In case you missed the first installment to this new series, the concept is simple. I put my fears to the test and take on dares from you, the readers. You get to see me cringe and conquer my way through them here. It's not always going to be pretty.
This week, I went indoor skydiving at the new iFLY San Diego.
It almost felt like it was constructed overnight when iFLY's futuristic-looking facilities popped up in Mission Valley just two months ago.
Stepping inside the state-of-the-art building is no different. The space feels straight out of a sci-fi movie with metallic gleaming walls, jumpsuits lined up ready for takeoff and a very possible (not confirmed) alien experiment going on in a secret chamber.
Oh, and there's a giant vertical wind tunnel smack in the middle of the room where my trust was about to be tested.
Once the waivers were digitally signed, preflight training began with a short video and lesson from a certified flight instructor teaching the hand signals and proper body positioning for the ultimate experience. Arms bent. Legs straight. Chin up. Relax the body.
Easier said than done.
Our small group zipped up our jumpsuits and fastened on a helmet, earplugs and goggles. Before I knew it, we were walking into the towering tunnel, with our instructor BJ asking, "So, who's first?"
I bet you can guess it wasn't me.
Third in line, I could feel my heartbeat quickening and my mind wondering why I didn't start the day with more than just a coffee. The jitters were real. In the blink of an eye, I was up, and BJ guided me through the glass door to gently lay into the roar of wind.
Like a dog with her head out the window of a speeding car, I grinned ear-to-ear as I focused my thoughts on keeping my chin up and not drooling on myself. My hope was to preserve some sort of dignity.
For the entire 60 seconds - which feels like the longest 60 seconds of your life, by the way - the instructor is there to keep you from totally veering off into any sort of unruly situation. By the second time around, I was feeling a bit more relaxed, and apparently, so was BJ. Wind velocity increased dramatically this time and shot us up even higher, as we soared like Superman around in circles.
When we finished, BJ showed off with some tricks and flips in the tunnel while we ooh'd and ahh'd our way out of there.
Although I can't compare it to actual skydiving, the timing of the free fall portion is supposed to be equivalent and the sensation similar. I'd bet the adrenaline rush is, too. The most surprising (and humbling) part? Ages three to 103 can fly, meaning there is a four-year-old out there braver than me. You go, kiddo.
In essence, anyone can try indoor skydiving, so long as you're under 250 pounds, not pregnant and have no major shoulder injuries. For even the biggest wimp, iFLY offers an ultra-safe environment bound to produce a thrilling flight.
iFLY San Diego
Address: 2385 Camino Del Rio N, Mission Valley
Phone: (619) 432-4359
Price: Varies. Basic first-time flyer package starts at $79.95
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