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  • The first time I exited a perfectly good airplane mid-flight was during my first stay in the Hawaiian islands. I was visiting my friend Alicia who goes to school at the U of H. While we were discussing things to do one warm and humid morning, one of her friends suggested skydiving. Alicia had already gone and she found the experience to be one that truly took her breath away. From that moment, I was afraid to go, scrambling thoughts in my mind on how to avoid the activity.

    It wasn't until I had some down time that I thought about the activity. It was something I had always wanted to do, something on my bucket list. I began to relax. I thought logically and realized that I would be fine, and it would be definitely be a story to tell.

    On the morning of the dive, I sat in the back of my friend's car looking out onto the scenery as we made the 40 minute drive to the airfield on the O'ahu north shore. I saw clouds, rain and sunshine, forested mountains and fields, green everywhere passing by. I thought back to the satellite imagery I had studied prior to my trip, and tried to imagine this landscape from another point of view, and that was when I became excited.

    When we arrived, We drove under a flock of skydivers, all suspended below a rainbow of colors, and the excitement grew. After promising that we wouldn't sue if we died and some other paperwork, we marched out to the deck, a sheltered ecosystem dedicated to adrenaline, and thats where I met Peg Leg.

    When our plane was approaching, we headed out into the field, and I began to ask questions about the activity. "How many jumps have you done?" I asked him, and his themed responses were all the same, "um, I don't know, 35 or so..." followed by a sarcastic smile. As the plane climbed, I saw the pilot play on his phone and work a crossword, and the other jumpers just sitting and enjoying the ride, I asked if we could do something more exciting. Peg Leg mentioned that I was unusually calm and said, "sure, lets jump out backwards."

    As the door opened and the first guy just left the plane, I realized that this was for real. One by one, the jumpers just stepped out as if we were on the ground, and in no time at all, it was our turn. We turned around, "alright, on three" he said, and on one, we jumped, into a free fall 3 miles above earth.

    As we fell, it was like nothing I have ever experienced. The world, for once, was not flying by, but stood still. The whole island was in view, and as we approached 120 mph, I calmed down.

    As I try to explain this to my friends and family, I recanvas my thoughts, looking for that fear they are looking for. It's the thought that made me nervous, and the anticipation built upon it the thought of jumping out of a plane we all invent. It was this thought tho, that made me nervous.
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