Skydiving into my Bucket List

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
In the 2007 film, The Bucket List, Morgan Freeman talks Jack Nicholson into helping him complete his bucket list, a concept foreign to Jack's character. I have a friend, a retired President of Allstate, who has a list of the top 100 things he wants to accomplish, and another who is working through the top 100 golf courses with his friends. Some bucket list items are easy to check off, and some take time.  My friends have been working on their lists for decades.

Getting ready to jump

I think everyone should have a list of things to do before kicking that proverbial bucket.  Some items will be low risk, easy to accomplish, others more adventuresome and more difficult to accomplish. And some may sound just silly.  Last summer, my family and some friends toured downtown on Segways - it was a surprise adventure.  We hijacked the tour to the Bartolotta's North Point Custard stand for a tasty finish.

I had told my older son, Jacob, when he turned 18 and I turned 50 in the same year, we would go skydiving.  I wasn't really sure I was serious, but I had been talking to one of the trading assistants at work about it.  She had gone 5 times....she is an adventuresome sort, maybe more than I. With her knowledge, we organized a group from work to go tandem skydiving in East Troy, Wisconsin on July 29. Most of us were first time jumpers.

The earth down below

Jake and I went up first on a plane together with our tandem jumpers and photographers. It was a small plane, and as it ascended the door opened, and we jumped from about 12,000 feet.  I wasn't that nervous to jump, and was able to really enjoy the unbelievable sensation of free falling before the parachute opened and we sprung up. The tandem leader allows jumpers an opportunity to control the parachute on descent and landing. I was surprised by the coldness and the air pressure I felt, and inspired by the beauty of seeing the entire world below - it felt as though we were on top of the world.

Overall, it was a great experience to share with my son.  Someday he will tell his children what their grandmother did!

I was asked if I would do it again, and yes I would.  Before I jumped the first time I had verified the safety record of the company. Tandem jumps are surprisingly safe - there are 2 parachutes and a master jumper with you at all times. But, like the last time, I won't give my husband the exact date and time of the jump until we are on the ground.

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