Letter to Mike

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Melody Botting Real Estate Network

I was recently contacted by an old friend on FaceBook.  While we were catching up I told him I was about to skydive for the first time.  He was very excited because he has been wanting to do it for many years.  As we traded messages back and forth I was even more encouraged to dive.

My phone and email have been blowing up with my friends asking me how the dive went.  Instead of telling the same story repeatedly I decided to post my letter to Mike.  His first jump will be July 11, so he wanted all the details.

"I don't want to influence your experience by giving you too many details.  It will be different for everyone.  As you know, I fear many things so it was a very big deal for me.  I had little sleep the night before and the drive was nerve racking.  I went to Skydive Dallas.  It is located 1hr north of McKinney.  From the first phone call I made to them I could tell they were an organized operation.  I highly recommend them to anyone considering doing this.

Upon arrival I checked in and signed many pages of legal documents.  They all basically said they would not be held liable if something happened.  There were six other first time divers checking in. 

We went into a small room and watched a short video showing us how to arch and various ways of landing depending upon the instructor and wind.  Then we went to the hanger.  Our names were placed on a dry erase board and we were assigned a dive number along with an instructor and photographer.  About 30mins prior to take off we put on jumpsuits and our individual instructors gave us instructions and fitted us with the equipment.  The photographer interviewed us on camera and took pictures.  It was a hot day and the suit was heavy with the equipment.  I am only 5'2" and 120lbs so perhaps it was a challenge due to my size.  FYI- Skydive Dallas will not let anyone dive over 210lbs. 

We waited for another twenty minutes before we boarded the plane.  While we waited we got to see other people coming down solo and tandem.  It was way cool! 

The photographer interviewed me again while on the plane.  The instructor gave additional safety tips while the plane was rising to 13,500 ft.  At some point the instructor strapped himself to me.  My shoulders are a little narrow so the straps were not tight.  It was not a big deal because the instructor was attached but it tugged and bruised just a little.

The photographer went out first and held onto the plane like something out of a spy movie.  I was the first one to jump!  I could hear most of what my instructor was saying but the wind was loud at first. 

Once the chute opened it was quieter and it felt like we were flying.  Everything was very clear and bright.  He let me steer the chute a bit and taught me how to do a couple of tricks. 

The landing was perfect!  The photographer was already on the ground so he came up to interview me again and take more pics.  The instructor took me into a back room to discuss the flight, give me a certificate, sign my flight log and asked me to fill out a survey about him and sign his flight log.  He and the whole staff were terrific!  They did a great job of calming my fears. 

After the jump I was in a dazed state.  I couldn't believe I did it.  It made me feel completely invincible.  Now I know I can and will do anything!!! 

I would do it over and over again but it is expensive!  I would love to be an instructor but with my small stature I think it is impossible.  All the instructors seemed to be taller and stronger than the jumpers they were assigned to. 

I hear sunset jumps are the most beautiful.  I loved the one I did, however.  I arrived at 9am but didn't jump until 12pm.  I don't know if you remember but I have brown eyes with just a hint of green.  My friends told me my eyes were bright green when I landed.  I don't know if it was the lack of oxygen or the excitement.  Also, there is a skydiver's hand shake- side ways open handed soft slap then bumping fists with your thumb up. 

The video is really cool.  It is surreal for me to watch it and my family loves it! 

I hope I didn't give too much away.  It will be different for you.  This was one of my biggest fears so it probably affected me on other levels.  You sound like a pro already!  I cannot wait to hear about your experience. 

Afterward, I had a celebratory beer at a nearby restaurant with friends and family.  It was a lot of fun!  The moment that sticks with me is when my 14 year old daughter Loren looked at me and said, "Mom, I am very proud of you."  Now that is something worth taking a risk for."

 

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Rainer
77,734
Laraine Shape
Comey & Shepherd Realtors - Glendale, OH
Selling Cincinnati...one kitchen at a time

Mel - I am completely and totally enthralled!  It's absolutely awesome that you had the cajones to do this.  Good for you!  I loved the  "jumpalogue" complete with pics.  And it's so nice to see a post from you.  It's been a while. 

Jun 18, 2009 05:29 AM #26
Ambassador
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Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi
RJ Smith Realty Real Estate Solutions - Pine Bush, NY
Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY

So incredibly proud of you for doing this Mel.  It is something I could never do (I can't even come down a ladder without panic).  I will find things that I can do to challenge myself though you inspire me my friend

Jun 18, 2009 06:59 AM #27
Rainmaker
633,429
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Mel - It was wonderful wasn't it?????  I did it as well 2 years ago for the first time and it was the most amazing experience.  Problem is?  I am now HOOKED!   Hope that you do it again!

Jun 18, 2009 09:33 AM #28
Rainmaker
1,597,588
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Mel, That was fabulous!  I don't know if I could do it!  Not skydiving....or bungee jumping.  I have done a hot air balloon, jetski and para gliding but I believe I've reached my limit.  It sounds like an incredible experience!!

