An unique birthday present: Skydiving


Senior Stanford Wells….

Stanford Wells, Reporter

When I was a kid, I always told my mom that I wanted to fly. I don’t know why, but from a young age I was always fascinated by the idea of flying and looking down to see the world before me. For my 18th birthday this year, in a sense, I was able to do that. For years I had told my parents that I wanted to go skydiving when I was 18 years old. One day, I found the tickets by accident in a stack of paper on my mom’s nightstand. Little did I know, I had accidentally discovered my birthday present for later in the year. I may have known about it early, but the surprise was no less sweet. 

After months of waiting and anticipation, it was finally time to go skydiving. The facility was a private place in Raeford, NC. We had to leave early in the morning because our jump time was 11 A.M. Not only was it me going, but also my dad and grandpa. When we drove down to the skydiving location, they were a little anxious, but not nearly as nervous as I’d expected. We had to sign wavers and watch a video, which kind of made me nervous because it was talking about possible injury or death. After finishing, we met the guys who were going to be with us and they made me feel a lot better. I really couldn’t describe them in any other way than just cool guys who liked to have fun. Most of them were ex-military, which made me feel safer. After we got all geared up, it was time to jump. 

We got in the plane and I realized that not only was it my first time skydiving, but also flying in a plane. I wasn’t nervous at all when taking off on the airplane. The world looked so beautiful from the sky. As we began to get above the clouds my nerves started to set in a little.

I looked out the window and the land looked blue like the ocean. I told my instructor, “The only part I am really nervous about is the straps not being hooked up right or malfunctioning.”

He turned to me and said humorously, “Shut up.” 

After about 10 minutes of flying above the facility, the door opened and it was time to jump. I scooted to the door and looked out the window with adrenaline and curiosity. Soon enough I was falling from 13,000 feet in the air. I could barely breathe at first and the feeling was unreal. I felt like I was in a movie. When I finally caught my breath, I noticed a tap on my head and a man was falling in front of me with a video camera. I looked up and tried to smile; honestly, I was more focused on surviving. 

When the parachute opened, I felt it but I was in such shock and awe that I felt numb to the jerk of the chute. Then, I was slowly descending to the earth and could see for miles. It was an experience I’ll never forget. As I got ready to land, I lifted my legs up and we slid in the dirt. Just like I was told, any fears that I previously had never even occurred to me. I had just jumped out of an airplane and it felt great.

All in all, skydiving was amazing and I’d recommend it to anyone. Although I had fears, there was no way I was going to give up on something that had been on my bucket list since I was a kid. When I left, I started thinking about back when I was little and I told my mom that I wanted to fly. Although it wasn’t like Superman or a fictional character like I had imagined as a kid, in a sense, I did get to fly that day. If skydiving taught me anything, it taught me to face my fears and enjoy life. Even if its not jumping out of an airplane at 13,000 feet, if it is something that someone wants to do, go for it. As the saying goes, “you only live once.”