Flying with Capital City Skydiving
I woke up, jumped out of an airplane, and went to work.
It’s not a typical day by any stretch, and sitting at the computer putting my thoughts into words, the experience still hasn’t sunk in. I can’t believe I just did that!
Weeks earlier, My City Publisher, Vince Lorraine, had discussed with me his idea for a “My Fun” story: basically, we would both skydive and I would write about it. It would be unlike any story we had ever done. I could see the headlines, “My City Crosses One Off the Bucket List,” or “MCM Takes the Plunge,” or “Vince Lorraine and Unknown-But-Extremely-Handsome Writer Plummet to Their Doom – The World Reaches New Height of Despair. Gruesome Details at Eleven.” At the moment of our daredevil epiphany, we mentally looked death in the eye, shrugged our shoulders and decided, “Eh, why not?”
I called Capital City Skydiving in Fowlerville, MI and spoke to Jump Manager, Patrick Cserpak. I explained what we wanted to do and he was extremely helpful in getting us scheduled to jump at 8am on the following Friday.
Holy smokes! That was quick! It’s official. It’s on paper. It’s going to happen!
On the morning of our jump, we arrived at Capital City Skydiving nervous, but excited. It was a perfect day. The dense fog that had obscured the land earlier was beginning to burn off and by the time of our jump, we had clear skies. There’s no stopping it now …
We were greeted immediately by the Capital City staff, signed the requisite waivers and began our instruction in earnest. Since this would be our first jump, we had to go tandem – harnessed for the duration to an instructor who would ultimately pull the ripcord. I was assigned to Patrick and Vince jumped with Instructor, Angelo Garrido. As Patrick buckled my harness, I was curious about how many times he has jumped from a plane. His answer: over 10,000 times, making his first jump at the tender age of seven! “So, this is like rolling out of bed and putting on slippers for you, huh?” I joked. “Yes, just like that,” Patrick laughed. Instructor Angelo Garrido has also logged over 10,000 jumps. Vince and I were definitely in the hands of experts.
“It was absolutely amazing! This will definitely be
the first of many for me.”
Vince Lorraine, MCM Publisher
Suddenly, Patrick pulled the ripcord and I was launched up into a standing position. Chaos became peace. The parachute was open above us. The world slowed down and showed its beauty. I remember looking down at my feet and envisioning that with four large steps, I could cover miles. A million artists in a million years could never show in any work of art the beauty and peace I realized floating slowly above the earth. It was breathtaking. After a minute or so, I noticed that I hadn’t seen Vince’s parachute yet.
“Where’s Vince?” I asked Patrick. He pointed below us, and I could see Vince drifting down toward the landing zone. Good. He made it, too.
On the ground, a crowd watched as we landed, waiting their turns. Vince was beaming. He relived his experience with those preparing to jump and their excitement grew. As we waited for our photos and video from the jump, Vince started chatting with the woman who was next in line. She was having doubts, but Vince told her how glad he was that he had done it. She explained that she has a fear of heights, but what she didn’t know was that Vince is also acrophobic. “You won’t even notice how high you are,” he told her. “You don’t have time to think and then, it’s so peaceful that you won’t be afraid.” She decided to do it and we stayed to watch her. She conquered her fear and loved every minute of her experience.
I was so impressed with the team at Capital City Skydiving. They were professional and courteous. Instructors Patrick Cserpak and Angelo Garrido, pilot Nicholas Banwart, and Sandy Johnson at the front desk are simply the best at what they do. I trusted them with my life and would do so again. Looking back, I’m amazed that I was never truly nervous or scared (okay, maybe for a sec) and I have the instructors to thank for that. Even after 10,000 jumps, they seem to still enjoy sharing the experience with others.
As long as you are physically able, I recommend strapping yourself in and letting yourself go at least once. You can conquer your fear, prove it to yourself. You’ll never regret it and you will have yourself quite a story to tell.
Thanks again to Capital City Skydiving. It was a blast.
Man, I still can’t believe I DID that!