I got to take a BIG step towards checking something off my Bucket List recently… Indoor Skydiving! Skydiving indoors?? But how? Why? Where is such a fantastical place? Indoor skydiving is just like outdoor skydiving, except you don’t have to jump out of a perfectly good airplane to do it! The latter part was especially attractive to me because – though I eventually want to legit skydive – I’m not a place emotionally, spiritually or grammatically to fling myself from an airplane. So as a birthday gift, my BFF took me to iFLY in Frisco, Tx to earn my wings. After checking in with a robot, we walked upstairs to the wind tunnel – which is just what it sounds like. A glass cylinder that can blow air up from below at speeds of 98 mph or more. It’s like West Texas in a jar! After a very brief and simple training video, you get suited up in a jumpsuit that is sexy as hell, some plastic goggles and a crash helmet. Then your instructor (shout out Preston! You were awesome) leads your nervous little class into the waiting area, where you’ll take turns flying in the wind tunnel while your instructor tries to keep you from knocking about like you’re in a dadgum tornado. I was the last in line for my group, and as I moved down the bench watching my classmates float not-so-much like a butterfly but more like a light-drunk moth…it hit me…. The nervous pee. Oh no, I thought. What if I can’t hold it when I get in there? What if I pee in the wind tunnel? What if the wind is so strong that it trickles out of my jumpsuit and swirls around with me? What if it sprays along the observation glass?! But there was no time for a bathroom break, because it was my turn to fly.
The air took me off my feet the moment I entered the tunnel. It was loud, and a little hard to breathe against the air, but I was suddenly weightless. I was flying.
I assumed the position we learned in training – flat on my stomach, legs straight behind me and my arms up at eye level. The air pushing up from below was so strong it kind of felt like I was laying on something. I spun around, floated higher, then lower, and then forwards and backwards as I adjusted my legs and arms. I never once felt like I was falling. There was no gut-wrenching, heart in my mouth sensation ever, even when I would crash towards the bottom. I’ve read before that it’s hard to describe the sensation of skydiving, and that’s true, it is. The best thing I can liken it too is swimming underwater. If you’ve ever swam down to the bottom of a pool, and then tried to sit there on the floor for as long as possible, skydiving feels similar to when your body begins to naturally rise back toward the surface. That’s the closest feeling I could compare it to, anyway.
On my second flight I managed to figure out how to stabilize myself, and was able to fly on my own for a little while. The fly times were one minute each, but it totally feels like a long time when you’re in there. After we’d all taken our turns, it was our instructor’s time to show off. This dude was like Spider Man and Super Man combined! With a touch of Magneto too, hence the red suit and helmet. It was really amazing watching him fly. I don’t know all the tricks they use in Hollywood to make people “fly” but they should totally consider hitting up this dude.
My Indoor Skydiving experience was an absolute blast! I can’t wait to do it again. I highly recommend it to everyone. Kids as young as 3 can fly, and there’s no upper age limit to keep you grounded either. I’m hoping I can get one of my grandparents to do it.
Thanks for reading! =)