Sunday, August 1, 2010

Skydiving Interview: Chelsea Cushman

I'm still working on my skydiving article, but here for your pleasure is an interview I had with Chelsea Cushman, who went skydiving for the first time July 25, 2010.

Is this your first time skydiving?
Yup, I've wanted to for a long time, but today is the day it happened.

How long have you wanted to do it?
A good year. One of my friends has done it twice now and kept telling me how awesome it was.

What made you want to try skydiving?
Just hearing how awesome it was. I love a good adrenaline rush, and she said it was just the time of her life. I'm always up for that excitement.

Were you scared when you were up there?
Not as much as I thought I would be. The nerves kind of started to sink in when we were in the class, but then once I got suited up and up in the plane, it was all just excitement.

So when you were 12,000 feet up, you weren't scared?
OK, maybe a little the initial foot out the door. After that there was no time to think. It was just go time.

What was the scariest part?

Probably hanging there and waiting for the instructor to push us out.

What was the best part of it?
Once the adrenaline hits you and you realize you are freefalling, then you just live in that moment. Then afterwards when you are floating there and you take it all in.

How would you describe the experience?
One in a million. Just the time of my life.

Has anyone else in your family skydived?
Yeah, my brother and my cousin just jumped today too.

So you have a family outing today?
Yeah, a little bit. My parents were a little bit too scared to come watch though.

Would you do it again?
In a heartbeat. If I had extra time and money today, I would go right now, be like "Sign me up one more time."

How did you hear about this place?
My brother put it together. He just kind of had the idea in his head, and then he started looking up places online and found this website.

How were you feeling when the door initially opened?
A minute of panic, like "what if I fall out of the plane before I'm ready?" There is a million things, like "I'm so excited, I'm so nervous, I just want to fall, I just want to get it over with, I just want to go."

I just want the door shut...
When they first opened I was like "what if I fall before he's ready and then we don't do what we were supposed to do?" I squeezed so tight to my harness, I didn't want to let go.

Were you expecting the plane when they got those, the smaller ones?
No, I had a totally different vision in my head of what it was going to look like. I was like "oh, that's what we're riding in."

Were you thinking of a bigger plane?
Yeah, that we would have our group in one plane and then just fall after each other.

What was the freefall like for you?
The most, intense, exhilarating rush of adrenaline I have ever felt in my life. It almost felt unreal, like it wasn't really happening.

What else have you done? Have you ever done anything like this before?
I've been on roller coasters and The Giant Drop at Six Flags, but it is nothing compared to freefalling from a plane.

Were you surprised when you didn't have that stomach in your throat feeling?
Yeah, it is not like going on a roller coaster - the first drop and your stomach just goes up into your chest. There is nothing like that.

Would you recommend people try skydiving?
Oh my god, yeah. If they are up for a good adrenaline rush and want to live life, I say go for it. It is so worth everything. You just get this feeling like you are high on life when you get down. You really do, it is the best way I can describe it to someone. I was high on life.

Did you do anything goofy in the air? A backflip?
No, that would have been sweet. I'm planning on going again, so next time around I'm definitely doing some flips, some crazy maneuvers, anything they can throw in there, I'm game.

When do you think you'll go again?
As soon as I can. It's not [expensive] when you think about it. It's so worth every penny, like I would find a way to scrounge up every last penny I could do to do this one more time.

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