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  •  My assistant is scheduled for her first (6+ / 0-)

    parachute jump in a few weeks.  We will both be watching and following this attempt at a new record.  That seems a bit extreme to us normal people but the excitement is wonderful nonetheless.  The things people do to test themselves and their world.  Thanks for the reminder and the links.

    War only feeds the fires of hate.--James Barclay

    by possum on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:42:14 PM PDT

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    •  I got into it (6+ / 0-)

      after winning a pair of tickets for skydiving lessons. One of the young women in my office and I took the lesson and jumped together. I had always liked flying, but frankly I was afraid of ladders. So I had some hesitation. But, looking down from an airplane from 2500 feet is totally different from standing on a ladder and I didn't have that same fear.

      This was back in the day when everyone had to make six or more static line jumps before going to freefall. So, the on that first jump the parachute opened so fast that I barely knew what happened. I just felt the opening shock and found myself floating down under a canopy.

      So I decided to try a few more jumps so that I could find out what freefall was like and went on to make somewhere around 80 jumps. So I really got to feel what it was like and probably would have continued with it except that I moved away from California and got into other things.

      At any rate, freefall is pretty amazing. There really isn't anything quite like making a 60 second delay before opening your chute. It was also quite challenging both mentally and physically.

      The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

      by Mr Robert on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:12:54 PM PDT

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      •  The mental image of freefall gives me chills. (4+ / 0-)

        Heights do not suit this lowly marsupial.  Flying is no real fun for me.  Grounded am I.

        There are at least a few reasons to take a jump.  Testing one's self is plenty of reason.  The view or the pure thrill is enough for many people.  No matter the reason to jump, congratulations to the ones who can manage.  

        Good for you following your interests and having some fun.  That is one of the very best parts of life.  If one fails to take advantage of the opportunities presented then too much can be missed.

        War only feeds the fires of hate.--James Barclay

        by possum on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:20:21 PM PDT

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        •  Freefall doesn't describe what it feels like (5+ / 0-)

          at all. In fact, it doesn't feel like you're falling at all. I never had that sensation even once.

          It's more like you're flying.

          It feels like you're lying on an air bed and you can change your body position or configuration to vary your rate of descent, turn, roll, loop, dive, etc.

          The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

          by Mr Robert on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 03:21:56 PM PDT

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          •  The principle is really exciting. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            enhydra lutris, Larsstephens

            It is the execution that still rocks my marsupial brain.  If this being were meant to fly he would have been born with wings.

            On the other hand your description makes pretty clear the pleasures that come from the experience.  It must be that sense of freedom and control that push the buttons to get people to repeat the experience.

            War only feeds the fires of hate.--James Barclay

            by possum on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 04:44:20 PM PDT

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            •  There are places where you can get the feeling (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              possum, kurt, Larsstephens

              without having to do the jump and the parachute bit. You just enter an enclosed column of air rising at the rate you would fall (your terminal velocity). Some are called Vertical Wind Tunnels.

              I am not counting amusement park freefall rides where you are strapped into a device that is lifted and dropped, with major deceleration toward the bottom. That is a very different experience, with no possibility of steering or tumbling.

              America—We built that!

              by Mokurai on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 05:00:41 PM PDT

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              •  Now we are getting somewhere. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kurt, Larsstephens

                Not being high in the air is very attractive.  Thanks, Mokurai.  Will look in to that.  The feeling of flying without elevation sounds pretty good.

                War only feeds the fires of hate.--James Barclay

                by possum on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 05:24:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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