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Patch Blog: I Live Spontaneously—Which Is Why I Jumped Out Of A Plane!

I'm just a girl with a Bucket List. Find out what I just crossed off! (It was #1 on my list!) There are lots of fantastic pictures and a video to go with it.

I never would have imagined at the start of this year, that I would have won a contest and got a free skydiving adventure with SkyDive San Diego.

But, life is unplanned and spontaneous-and that’s the best part about it!

Thanks to Bucket List Publications, I got to jump out of a plane on Easter and cross off the #1 item on My Bucket List.

I had what I call a “man-tourage” who all decided to join me on this special occasion- Josh White, Johnny Elsaesser, Alex Christ, and Mitchell Arvanites,. Alex, Johnny, and Mitch all grew up in South Pasadena with me, and Josh and I went to Cal State Monterey Bay together. Josh and Alex had been skydiving before, so there were only 3 newbies in the group!

Everything kind of all happened so fast, and next thing I knew we were strapped up and assigned an instructor and off we walked across the field to the small, loud, intimidating airplane.

The plane was tiny, and there were many of us..AKA we were sardines on a plane!

I was one of the last few to hop on board, meaning I’d be one of the first to jump out of the plane (EEEK). I had been told by previous skydivers that the plane ride is the scariest part, but I was unusually calm, and in kind of a zen mode. Even the instructor asked if I was alright. But I just felt really content..it was a nice feeling when you’re 13,000 feet in the air. There were a couple of “fun” divers who were doing some solo jumps that went before the tandem divers. Once they opened that door and those 3 people jumped- THAT’S when I started freaking out! That is what I WAS GOING TO BE DOING! NO TURNING BACK NOW… (and I more fell out than jumped off that plane haha).

I didn't even think that during freefall my ears would hurt going 120mph..and they sure did. Watch out future skydivers out there..

But once I hit terminal velocity- it was time to enjoy the experience so much more! You don't even feel like your fall towards the ground because it doesn't even look like you are getting closer to it from 13,000ft. There were absolutely no thoughts in my mind that the shoot wasn't going to open either, until it did. And I just felt relieved and happy and exhilirated! 

Then my instructor let me steer the parachute! Of course I was going to take the opporunity to do so- I pulled the string down to the right, and we started twirling in circles, then did the same to the left. Got a little motion sick after a couple fast twirls- but it was worth it.

This really was an experience of a lifetime and I want to thank everyone (the 700+ of you) who voted for me as a Finalist to win this contest. And of course I can’t thank Lesley and BucketList Publications ENOUGH for this FANTASTIC opportunity. I will forever be grateful.

I can’t begin to describe the feeling after jumping, I was super relaxed and calm and in a “high” sense of overall happiness. Life was awesome-I hadn’t a worry in the world. I was surrounded by people I loved. And it was time for a magnum of champagne that my mother had so kindly brought for us to celebrate after the jump.

Now, my man-tourage and I want  jump again ASAP. We are thinking about going to Santa Barbara’s SkyDiving location where they have the world’s highest tandem jump at 18,000 feet…

Follow my blog and see what happens next : Photography + Science = Chanel

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Word Police April 23, 2012 at 03:20 PM
correction - not "Vicariously" - wrong word choice Definition vi·car·i·ous: taking the place of another person or thing; acting or serving as a substitute.
Steve Garcia April 23, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Having done this twice, I can say that it is definitely fun but certainly not for the faint of heart. Since I have been flying sport kites (those things at the beach that do all the tricks and loops) for years, I was very aggressive when the instructor gave me the handles to the chute and told me to have at it. We were going in such big loops and doing such tricks that he asked me to level it out because he was getting a little woozy. Great fun! Congratulations on your jump, and welcome to the skies!
Elias Baldwin April 23, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Seriously. I felt like I was reading Latimes.com for a second. LOL!
Chanel Hason April 23, 2012 at 05:00 PM
That's awesome Steve! Glad you understand the joys of skydiving :)
Steve Garcia April 23, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Yes, and there are a couple of things about the trip that I share with you. Taking off was definitely the scariest part. I was sitting on the floor of the plane, definitely not strapped in to anything. I knew that once we got enough altitude, we could jump if there was a problem (of course, we DID intend to jump out of a perfectly good airplane anyway), but taking off was scary. Also, due to the rapid changes in altitude on the way down, your ears pop repeatedly, unless you are congested, in which case you experience pain. One way to get more congested is to keep your mouth open, which people who scream on the way down tend to do. The air rushing into your mouth tends to dry you out, and fast! I jumped at Skydive Taft, and my instructor thought I was nervous because I was so quiet on the flight up. I explained to him that I was a dirt lawyer, and I was checking out the features of the topography, like the San Andreas Fault which was visible along the Palmdale Bulge, the sinkholes caused by oil drilling in the area, etc. He was impressed since he said that he usually has to point those features out to people, particularly if they are nervous, to keep them calm by taking their mind off of the jump. From your pictures, it looks like you did a straight jump out the plane. We did a somersault off of the step since the top wing we were flying was a bit smaller. Very fun!
Chanel Hason April 23, 2012 at 05:29 PM
My bad...word police. I changed it up now! See if you approve.
Jason S. Li April 23, 2012 at 05:30 PM
To this day, I continue to have a phobia of jumping out of airplanes. I never had thoughts about going to airborne school after joining the military since they require five jumps to earn the Jump Wings badge, including one at night. Jason S. Li San Bruno, CA (South Pasadena resident, 1995-2009)
Nicole Charky April 23, 2012 at 05:32 PM
This looks so fun! Awesome photos Chanel.
Chanel Hason April 23, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Thanks Nicole!!! We need to meet up soon :D
Chanel Hason April 23, 2012 at 05:50 PM
That's too bad Jason- it's an experience I suggest that everyone try at least once!
Kristen Lepore (Editor) April 24, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Thanks for sharing, Chanel. Great video and photos! Maybe one day I'll have the courage to follow in your footsteps :)
Debra Houston April 24, 2012 at 02:54 AM
great to see you write about your bucket list accomplishments, hope you have encouraged other south pasadenians to get out there and go for it, whatever it may be....:)

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