The overwhelming feeling during my first static line jump was that I had to resign myself to dying, if that was what was going to happen that day.
Sitting in the open side of an Cessna at 3200 ft and looking at the ground wheel of an aeroplane close enough to be able to touch it can do strange things to your mind when you've never done it before. It was cold because I was at altitude, because the side of the plane was missing and because I was terrified. I was sat on the floor of the plane with my right leg dangling in space and my left one kind of hooked up in front of me and I knew there was no way I wasnt going to jump. That may be why I was so terrified.
I could see the ground way below but I wasnt really able to focus on it. My heart rate and blood pressure were probably through the roof but I didnt notice it. I only noticed that I was terrified. So then came the shout, “Head up! Go!” I didnt think for a second and just launched myself out of the door. I immediately felt like I was going to flip over onto my back as I could see the plane directly above me and then moments later the static line snapped tight and pulled me forward as it pulled open my rig. I realised I had been holding my breath instead of counting and exhaled the word “parachute!” as I looked up and saw it open and above me. I felt like I’d just won the lottery. I was overjoyed for a second and once I’d done my checks I waited to hear the radio in my ear telling me what to do but nobody spoke. I thought I better start planning how I was going to land for myself. I felt OK I guess until I looked down past my feet at the distance between me and the ground then I decided only to look ahead. Thankfully the voice eventually talked to me and guided me down to earth.
Walking back to the hangar I felt overjoyed. I wanted to cry but I didnt. I talked to anybody that would listen to me as the adrenalin drained away and then somebody asked me if I wanted to go again. I did and so I did. I was hooked. I’ve nearly done 500 jumps now and I cant ever imagine not being a skydiver now. It changed me forever.