Software Engineer, Marathoner, Snowboarder & SDE @ Amazon Web Services, Inc.

Imma be on the top of the World

July 26, 2014

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves - in finding themselves.” - Andre Gide

Wind gushing through the sliding door and the propeller’s mechanical noise, it was anything but quiet in that plane, and yet we could hear our heart beating like the drum. We all looked at each other and then looked outside the window. Admiring God’s creation, the vast blue sky, the colorful Earth, and the mighty horizon. We were not alone and the surroundings were not new either. We all had been in air before, at an elevation higher than what we were then. The only difference was that we were going to dive this time. This time the plane will not take us back on ground, this time it’s just us and the parachute. Slowly we dragged ourselves to the door. At the edge everything seemed so distant yet so close, so small yet so distinct. I could feel the horizon like I am sitting on any cloud and rowing myself towards it.

If you ask me, what is the craziest thing you’ve done in your life so far? My answer would be, Skydive. Tandem Skydiving at 13,500 feet IMO is the craziest thing to do after solo skydiving, bungee jumping and free-solo rock climbing (like Alex Honnold).

All the feelings which I had experienced on 6th of July are still fresh in my heart. The feeling I had when I was on the edge of the plane, when we dived, when the parachute opened and when I touched the ground. We were exposed to plethora of ineffable feelings all at once. I will try to express each of those feelings, its just a try, and to really understand them you got to take the dive.

From your dive till your landing, everything will be happening very fast. First thing you should do is try to concentrate and slow down stuff a bit. Look at everything, admire everything and acknowledge everything. When on the edge, admire the horizon, don’t just stare down. Look towards horizon, the view will awestruck you. Ask your instructor to hold on for a minute and enjoy the view.

Next is the dive, the best part. You can literally feel the acceleration courtesy of gravity and then zero acceleration once you’ve attained terminal velocity courtesy of air friction. Last line was in Physics, let me paraphrase it in English. First you will fall at really high speed, and you will try to control your adrenaline by shouting or laughing, you will feel the rush. Then eventually your speed will become constant and beyond that point it will feel like you are sleeping in air with no gravity. This is the time of the dive which you will really enjoy. But, hang on! Its not over yet, next is the pull of an external force, the Parachute. You can gauge yourself by this simple trick. If you liked opening of parachute then you are a laid back skydiver, and if you did not then you are an adventure seeker who loves free fall. Either ways you are a winner and you will know yourself better than ever. Lastly, the landing, the phase of realization. You gained elevation on a plane, dived out of that flying machine and you are on a parachute about to touch the ground. You did it! Go, run to your buddies, hug them, revisit every moment, relax, eat like you have been starving since ages, and proudly say, “Skydive, you are off of my list”.

Auf wiedersehen!!