Monday, April 13, 2009

Sky Dive

I was scheduled to sky dive with a retired Navy SEAL Saturday (the 11th) but because of cloudy weather we were not able to do it. Fortunately Nix (the SEAL) was cool enough to try and do it Sunday morning which was Easter.
I woke up Sunday morning to blue skies and little wind. Perfect weather. So Lee and I ate breakfast, checked out of the hotel, and jumped into the rental car and headed to the jump zone.
The first thing I had to do once I got there was sign a bunch of papers saying I couldn't sue them if I died or whatever. Then, Nix gave me like a 5 minute pre-jump explanation of what I was going to do once we got in the air. He basically just said we are going to jump out of the plane.... Not a big deal. Ha. Then I got put in my jump suit and harness that attached me to the front of Nix when we jumped out of the airplane. After being geared up and waiting for the plane to arrive and pick us up, I asked Nix, "So can we do any flips?". Without hesitation he replied, "Do you want to do front flips or back flips?". Now realizing that I had choices I decided front flip was the way to go. So he told me a few minor adjustments to do to my jump procedure to allow us to do a front flip. I was super excited. Finally the plane landed and about 10 of us walked out to the plane and boarded. The pilot was a young kid in flip flops, and he began take-off as soon as the last person was in the plane. (Not even sitting or buckled in yet). As soon as the wheels of the plane left the ground I could see that Nix was smiling at me. I asked him why he was smiling, and he said to me, "You cant go back now!!". I thought to myself right then.... "Whats that supposed to mean". Finally we got to our destination of 13,000 ft where people began to jump out of the airplane. I wasn't nervous at all until we started walking to the open door. Then I thought of the words my grandpa said to me, "Your jumping out of a perfectly good airplane!". So I was squatting right in front of the open door with the camera guy looking at me hanging from the wing. Luckily Nix is not the kinda guy who would ask you if your ready. It was just 1. 2. 3. and now we are doing front flips at over 100 mph. I think we did like 2 front flips and then the rotation stopped. However, the rotation stopped as our backs were toward the ground and I was watching the plane get smaller and smaller. This was the only time in the jump that I thought... "Uh oh". But I just stayed tucked and a few seconds later we flipped back around and free fell for about 30-40 more seconds. Nix pulled the chute at 5,500 ft where I thought the complete rush of the jump was over. Little did I know that these parachutes are capable of doing hairpin turns that feel like your pulling 100 G's. I felt more out of control in the hairpin turns (where you and your chute are horizontal from each other) than I did in the free fall. But we had an awesome landing and it was the coolest thing ever. Definitely will be doing it again sometime. I highly recommend it to anyone who is seeking something totally different and extreme at the same time.
I will have video in a couple days of the free fall. But I will put some pics up of the pre-jump and post-jump pictures that Lee took.
I will post something soon since I go in for my port surgery tomorrow and I begin treatment on wednesday.


Obsessedwithlife said...

That's very cool-so glad you got to fit that in!


Brad said...


Congrats on the jump! I am with your grandpa! Why would anyonewant to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? I'll just stay on the ground and wait for you!

We will be praying that all goes well with your procedure tomorrow.

Brad Salmons

Chris Ulvin said...

Hi Nick,
This is an Easter you will always remember. Just as God protected you when you jumped, flipped, pulled G's and landed, may He do the same in the weeks and months ahead. Love, aunt Chris