My kids can’t believe that I am the first in our family to experience indoor skydiving. I was supposed to skydive out of a plane for a friend’s 40th birthday party a few years ago. I flew to Las Vegas for the party, but I wasn’t able to pull the trigger. It turns out that skydiving nullifies your life insurance policy. That didn’t seem like a good sign. Indoor skydiving is a much safer alternative!
I flew out to Washington D.C. for this experience in order to help celebrate two birthdays. There is an indoor skydiving and surfing location closer to me in New Hampshire called SkyVenture.
Indoor skydiving does require healthy joints since the blast of air to keep you buoyant puts pressure on your body. If you have shoulder problems, indoor skydiving is probably not a good idea. It will make your shoulder hurt.
After my first one minute experience doing the indoor skydiving, I was surprised that my body was shaking with muscle contractions for a few minutes afterward much like my hands shake after boxing. (Don’t even try to write a check after boxing. It’s illegible!)
This intrepid crew of 50-somethings included (L to R): Janet Echelman, Sally Chang Amoruso, Linda Lourie, and Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Our commonality is that we are all classmates from college. This was Sally’s third time indoor skydiving and she also set up this party including hosting a lovely birthday lunch.
Sally’s husband gave us some tips on how to indoor skydive.
Tip 1: You lean into the air tunnel with the same position that you take when you go through airport security in the full body scanner. Legs apart, arms overhead in a bent position.
Tip 2: You need to keep your body in that same airport security position but with your chin up.
Tip 3: You need to stay relaxed.
Tip 4: You only need to make very slight movements to change position in the air.
This is what it was like:
You don’t spend a lot of time in the air tunnel, but it feels a lot longer than you’d think. I had two turns. The first turn was one minute. The second time was 1 minute and 45 seconds. My total time indoor skydiving was 2 minutes 45 seconds!
I’m a long way away from flying up and down and forward and backward. Here is an instructor with 1000 hours of indoor skydiving time under his belt:
Janet Echelman is an artist. Here’s her latest work called Pulse in Philadelphia! If you live near Philly or visit there, check it out! She also did this amazing TedTalk.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.