Coming to you live from the Best Western Plus in Virginia Beach, Virginia!
Ten years ago today (as I am writing this on June 11), I walked down the aisle and married Mr. Eric Viets – protector, provider, entrepreneur, and foodie! It has been a wild ride so far, so what better way to celebrate our 10th anniversary than by indoor skydiving!?
In the months leading up to our anniversary, Eric and I wracked our brains about how to celebrate this anniversary because this is not a run of the mill anniversary. This is our first anniversary ending in “0.” We had to do something special… but what?
Here Comes the Fear
After returning from a trip to visit my parents, Eric asked me how I felt about trying indoor skydiving. The old me jumped in and said, “NO! Scary! Run! Fear! Terror! Something new!” But, the new me said, “That sounds awesome!” Did I believe it? Not at first, but I knew the excitement would come after the idea sank into my mind. (The theme this year for PreEngaged, after all, is experiences; and it does not pay to say “no” when you can say “yes!”)
In the weeks leading up to our flight time, I became a bit apprehensive. “What if I get motion sick? What if I am past the weight limit? What if? What if?” I wonder if I will play the “what if” game less over time or if I can just expect to always battle my inner scaredy-cat. I guess we will see. ~smile~
This morning, around 3:00am, it occurred to me, “I am indoor skydiving later today!” and my stomach dropped a bit. Even with all my “what if” questions over the last few weeks, my stomach has not felt nervous. Thankfully, the feeling subsided and I was able to sleep.
After a sensible lunch, and a well-planned time of digestion, Eric and I walked on over to the iFly facility. As we approached the building, I felt some anxiety simply because I did not know what to expect. Next time, I will walk in confidently. ~smile~ I would love to cultivate a love for the unknown instead of a dread. I wonder if embracing the unknown is a skill that will come with practice – or if my personality will always work against me. Will I ever wake up and say, “I want to do something completely risky without any preparation!” Or, will I always clamor for YouTube videos and first-hand accounts from people who have already completed the “fun” activity?
We walked in the building, got our wristbands, and headed up to the flight deck. No one asked to weigh me in (which I had been worrying about), so the first hurdle was crossed! “No more need to worry about the weight limit! Check! Now, motion sickness. Will I get sick? Will I not? We shall see. And, if I do, will it be worth it? Probably so!”
Eric and I sat down, waiting for our iFly class to start, and watched as person after person stepped into the chamber and floated on air – their cheeks flapping and their lips twisting. The first time I saw someone float up to the top, I thought, “There is no way I could do that. I will just stick to floating at the bottom.” However, the more people I saw try it, the braver I felt. Then, I made my fatal mistake: I mentioned to my instructor that I get motion sick and asked his opinion on whether or not I should try the high flight. He told me to see how I felt during my first round, and if I wanted to go higher during my second flight, I could.
So, I sat and waited. I watched several people – teenagers and a four-year-old – go before me. My turn got closer and closer; and while I felt some anxiety, I was feeling mostly good. ~smile~
I walked up to the wind tunnel, fell forward, and I was off! It was windy. ~smile~ Lest you think it is a relaxing experience, allow me to set the record straight. It was not relaxing at all. When we first arrived, an instructor, Dan, told me it was like flying on a pillow. Thanks, Dan; it was not. ~smile~ It was strenuous. It was cool! But, it was strenuous!
It is impossible to hear anything meaningful in the tunnel (since it is so loud), so the instructor uses hand signals if he wants to communicate something like, “straighten your legs,” or “put your chin up.” Other than a few requests for me to straighten my legs, I think I did pretty well. Let me tell you, the 60 second experience lasts a lot longer when hurricane force winds are blowing you upward. ~smile~
When it came to leave the tunnel, I could not bend my fingers! ~smile~ To exit the tunnel, we had to grab the door way and pull ourselves out, but I could not grip the door. Finally, I got a grip, pulled myself out and walked back on solid ground! No nausea! Yay! The only complaint I had was some lower back pain. Seriously, if you have back problems, this may not be the activity for you. I still may rub Icy Hot on my back tonight.
In the second round, when people are more experienced, each person (being guided/held by the flight instructor) floats to the top of the wind tunnel and then floats back down – up and down, up and down. So, I figure, “What if I do get sick?! At least I will have this amazing experience!” So, I told the instructor I wanted to go up. Sadly, he misunderstood me. As I floated around, I waited. I kept thinking, “Any second now we are going to go up!” Until I realized I was back at the entrance. Bummer! He thought I did not want to go up. I felt sad and slightly perturbed. Oh well. It was Eric’s turn. At least I could see him float to the sky and back. No such luck. Apparently, we became a packaged deal. Even though he told the instructor he wanted to go up high (like everyone else) about an hour earlier, the instructor remembered he was attached to me and I had motion sickness issues. So, no high floating for me and none for him. I felt terrible. He didn’t go up because of my fearful apprehension (there is a lesson to be learned here and how one person affects the couple, not just themselves….).
So, there has to be a next time for both of us. We must redeem the experience and go to the top! ~smile~
Back on Solid Ground
Overall, I am so glad we did it. I love conquering new heights (no pun intended). Even if each new adventure is not as perfect as I expect it to be, I am still experiencing new activities this year and sometimes just having the experience is enough.
This time, I was able to try something new and exciting with Eric. Several of my experiences have been alone or with friends, so it was nice to conquer this with my husband on our ten year anniversary! I have always dreamed of being able to fly! I hope this is the start of many more exciting and amusing adventures with him. ~smile~
Your takeaway? Go fly somewhere together. Do something crazy together and have fun!
Now, I must complete my post, get ready, and go out for a fantastic anniversary meal. What will it be? We shall see!!! My gut is saying, “Thai food, Thai food!” – more specifically, “green curry, green curry!!!”
Are you and your sweetie ready to fly?!?!