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Last weekend, my sister and brother-in-law, gave our family my favorite kind of gift, an experience. They reserved a day and time to take us to do something that we had never done before. So as a family, eight of us traveled to Sky Drive Arizona for an afternoon of fun and to experience indoor skydiving.
After a brief safety training session, we were dressed in sky diving gear and moved towards the enormous wind tunnel. I will admit that I was a bit nervous. My idea of an adventure is leaving the house without spare clothes for my three-year-old or an emergency drink or snack. As we moved closer to the noisy tunnel, my heart began to pound, some from excitement and some from nerves.
Our eight year old entered first, followed by our six year old. Our kids were fearless. But watching them was difficult for me. Seeing my children being thrown around in the wind as they struggled to hold their pose made my heart race with panic. I was proud of the way they paid attention to the instructor and was amazed to see them floating as the high winds blew the skin on their little cheeks. They loved it!
My hands were already sweaty inside my gloves as I watched my kids in a simulated free fall in the vertical column of air, when I realized it was my turn. The instructor motioned for me to place both feet on the open doorway to the tunnel.
When I felt the pressure from the air on my first foot, something in my non-adventurous body pulled back. I took a step backwards as the instructor beckoned me in with a hand gesture. My feet stayed planted and I shook my head. He motioned to me again and I took a deep breath as I thought of my brave kids watching me. I took a step forward, secured my arms to my chest and stepped inside.
Immediately, the pressure from the air seemed to take my breath away. Even with the goggles and helmet, you can feel the strength of the wind on your face. It made me forget to breathe. You have to get your body in just the right “U” position in order to float. Sudden movements will cause you to flip and spin. I felt completely out of control of my own body.