Thursday, January 19, 2012

iFLY Seattle: Learning to Fly

    We ventured back to iFLY Seattle to celebrate Scott's birthday with a friend of ours, since we hadn't yet had a chance to officially try indoor skydiving yet (check out our first blog article to learn more about iFLY.) Well, let us tell you there is nothing like flying and it is completely worth going indoor skydiving!
Our Arrival
    When we arrived, we got all checked in for our first flight and went upstairs to watch the flyers in action. Our excitement level grew with each new flyer in the tunnel.
Training
    We watched a short movie, with our group of 10 flyers, on how to fly and what various hand signals meant. The whole experience felt a little like stepping into Hogwarts in Harry Potter, since were being told we could fly. The woman on the video said, "To assume proper flying position, have your legs slightly bent with your arms stretched out in front of you..." Wait what?! Fly?! It all seems so contrary to how we spend every other waking moment of our lives. People can't fly! Our minds kept telling us--oh, but yes they can.
My first flight at iFLY Seattle, wow, it's hard to believe that I was actually flying!

Suit Up 
     We were given jumpsuits, goggles, ear plugs, helmets, and shoes. We were able to use the lockers at iFLY to stash our belongings. Our instructor, Chris, rallied the troops in our group again and said, "You may have already forgotten everything about positioning and hand signals, but who cares--you're about to fly--let's go have some fun out there!"
Getting ready to fly: Jumpsuits? Check.

The Chamber
    We entered the airtight chamber and sat down. Everyone was going to get a chance to fly twice, for one minute at a time. It was warm in there, or maybe it was just because I was--I'd never done anything like this before. There were three kids in our group and they all went first. As soon as they stepped into the tunnel, you could tell by their faces that they were loving it. Chris did a great job of making everyone feel safe, but gave people enough room that they were able to fly a bit on their own.
Up, up, up and away!

The Tunnel
    Then, it was my turn. I approached the door, gave a nervous smile to Chris who gave a high-five. I put my hands in two fists against my chest, the way I had just been taught and stepped through the doorway. I spread my arms out in front of me and the rest of my torso, legs, and feet followed.
    My body was stiff; I was aware of the air rushing past me. I could tell that I wasn't touching anything, but my mind wasn't quite sure what to make of it all...Am I flying? No, that's impossible. Am I dreaming? Maybe, but isn't flying impossible. Despite my confusion I kept going.
    I tried to follow Chris' hand signals...Stretch your legs out more, arms closer together, back less arched... as I did, I flew better and higher as well.
    At one point I flew so high that I began to worry about how I'd get back down. That was the moment that everything clicked for me--I'm flying. I'm really flying...like up in the air kind of flying! I couldn't stop smiling.
Our friend enjoying her first flight at iFLY Seattle

Flying
    On my second flight Chris started to challenge me a little by motioning to me to tilt my hands from side to side. As I experimented with tilting my hands, I began to twirl. I'm controlling my flight. By the time I thought the thought, my flying time had come to an end. 
    We all had the feeling like we were just starting to get the hang of this flying stuff. iFLY offered that we could buy another minute of time for $20.00, but we said no thanks, we'll just have to come back another time.
    This was one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. And yes, we definitely had an adrenaline rush, before, during, and after flying. We're still running on the flying high...
Soaring about 15 ft in the air--the highest I've ever flown

Things To Know:
  • After the fact: It feels kind of like a dream that we were actually flying; we'll have to go back again to know for sure
  • This is an opportunity that we believe everyone should experience at some point in their lives--it's amazingly safe and there is absolutely nothing else like it
  • To learn more about iFLY Seattle, check out our original blog article
Have an awesome flight!
Head on out Around Puget Sound...and Beyond

6 comments:

  1. pretty cool, looks like a very unique experience! Question is, when are you going to jump out of a real airplane? :)

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  2. Good question...only time will tell...maybe sooner rather than later :) We've been talking a lot about parasailing recently, so maybe we'll wind up doing that first. We'll let you know when we do!

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