Jun 18, 2009 04:57 PM #29
Rainmaker
180,499
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee California

Wonderful story Mel and I'm impressed with your courage. There is no way on Gods green earth I'm going to jump out of a plane. I'll stick to my Harley.

Jun 18, 2009 08:48 PM #30
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Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Melody, I felt your excitement as you described it! How absolutely fun for you!!!

Jun 19, 2009 05:57 PM #32
Rainmaker
735,194
Debbie Walsh
Keller Williams Realty - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.928.8000

Melody-I still think you are so amazing for having done that!  I don't think I could overcome my fear of heights to do something like that.  Kudos to you girl!

  

Jun 20, 2009 05:41 PM #33
Rainer
179,085
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Hey Mel, it's been awhile.  I saw this and could feel the thrill and excitement in your voice words.  Very cool. 

Jun 22, 2009 12:06 AM #34
Rainmaker
527,430
Shirley Parks
Sands Realty 210-414-0966 - San Antonio, TX
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Homes

Congratulations Mel!  I don't think I could do that but if I had that cute instructor, I might rethink it. LOL

Jun 28, 2009 10:04 AM #35
Anonymous
Anonymous

Go Mel, thats awesome. Congratulations. I bet the view was incredible and peaceful. You are amazing.

Jul 07, 2009 06:34 PM #36
Rainmaker
244,308
April Hayden-Munson
Brookfield, WI
Brookfield Wisconsin Real Estate

Hey Mel, good to see you writing!  You are awesome - a brave soul for sure!!

Jul 08, 2009 05:15 PM #37
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Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK
Fairbanks Alaska Real Estate Specialists, 907-328-9328

How cool is that?  Congratulations on your first jump, Mel.  I'm proud of you too!

Jul 10, 2009 02:27 AM #38
Rainmaker
188,916
Pat Whitehouse
RE/MAX 1st Olympic Lynchburg Va - Lynchburg, VA
Broker/Owner

Hi Mel-Now that is way cool. I am proud of you for doing this. It must have been such a rush. I hope you have been doing well. :-)

Jul 11, 2009 12:57 AM #39
Rainer
11,254
Eric Skinner
Aviation Acres - Sandpoint, ID

That's very cool- my son wants to sky dive very badly, some of his friends recently went and told him how exciting the experience is. I bungee jumped... that was more than enough for me. I fly, but have no desire to ever jump out of a perfectly good plane!

Is there any chance you are selling airport property in your area? I'm talking about runway access, next to an airport, or waterfront property primarily, but I could be missing something in that short list!

Jul 30, 2009 06:20 PM #40
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Richard & Carol DeGrace
1st Colonial Community Bank | Bank - New Jersey - Cherry Hill, NJ
Mortgage Loan Officers NJ 609-209-3700

One of my best friends used to skydive for a living. I never went. I would do it - however I get nervous even now reading this post, haha!

Aug 10, 2009 09:26 AM #41
Rainer
205,262
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Melody, I'm so afraid of getting into an airplane - let alone jump out of one.  I don't know how you did it, but good for you.

I did get my motorcycle license a few years ago, and I can tell you that it's not scary at all, compared to this. :)  I'm sure you'll do it with flying colours (no pun intended). :)

Congratulations.

Sep 07, 2009 12:10 PM #42
Rainer
91,329
Laura Watts
Positive Properties, LLC - Laurinburg, NC

Mel-You are one brave lady. No way would I sky dive out of a plane. I really enjoyed the letter to Mike. It must have been very exciting for you. I don't even like planes. LOL....  Congratulations, you are an inspiration to all of us (like me) who will never have the nerve to do this..

Sep 08, 2009 12:31 AM #43
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Debe Maxwell
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | Savvy + Company Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

HI Mel!  What a wonderful experience--I'm SO jealous!  My brother was a fighter-pilot in the USAF and had to learn to eject from the cockpit and they practiced these maneuvers routinely.  It just sent my heart right into my throat and have been a big weeny about trying it

I think, though, as we finally do face our life-long fears, we become addicted so, I see how you can easily do that with skydiving! 

Hopefully one of these days when my arm heals, I'll be ready to make that attempt--and like you, will probably have to make it a routine weekend experience!

Have a great weekend...

Debe in Charlotte

Sep 13, 2009 12:15 AM #44
Rainmaker
71,021
David Selman
Selman Home Inspections, Inc. - Dallas, TX
Certified Master Home Inspector

Melody - Wow! Great pictures and post. My wife has always wanted to sky dive. I do not! I bought her a hot air balloon ride to go with our our oldest daughter when she turned 18. I would love to give her a sky dive sometime. She would love it.

Nov 18, 2009 12:50 PM #45
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217,742
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

Wow!  I don't think I could ever do that, great pictures!

Dec 14, 2009 09:40 AM #46
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