Five reasons I will (probably) never skydive

6 08 2010

A very dear friend of mine here in Switzerland, let’s call her Anne, will be going on her first skydive this weekend. She is doing it for a charity project she is involved in and will be sponsored by family and friends.

Anne is about my age, she has lots of friends but also values her alone-time. She is soft-spoken, well-read, very smart, a bit introverted, and could easily be mistaken for a timid person. But those folks who might have that first impression do not really know Anne. She recently came flying with me and while aloft she told me one of her dreams is to go skydiving. I had to turn up the volume on my headset and ask her to repeat herself because I wasn’t sure I understood what she said the first time.

“I want to go skydiving,” she said nonchalantly. “Wanna come?”

Now ladies and gentlemen, I think I said somewhere here that I would try almost every sport once. This happens to be one offer I must categorically and humbly decline.

Not me

And this is why. Five reasons skydiving is not for me. (Aside from the super-obvious.)

1) It’s f*@#ing cold up there.

Brrr. Did you know that for every 1,000 meters in altitude the temperature drops by 6.5 degrees Celcius (or, for every 1,000 feet,  by 3.57 degrees Fahrenheit)? So that means, at about 4,000 meters (or 13,200 feet), the altitude at which they throw you out of the plane, it’s 26 degrees C (or 47 degrees F) colder than it is on the ground. Sorry, I get enough cold weather during our 9-month winters here.

2) The higher you go, the better the view.

And therefore, the faster you fall, the less you see.

3) There’s nothing wrong with the airplane!

So why anyone would volunteer to abandon a fully functional motorized aircraft with full tanks in flight is beyond me.

4)  Have you ever noticed what raindrops do to exposed flesh as it speeds toward earth at 200 kilometers an hour (125 mph)?

I would rather get my face peeling at a local spa, thank you.

5) For the actual jump there’s MasterCard. For the DVD that you can show your grandchildren, there’s MasterCard, too. But spending an afternoon watching the rookies land, hyperventilate and walk around the rest of the day intoxicated on an adrenaline high is: Priceless.

And you know that hangover is going to be a doozy… including the typical, day-after reaction of either severe addiction or swearing off the substance for life.


So, dear Anne, you are a better woman than I. Or rather: a better super action heroine than I. And I promise to be here on the ground, watching and cheering you on every step of the way – from the moment you zip up your jumpsuit and adjust your goggles till the moment you once again safely set foot on earth. Just please understand that I won’t be joining you. But thanks for asking.


Update – She did it! She really did it!

Anne, you're the greatest!



One response

6 08 2010

What an honor to be mentioned on your blog, my dear! I’m certainly not better than you, just crazier. It’s a great comfort to know that you’ll be there to cheer me on, even if you don’t want to come along for the ride. 🙂

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