August 21, 2012

Time to Fly! Indoor Skydiving

Yes, you read that right... indoor skydiving. Some of you are thinking, "Oh, no. Not me. I wouldn't do it!" And the rest of you are thinking, "Why indoor? If you're gonna go for it, then do the real thing!"

I agree with both of you completely. And yet... what happened was this:

Several years ago, the Hubs and I visited the fun city of Las Vegas. Actually, we won a 7-night trip, woohoo! Only one problem: What do you do with 7 nights in Vegas? Man can only gamble for so long before all the money is gone, especially when we're talking about the Hubs. He has awful luck in casinos!

So instead of losing time in the clock-less casinos, we made the smart decision to check out some of Vegas's other sights. We took a gondola ride, hiked in Red Rock Canyon, and tried out the Adventuredome in Circus, Circus. In short, we had a blast.

However...

Vegas is also home to one of the few indoor skydiving adventures in the USA.

Vegas Indoor Skydiving

Of course, we couldn't resist (Translation: The Hubs teased me into submission). And I was really, really brave... all the way up to the point where we entered the tunnel area.

Then I wanted to run away, and possibly lose my breakfast.

At that moment, all I could remember were the waivers they forced me to sign. You know, the ones that say you won't sue, even if you're maimed or dead? They must have those waivers for a reason, right?!?!

Just as I was contemplating my quickest exit, the Hubs shoved me through the door, and it was too late.

And as much as it pained me to admit this to the Hubs...

I LOVED IT!

I loved every crazy, windblown second. There was no sensation of falling, though I was sure there would be. Instead, it's as if you're flying. I wanted to shout and laugh and cry, all at the same time. In fact, I'm pretty sure I did. We left the tunnel with adrenaline rushing through our veins, and the desire to go again very strong. Somewhere inside, a tiny hankering to jump out of a real plane developed (I know, crazy, right?!).

We left Vegas with a video and the amazing memory. I passed our experience on to family and friends, but only one was brave enough to step forward and say "I want to go!"...

You guessed it. The Kid. (If you don't remember the Kid, check out the guest blog she wrote, but don't believe everything she says!)

My baby sister has adventure running through her veins; she's an adrenaline junkie in the making. Her bravery pushes me to be braver, and forces me to try things I might otherwise walk away from. Last year, it was parasailing. This year, indoor skydiving was our sport of choice.

No, we didn't go back to Vegas. I found a new place, where you can not only indoor skydive, but you can hop right out of the plane if you've a mind to!

Wind tunnel from the outside 


SkyVenture Arizona... such fun! Unfortunately, the Hubs wasn't able to go (work) and my mum chickened out (though she'll deny it!). So it was just me and the Kid, ready for our adventure!

After our experience in Vegas (and upon seeing the video), the Kid begged me, "Please, best sister in the whole wide world... take me indoor skydiving! You're my favorite, I love you best... please, please take me!" (Ok, I might not be remembering our conversation word-for-word, but you get the point).

How could I resist? So, we hopped in the car and drove. And drove. And drove some more. You just can't find indoor skydiving facilities on every street corner. This one is in Eloy, Arizona... pretty much the middle of nowhere. Not only do they offer the wind tunnel, but the extra brave can also go for the real thing at Skydive Arizona, also on the property.

Needless to say, I was pumped! Having been once already, my nerves were a distant memory, replaced by excitement instead. No fear of falling, no sinking sensation in my stomach... just pure adrenaline. I explained the process to the Kid, but I can imagine her nerves. Whenever something is unknown, fear settles in.

A quick video and a tutorial are all the training you receive. But you don't need any more than that for this simple, fun experience! After signing the dreaded waivers, it's time to suit up.

Ready to rock

Yep, I know we look funny. Ridiculous even. Laugh all you want, but the gear is necessary. Goggles, because that kind of wind would not feel good rushing into your face. Helmets, in case you crash into the wall... ahem. Wind suits, which help with aerodynamics. Underneath the wind suits, we're equipped with elbow and knee pads. Add a pair of well-fitting sneakers, and we're ready to fly!

Our group was five people, but we each entered the tunnel alone. Well, alone except for the instructor. You have a choice between two, one minute flights OR two, two minute flights.

Your first flight is mostly instructional. During the ten minutes of "training", you're taught various hand signals, since speaking in the tunnel is impossible. The peace sign is given when you need to straighten your legs. A peace sign with bent fingers means to bend your legs a little.

And I've forgotten most of the others, whoops!

Your second flight is more free. You've mostly mastered the basics, and now it's time to enjoy!

Flying! 

From the first moment you're in the tunnel, all fear is forgotten. It's such a thrill! I wouldn't lie to you about this. If you've never been, this is an experience worth having. I know a lot of people would say it's not the real thing. And it's not. But this is a good in-between event, something to build your courage.

Unfortunately for me, the Kid has courage leaking out her eyeballs. She can't wait to jump out the door of an actual plane.

Luckily for me, she isn't 18 yet, so that experience will have to wait. I have a few more years to pretend I'm brave before that moment is upon me. As much as I loved this indoor version, I'm sure I'll be a gooey mess of nerves when I look down at the earth, far, far away.

I'll leave you with a quick video of our fun (about 3.5 minutes)... if you're curious or always wanted to try this out, I say GO FOR IT! You only live once, take advantage while you can.

Happy flying, my friends!

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