Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Craziest thing I ever did

As many people know I work for a charity. I tend to not mention which one, as I would prefer to keep my professional life and my random blog ramblings separate  Mainly so that anything I say on here that may potentially cause offence or be contentious is not associated with my charity. 

So here is my major disclaimer: Nothing I say on this blog (or anywhere on the interwebs) is AT all reflective of my work, the charity I work for, or their opinions. Everything I say is 100% my own thoughts and opinions. 

Thank you. Now onto my blog post. 

My charity was very fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries of a big skydiving event, honouring every fallen soldier who has sadly been lost in recent conflicts.

On Friday 14th me and my colleague went down to support our jumpers, make a big fuss, get the media involved etc etc. This is the part of my job that I really LOVE doing! I absolutely adore meeting our fundraisers and spending time with them, and thanking them for all their hard work.

So we get to the airfield and honestly, if I had £1 for every time I was asked "so are you jumping then?" ....well it would've made my fundraising alot easier for a start! As the day went on and I saw the jumpers transition from super nervous, to excited, to the biggest buzz when they landed I got thinking, "Yeah, this is something I would love to do!"

I had to psych myself up quite a bit. This is a girl that very rarely goes on roller-coasters - especially not ones with the big drops! But I chatted to quite a few of the instructors, listened to the safety briefing about a million times and thought "you'll be kicking yourself if you leave here without having done it." In the end it was a group of fundraisers, all jumping in memory of a family member that really inspired me.  

Once I committed to sign up I actually wasn't as scared as I expected to be. Normally waiting for something, the anticipation terrifies me and gets me worked up, but I was fine. To be honest I think I disassociated myself from it all a little bit!

And pride helped. After the intense wind ups and ribbing and goading me into doing it, there was no way I was backing out. I'd never live it down! Not that I really care what other people think in that way, but the show off in me likes to impress. I'm the same way when I do shots!

I have to say, the guy giving the safety briefings was brilliant. He joked that I must've already heard it all 3 times but I told him how much he was helping reassure me!

So the time came to get suited and booted, don the silly hat and get ready to skydive. Jeesh I didn't shut up, when I get nervous I talk EVEN more than I normally do. (first time I went on a roller coaster in Disneyland I talked the entire way through. Lorna thought that was hysterical!)

My instructor Cam was lovely - very calming - but I really loved my videographer Trev. The term wind up merchant has never been more aptly used than with him, but having a giggle helped me feel less nervous too.

The plane on the other hand...being in the plane wasn't the problem. I love flying, and sitting on the floor with everyone was very cosy, I could've stayed there all afternoon. But knowing what was coming...

Suddenly I shut up. Even Trev noticedt! I was in a weird place between thinking too much and trying not to think at all. I knew there was no point in being scared now - there was no backing out so I just had to muster that courage (and pride!) and go with it.

When that door opened and the first couple of people went I think I felt my face drain of blood! I remember saying (not that anyone heard me) "I just remembered...I don't like falling!" There's a great clip of my video of me shaking my head vigorously, like thus would make the blindest bit of difference.

Sitting (well hanging over the edge) I didn't look down - on instruction! I think this is a wise move lest survival instincts kick in! We were there for what felt like the briefest of second a before...woosh and you were out!

I screamed, on reflex, but similarly to being on a roller coaster, my voice was taken away and there was no noise. I vaguely remember being upside down, thinking "the grounds in the wrong place" but before I knew it, we were in freefall.

I honestly can't describe it. It's not like falling, like when you fall in a dream or something. It's not quite flying because you're still travelling down, although you're only vaguely aware of it. The only word I have is "amazing"

And I was very happy to scream that as loud as I could! I had warned the guys beforehand I was loud, and they simply smiled and said "be as loud as you want - no one will hear you over that wind" oh boy we're they wrong!

Trev said Im probably the only perso he's ever heard in freefall. Those are 120mph winds you can hear me over!

But it wasn't screams of fear. It was screams of pure euphoria. It was exhilarating and I can't imagine any other reaction than just yelling at full volume how much fun you're having!

And then the canopy goes up. You don't woosh right up - that's an illusion because you're camera man is still falling. You do go up a little bit but it's very different. And all of a sudden it all changes. It's almost deathly quiet and and the works is laid out beneath you.

Because if that I would love to do a skydive somewhere completely stunning one day; over the mountains of the ocean or something. The canary ride is much closer to flying as we imagine it, just because it's so peaceful. (although I did feel a little nauseous because if all the swaying. I'm so glad I told him "no tricks!" and that I hadn't eaten anything!)

Coming in for landing was great too. We were told in briefing this is potentially the most dangerous part and to get your legs up to allow your instructor to land you both. I thought it would be really bumpy but it was surprisingly graceful.

And then I was on such a high. I wanted to run and scream and high five and tell the world "did you see what I DID?!! I jumped out of a fricking plane!!!"

On the whole I definitely preferred the freefall. Weird, I didn't think that would be the case but it was just so amazing!

And although I say in my video "probably not ever again" I think I def would. Maybe it's like childbirth and you're mind just forgets all the bad stuff making you want to do it again!

Overall I truly believe it is something everyone should do once in their life. Because if I can do it...anyone can!

I didn't just do the jump for fun (well I did, but y'know!) I am also raising money for my fabulous charity. BLESMA - The Limbless Veterans and for me personally it is like a family. A family that can sometimes drive you crazy, but ultimately you feel honoured to be a part of. And I am aiming to raise at least £350 for this wonderful organisation.

I am VERY nearly there! And I would love any support you can offer. You can donate online by clicking this button or you can text SAZG50£2 to 70070 to donate £2 via text.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Anything you can give will be very gratefully received by BLESMA and if you drop me a message with your details I will very happily give you a shout out and a link to your own Blog/YouTube channel whathaveyou on my blog and twitter.

Thank you again!


  1. Wow, you are definitely brave!! I would LOVE to do this, but at the same time the idea terrifies me, it's a good job you have to go tandem the first time as there is no way I'd have the nerve to actually take the plunge and throw myself out!
    Well done lovely, this is an achievement you'll remember forever!
    Mel x

  2. Aw thank you for your lovely comment!

    The thing is you don't actually have to "throw" yourself out - the instructor does it all. Which for me made me feel WAY better because I thought the exact same!

    Honestly - I never thought I'd ever be able to do it, and now I'm considering taking it up as a hobby if I had the money.

    Something everyone should do once in their life ;)


Let me know what you think of this ramble :)