So around March 2014 I, foolishly, agreed to take part in a charity Sky Dive, along with many others from the Manchester business community, organised by one of chosen charities, Forever Manchester
The timing of my decision to take part may have been influenced by the great old milestone of turning 30 and my sudden concern to evaluate what I had achieved in my 30 years on earth. Once the decision was made and I had ‘signed on the dotted line’ I soon forgot about this silly Sky Dive escapade and moved on with life as normal.
As the big day fast approached it finally dawned on me that I should start to take this seriously and I began to spread the word and raise sponsorship. The inevitable jokes and jibes then followed and I began to worry.
On 5th July I arrived at the Black Knights Parachute Centre at 9.15 am, 45 minutes early! I didn’t want to be late and add to my anxiety, so I set off extra early. This was to my detriment as it just added to my waiting time and sent my nerves through the roof. Slowly the rest of my group arrived, including friend and JCI Manchester member, Nikki Elliot, who was surprisingly relaxed. We all then completed the paperwork, literally signing our lives away should anything go wrong, and went through to receive our briefing and very dashing outfit.
We met our instructors who we would be in tandem with and were further separated into smaller groups. Unluckily for me I was in the final group, which meant a further nerve raking wait. I did, however, see all my fellow jumpers land safely with huge smiles on their faces.
At 12.45 pm I was at last called up to board the plane. I walked along the grassy runway waving to the supporting spectators. This time I was in luck and was positioned in the plane so that I was to be the first to jump. The flight to 11,000 feet lasted only a few minutes yet seemed far far longer. The landscape across Lancashire was amazing with Heysham, the village I grew up in before my move to Manchester, in easy view.
I had always wanted to do a Sky Dive as I’ve always been a bit of a ‘dare devil’ but I really hadn’t anticipated that this moment would be quite so scary. The door then opened and my instructor, Chris, shouted to me to get up and move towards the door. It all happened so quickly, I tilted my head back and tucked my legs under the edge of the plane as we had been shown and before I knew I was thrown out of the plane into freefall. The freefall was by far the best part of the skydive for me and a feeling which was so exhilarating and wonderful. This lasted approximately 30 seconds before the parachute was deployed. The decent to the ground was then a much more calming experience as you had opportunity to take in the view and almost relax. We then gently touched ground and a wave of relief flooded over me, I had done it!
This experience will stay with me forever and is something everyone should experience. It certainly is something to put on the Bucket List.
Even though I enjoyed the experience and wouldn’t change it, I don’t have the desire to repeat it. Skydiving is a hobby reserved for those far braver than me.
What a great way to raise the much needed funds for such a great charity, something I can now add to my achievements before the ripe old age of 31!
Donations to this great cause can be made here https://www.justgiving.com/JCIManchesterFM/
Vice President JCI Manchester
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Caroline McCarron