When people find out that the bread and butter of our business is jumping from “perfectly good airplanes,” we normally get this million-dollar question: is skydiving scary? And, the fact of the matter is yes, parts of the skydiving experience can be scary—but what we find on the other side of that fleeting fear makes it all worth it.
Especially if you have a fear of heights, the thought of exiting an aircraft two miles above the earth is going to cause some mental discomfort. Luckily, thinking about skydiving is far scarier than the actual skydive itself.
Plenty of people feel skydiving anxiety leading up to their jump, and they let their imagination run rampant with all sorts of scary scenarios. During the plane ride, this anxiety comes to a head. Shortly after the door of the plane opens and it’s time to exit, most individuals will experience a physiological reaction known as the “fight or flight” response. This natural defense mechanism is the body’s way of processing stressful and potentially dangerous situations. This feeling isn’t exclusive to first-time skydivers either. Even jumpers with thousands of skydives will experience a subdued version of this sensation as they edge toward the door, but here’s why they keep doing it. Once you exit the aircraft, the feeling of fear completely abates and sheer delight instantly takes its place!
Don’t believe us? Just take a look at photographs of people in freefall. There’s one thing you’ll notice: they are all smiling! But how can it be possible to smile just moments after feeling so afraid?
One reason folks are sporting massive grins as they plummet toward the earth is due to the surprisingly sublime sensation of freefall. See, freefall doesn’t feel like falling: it feels more like floating in fast forward.
During freefall, you realize from the wind rushing around you that the force of gravity is pulling you downward at an incredible speed. Yet, you don’t feel a stomach-dropping sensation like you do on a speedy roller coaster. Scientifically speaking, this is because in freefall you reach terminal velocity: a state of equilibrium reached by a free-falling object when the resistance of air molecules equals the force of gravity and prevents further acceleration. When this state of equilibrium is reached, you are basically “riding” air molecules. Now, how cool is that?
You may have peered through the windows of a commercial airliner to see the sweet patchwork of earth below, but wait until you see the view as you fly beneath the gentle quiet of a parachute. Being out in the elements instead of inside the confines of the aircraft makes a big difference. Going from the steady hum of the plane’s engines and the staccato clatter of nervous chatter to the peaceful silence of gliding beneath a canopy with a bird’s eye view is one of our favorite things about skydiving. Truly, it’s an experience unlike any other.
Without encountering discomfort, we would never have the opportunity for growth. Skydiving can be scary, but it can also be a positive, life-changing experience. Skydiving has the potential to unlock a new and improved version of you. If you can manage to face your fears and jump from a plane, what is there that you can’t do? Talk about a confidence boost!
While skydiving can be scary, the feeling of fear is short-lived. So, what will you find on the other side of fear? Schedule a skydive today and find out!