21/10/19 Drop for Youth – Part 3
Finish this sentence: The one thing I will never regret is …
We clambered up and into the single nosed propeller stick plane that was to gradually take us up to the 13,000 feet point of drop. It was a 20-minute ascent by the chick pilot. What a cool job, sometimes seen bobbing to the tunes she was listening to through her head piece.
Sitting on the floor, Aaron and his tandem were facing backwards beside the door that was bungied shut. We were facing forward, a snugly fit backed up into his spread legs.
The Canterbury Plains landscape was just a maze of farm paddock patch work. Greens, dark greens, yellow and browns. Mount Cook had a wisp of cloud floating eastwards; the Kaikoura’s although hazy were apparent. Lake Forsyth resting to the south of the Port Hills, the Rakaia River like a crack in the crust from mountain to ocean and the curvature of the coastal bite where land bordered sea, as far as the eye could see.
One has to equalize as one gained altitude, a matter of squeezing the nostrils and blowing so as to pop the ears. Ironically, no belch of sausage. Or two.
Shit, what were the instructions? One was engaged and lost from the panoramic views. Hop up onto lap, click. I could feel Brent tightening us into a kama sutra position. Luckily, we had our clothes on. No mile-high club membership interaction on this day!
Aaron was pumped. And so was I. If he had any nerves, then they were well hidden. And so were mine. Aaron is a Year 13 student from Linwood College that I’ve worked with this year. He is one of the Peer Mentors to the Year 9’s we impart basic life skills to. And now here we were jumping out of a plane to raise funds for the programmes we provide to youth. Together. Well, he dropped out first!
As the tap on the shoulder came to release the hands, we were still in free fall. Aaron was a dot below. We rotated and Brent (tandem pilot) removed my goggles. It made the opaque vision clearer and the view sharper.
The rip cord was pulled and we came to an abrupt slowness. Brent didn’t tell me that he was going to loosen the buckles and hf, I grabbed onto my harness! That was a lot of good wasn’t it, the harness was only mine! That’s when I belched sausage. Nothing exited I’m pleased to write.
He pointed upwards. There was Aaron and his pilot high above. We had free fell for longer to pass them dropping. Apparently, a weight to gravity ratio. Apparently.
Then we glided back to the ground, with the odd 360° rotation. Everything got bigger again. With the knees up into the chest, the landing was a touch down of arses to slide on the moist long grass before coming to a halt, the shute gracefully coming down in front to signal our drop was over. There were cheers from the by-standers over yonder at the hanger. A fist pump and hug with Brent the tandem pilot. Job done.
To watch Aaron arrive made the moment more significant. His grin was from ear to ear. A buzz of adrenalin and euphoria that clashed. A hug of congrats before we trod toward a third sausage and bread and onions and sauce.
Which brings me back to the opening question and finishing this sentence.
What is the one thing YOU will never regret?
Now get on and do it, what ever the one thing is.