“I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane” (w/ video)

Jeanie Butzler |

Editor’s Note: When V1 editorial intern Jeanie Butzler decided to jump out of an airplane, she also agreed to document the experience for us. Thanks, Jeanie!

Saturday, April 14, began like any other day. I woke up, ate a Pop Tart , and then I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. “Why would you do such a crazy thing,” you might ask. To that, I would respond, “Why wouldn’t you?”

I arrived at Skydive Wissota around 11am. I was greeted by a group of people, who, upon first glance, I can tell truly love their lives. After being introduced to my tandem instructor, Dejan, I filled out some paperwork and watched a short training video. Lynn, another Skydive Wissota diver, helped me put on my harness and accessorized me with a hot pink altimeter (which I affectionately refer to as the “altitude measurer thingy”) and some classy goggles. Soon after, it was time to board the plane. It was an extremely small plane, but we managed to “tetris” ourselves into being able to fit four divers and a pilot. I was rather impressed by this feat. We spent the next 20 minutes slowly climbing to 10,000 feet. The other divers aboard the plane, all having made the upwards of a couple hundred jumps (Lynn at 1,800, Dejan at 750), asked me several times if I was nervous. Really, I never was. I am not sure if it was the energy of the group as a whole, or the absolute kindness shown me by Dejan, Lynn and the others – but I was so comfortable with the fact that I was about to jump out of an airplane 10,000 feet above the ground.

Suddenly, the moment arrived. Lynn was kind enough to chronicle my experience via video camera; she stepped out of the plane before Dejan and I in order to catch the moment we left the plane on video. The 35 seconds of freefall came and left before I realized what was even happening. As our parachute opened, I regained my breath and was able to take in the beautiful sight of the Chippewa Valley and Lake Wissota. In an effort to maintain full disclosure, I must tell you, I did throw up a little. But, only in my mouth (to the relief of Dejan, who would have been in the direct line of fire). Honestly, though, it was well worth the minor discomfort. There is no other single experience of my life that even slightly compares to that of what it felt like to skydive.

Skydive Wissota boasts a wide range of divers. They have members of all ages (20-60), professions (computer programmers, health care professionals, etc.) and personalities. Check out their website www.skydivewissota.org – Skydive Wissota groups together some of the kindest people you will ever meet, and they offer one of the greatest experiences you will ever have. Will I ever jump again? Probably. (But don’t tell my mother just yet).

Check out the video! (Local Music: Vacation Dad)