Perhaps I should start by sharing with you where this crazy idea of throwing myself out of an airplane came from and how I come to be jumping for CRY.
If I’m honest, a tandem skydive or parachute jump has always been on my ‘bucket list’. What moved it off the list into physically doing something about it, was a very energetic 71 year old dear uncle; a newspaper article; and a few glasses of wine! It took a while to coordinate dates, but myself and my Uncle Graham did a tandem skydive on June 1st!
It was an easy decision to jump for charity, but why CRY? Back in February 2007 we very sadly lost a dear little friend, Hannah. She was only 7, the daughter of two of our closest friends Chris and Katy, twin to Lucy and sister to Oliver. Hannah was a special little person, full of life and made us smile and laugh on so many occasions. We loved spending time with her. The whole family had enjoyed a skiing holiday in February but unfortunately the night before they were due to come home Hannah very suddenly and without warning died.
Recently I have also had the sad news that Harry – the son of an old work friend, Donna Faulkner – died suddenly without warning of a previously unknown heart problem. Hearing that news made jumping for CRY even more relevant and worthwhile.
So to the day itself – June 1st! Having woken up to stunning sunshine and blue skies I knew it was going to be a great day! We had been told to arrive at the airfield at 8am to register and then receive our briefing.
All pretty straightforward and having found out we would be in the 6th plane up that morning we had plenty of time for a bacon butty!
The guys at the centre worked my character out quickly and suggested wearing their one and only bright yellow jump suit (when everyone else was wearing navy and red) – there I was like a little yellow canary! One thing was for sure, no-one was going to miss me!
Just before noon we were called….and without any time to think what we were about to do, we were off…..up, up and away!! A 15 minute flight to take in the amazing the views of Cheshire countryside and 10,000ft came all too soon.
I heard the ‘1 minute’ call and next thing the door was opened and I was shuffling forward sitting on the lap of my instructor Paul.
Before I had time to realise I was hanging out of the door that was it I was ……………..offffffffffff……… wwwwwwoooooooooouuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!……..
Freefalling through the air at 120MPH. What an amazing amazing feeling!!
In 30 seconds we’d fallen a mile and wwwwhhhoooooooooooooooooossssssssshhhhhhhh Paul opened the chute.
Time to take in the fall and enjoy the ride……leisurely over the next 5 minutes we descended to the ground to the joy of family and friends that had turned up to support me. A safe landing followed, with no broken bones and the biggest smile on my face – I had done it!!
Writing about it right now actually makes me feel quite emotional. Thinking about the fantastic experience that I had, the fact that I found courage and strength to go for it and that I have had the love and support of so many family and friends helping me raise so much for CRY and remember such a dear little friend. Thanks Hannah for your inspiration!
Nicki’s jump has so far raised £2,430 for CRY.