I finally did it. AFF level 1? Done.
I give much credit to my sister and brother-in-law for finally getting me off of the ground. In the morning, before we went to the drop zone AJ was imitating Nella by jumping up and down, screaming "Blast off". I don't remember why she was doing it, or why he thought it was a good idea to imitate her, but it left Jessica and I in fits of giggles-which only encouraged him to keep doing it. In the video, over the roar of the wind, you can hear him say it to me when I turn to 'check-in'. It is just one of the many ways, they made this more fun for me (as if having more fun jumping out of a plane were possible!).
With one small hiccup-AJ gave me the pull sign and I thought he was telling me to straighten my legs-the jump was ideal. Of course we landed in a field about a mile and a half from the drop zone which meant I owed beer. (See HERE for skydiving-beer-owing-rules) But Julia drove AJ's big-ass turbo diesel truck out to pick us up so we didn't have to trudge back in the heat, lugging our parachutes.
It was such a great experience I almost wished that I hadn't invested all of my skydiving money in Jumptown.
One of my favorite moments after the skydive was watching Nella Gale do her very special salute to the plane. I wish I had this on video because it's so fantastic. Every time the plane takes off she kicks her leg up in the air and claps. One of the other skydivers taught her this maneuver and the best part is that she does it whether anyone is watching or not. In this way, she is truly one of them.
I hope, someday, I am too.