Jumping From An Aeroplane
One of the most difficult things I've done in my life so far was a
parachute jump from an aeroplane.
I was in my early 20's and working as a barman in a pub in a London
suburb at the time.
Working with me behind the bar was an attractive young lady called Jane
who announced one day that
she had decided to do a parachute jump for charity. The idea was that
people sponsored you to do a
two-day parachuting course and then a jump. The money raised went to a
charity of your choice and
you got a discount from the parachuting school because you were jumping
for a good cause.
it seemed like a good idea at the time. I was working in a busy pub, so
it wouldn't be a problem to get
sponsors, and I would have a weekend with Jane who I fancied rather a
lot, but who had been refusing
my advances and invitations to go out on a date.
The course was fun, but typically bad weather in the UK stopped us from
jumping for weeks after the
course had finished. Finally we got the all clear and on a bright, cold
Sunday morning, we got in a small
Cessna plane and rose to about 3,000 feet. I was terrified. The wind
whistled in my ears as I pushed
away from the door and up and out into nothingness.
I counted to three and looked up. The chute had opened and there was
silence. I glided softly down to
the field below in a state of absolute bliss and solitude. It was, at
the same time, the scariest and most
sublime and exhilarating experience of my life.
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