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

Chicagoland Skydiving Center, Rochelle, Illinois

Here's my instructor Mike and myself waiting for our turn to get on the plane. 

If you're going to jump an idea is to see about getting on the plane first because it is "first on last off" which means you're not rushed, you get to watch everyone else fall away from the plane and you really get to enjoy your time at the door.

Chicagoland Skydiving Center, Rochelle, Illinois

It is time to go.  For the weeks preceding the jump I'd get the thought in my head "Oh my God you're going to JUMP"!  The thought was an instant of pure terror and could have easily worked into a massive anxiety attack by the time I was to jump.  Wanting to have a really amazing experience and to be able to enjoy something that I had always wanted to do when the panic would pop up I would just take a deep breath and say to myself:

"I'm going to fly.  This is all going to be good"

Chicagoland Skydiving Center, Rochelle, Illinois

I kept saying that and it was.  I didn't need to work up the nerve to jump.  Before getting on the plane I didn't have any anxiety or second thoughts.  I was going to fly and it was all going to be good.  As we left the ground and I sat there crammed into the plane like a sardine with all of the other jumpers a little panic attack kicked in but as soon as Mike attached our harnesses and tightened up all of my straps a what can only be described as blissful sense of peace washed over me and any fear just melted away.  The thought of leaving the plane was always the most frightening experience for me not the falling but I had none of that as I was ready to go but there was one thing that needed to happen first.

Chicagoland Skydiving Center, Rochelle, Illinois

That one thing was to watch my brother Kevin jump out before me.  One second he was there and then...

Chicagoland Skydiving Center, Rochelle, Illinois

...and then he was flying.

Ok to be accurate he was plunging 14,500 feet to the ground and accelerating to about one hundred and thirty miles an hour.  To me it was all about flying and I was so ready for that.


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Paul B. Drabek