part is right before the jump.
Once you find yourself right before the aircraft door, you’ll feel your legs shaking and your heart pumping like it’s going to burst right out of your chest. The scariest part was when I stuck both my legs out of the plane and realized there was no turning back. My jumpmaster told me I wouldn’t want to be that guy on YouTube who cowered in fear at the last minute (I haven’t seen the video, but that sounded like a hell of a missed opportunity). So I breathe in deeply, said a quick prayer, and told my jumpmaster that it’s now or never. Besides, my only way back to earth was through that aircraft door.

5. There is no way to go but down.
And so I jumped—and screamed like I never screamed before! It was the craziest experience in the world! Imagine feeling euphoric, thrilled, and scared all at the same time but five times stronger! It wasn’t like riding a roller coaster. But the experience was really incredible and exhilarating, something I’m sure I would have only when I go skydiving for the second time. The view while free-falling was also amazing and breathtaking. When the jumpmaster opened the parachute, I savored every moment as we slowly made our way down to earth.
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