Chicagoland Skydiving Center
Rochelle, Illinois
June 14, 2013
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Chicagoland Skydiving Center, Rochelle, Illinois

I am terrified of heights so of course at some point I had to jump out of a plane.  Really despite my natural fears I have wanted to take the leap out of a perfectly good plane since I was a kid.   "A life lived in fear is a life half lived" are the words that I live by so throughout my time here I have faced my fears, told them off with some colorful metaphors and kept living my life for myself instead of my fears.  Why let fear get in the way of crossing off skydiving off of my bucket list. 

Oh just a side note.  If you think that signing all of the paperwork for a mortgage was a bit much then go skydiving.  I swear I had to initial or sign my name at least eighty times on paperwork stating that I was doing this of my own free will and that me or my estate would not sue anyone even vaguely involved in skydiving, the plane, the airport, the State of Illinois, the United States of America or the Chicagoland Skydiving Center. 

Chicagoland Skydiving Center, Rochelle, Illinois

My little brother Kevin first jumped two years ago and since then he has pestering me to jump with him.  I have to admit that a bit of fear kept me from agreeing but eventually I said yes and we booked our jump.  We went to the Chicagoland Skydiving Center which really isn't in what I'd call in the "Chicagoland area" way out in Rochelle, IL.  The reason you can't jump closer to the city is all of that well traveled airspace above it is heavily regulated and out in rural Rochelle the Chicagoland Skydiving Center has the freedom and room to work with.  

Chicagoland Skydiving Center, Rochelle, Illinois

Carrie came with us on this one as she had to be there if I jumped.  Something about wanting to make sure to give me one last kiss in case I didn't survive.

Chicagoland Skydiving Center, Rochelle, Illinois


Here is the perfectly good airplane that I was going to jump out of.

Chicagoland Skydiving Center, Rochelle, Illinois

Here's Kevin and his instructor.  Both of us were tandem jumping which means that we are along for the ride that the instructors at the Chicagoland Skydiving Center was giving.  Kevin and I each had a harness but no parachute.  The instructors have those.   After getting to altitude we'd be attached to our instructor (and more importantly his chute) before taking the dive out of the plane.



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Paul B. Drabek