Saturday, September 15, 2007

Skydiving - here I come!

Santa Cruz, CA —
Instead of my usual Saturday morning yoga class in Santa Cruz, I am about to go skydiving in Hollister instead! It was not my idea of a relaxing weekend morning, but when my good friend Christian Fine invited Norman and me and 163 other of his closest friends, to celebrate his 40th birthday with "one of those things I always wanted to do" - how could we refuse? Actually, all but 8 of us declined his invitation. At 10 a.m. this morning, we will all meet at Hollister Airport (about a 45-minute drive from Santa Cruz) and jump out of a perfectly good ariplane from 18,000 feet. I will let you know how it goes, hopefully...

Although it's morbid to consider my funeral arrangements before I leave this morning, if I don't make it back to complete this blog entry after my first tandem skydive jump with Adventure Skydiving, Inc., know that I want the cause of death stated in my obituary: "Karen jumped off of a perfectly good airplane at 18,000 feet up and she had a great time — 'til the end."

Not surprisingly, I am not the first person to ponder the wisdom of the jump - Adventure Skydiving helpfully addresses the issue in their Frequently Asked Questions section of their website:

Is Skydiving Dangerous?
Of course it's dangerous. You get out of a plane three miles above the earth. And gravity does work, in fact, it rules supreme. The only thing between a skydiver and "deceleration trauma" is a chunk of nylon about the size of your living room. Which part of not being dangerous was unclear?

Is It Safe?
Ahhh...a much better question.
Adventure Center Skydiving owns the latest student, solo, and tandem gear. All of the equipment used at Adventure Center Skydiving is serviced and maintained by FAA certified technicians of the highest ratings. The parachutes are packed by professionals, the reserves packed and repacked even if unused (it's not only a good idea, it's the law). Although an inherently dangerous sport, just as driving a car is an inherently dangerous activity (you did know that, right?), we take every precaution to assure your safety while on our drop zone. Do you drive with bad brakes and bald tires?

So, the short answer is that the sport of skydiving has been made as safe as possible. And at Adventure Center Skydiving, we take every precaution possible before, during, and after your skydive.