On Taking Risks: Jumping Out of A Plane with Skydive Newport
Some people are natural risk takers. Others need a little extra push. And some don’t take risks at all. As a part time thrill seeker and full time dreamer, I am naturally inclined toward taking risks. Doesn't matter the size or the scope. I love the adrenaline rush of entering the unknown.
The thing about taking risks is that there are going to be people that don’t believe in you. Sometimes fear will make it so that you for a few moments you won’t even believe in yourself.
Last week, I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane cruising above Newport Harbor at 10,000 feet. When I told my mom she was terrified and begged me not to. I couldn't wait.
But then there I was, the side of the small airplane had been opened and I was meant to just dive out - head first. For a few seconds I regretted my decision to ever strap on that harness and parachute. But then I remembered that SkyDive Newport, in almost 20 years of operation, had only suffered one diving injury: a sprained ankle, by someone who didn't lift their legs up during the landing.
And my tandem jumper, Nick, had jumped 8,900 other times, without any issues. Of course, there is an element of risk taking regardless of how well practiced, safe and assured the process is. You’re jumping out of a plane!
But as soon as I jumped out, it was completely worth it. Terror and apprehension give way to pure bliss and adrenaline.
The views from 10,000 feet above Aquidneck Island are unrivaled. Beaches, bridges, harbors - you can see it all from a vantage point, that for those few minutes, is completely surreal. No cars, no boats, no people - just outlines of tiny figures thousands of feet below you. A patchwork of water and island that you had just been on!
And then suddenly a jolt. And your free fall is caught by the parachute bursting into the sky. For the next few minutes you glide seamlessly, above any noise but for the whir of the wind.
You're no longer free falling but you are in control of the parachute - guiding yourself back towards a safe landing. And it’s not long until you've twisted your way through the sky to reach the field where you took off from just 30 minutes before.
What a ride! Once you glide to a stop on the grass you start to process everything that you just felt and saw.
Skydiving is an experience that I implore all thrill enthusiasts to try but I recommend it more for people who have thought to themselves, “No way in hell would I ever jump out of a plane”. Do it for the views. Do it for the rush. Do it to remind yourself (without risking your safety much at all), that you can reach great heights, dive into the unknown and land on your feet. The risk averse will find at 10,000 feet above Newport, that we would never see anything from a new perspective if we didn't take risks. Where would civilization be without risk takers?
I for one, wouldn’t be sky diving on a Monday in late June unless I dove head first into this part time venture. If I had never left my cubicle on Wall Street, I wouldn't be sailing over scenic New England in a parachute before I had even had my coffee. And people have called me crazy for doing it - to my face, and probably far worse things behind my back - but as a serial risk taker and adventure enthusiast - I am confident I can jump in, fall hard, grab the controls and then land on my feet at the end - all the while enjoying the views.
For more information on the experience of a lifetime, visit Skydive Newport or call 401-845-0393 for more information. Bonus points if you want to pick up a dress beforehand at one of my favorite Newport shops, CK Bradley, and skydive in one of their awesome dresses like I did - just to prove you can.