Since becoming a Mum I’ve somehow become a bit of a wimp. I used to always seek out the most thrills, the scariest films and generally have absolutely NO fear! Years ago I did a promotional job with the Red Arrows. Partying afterwards we arranged to all skydive together. I can’t remember why but for some reason even though the date was booked it never happened. Since then skydiving has been on my ‘if I find my balls again’ bucket list. So when I was asked if I would like to try indoor skydiving at iFly Milton Keynes with Red Letter Days my initial reaction was a definite yes!
I arrive with my sister who I have roped in to watch me. I’m full of nerves now as the reality of what I have come to do kicks in. My biggest fear is not the tunnel, feeling claustrophobic or the strength of the wind, it’s actually looking stupid in front of other people. I can still impressively blush at the most inappropriate times. I’m pleased to see a friendly face in Franca and chatting to her helps my nerves, a bit.
First we meet our instructor Ted who is an indoor skydiving champion. He knows his stuff! We watch a film on what to expect and I start feeling nervous again. Am I really going to be able to do this? Ted gives us some tips on position and shows us how to fly up and down if we get on well. I don’t think for one second that I will be able to do that. He also explains the hands signals he will be using to communicate as the air tunnel is so loud. It feels like a lot of information to take on board but the little recaps help.
I have a rather fetching suit, goggles, ear plugs and a helmet. I take off any loose jewellery including my new engagement ring and give it to my sister telling her to guard it with her life! There are lockers free of charge to use if you don’t have someone or someone you trust with your valuables with you. I tie my hair into plaited bunches to stop it flying around as it’s a style that’s comfortable with the helmet on top. I put my converse on and pray that they are tight enough to not fly off and cause any embarrassment. Then we make our way up to the wind tunnel.
There are 12 of us and I strategically place myself in the middle towards the end so that I’m neither first or last to fly. Then feel a little embarrassed at my anxiety when a 7 year old goes first. In my defence I would have been straight in there at that age too. Watching the others fly I can feel my heart start to race as my turn gets nearer and nearer. Each flight is 60 seconds which doesn’t sound long, but is longer than an actual skydive would last.
You are instructed to fall into the tunnel, so on my turn that’s what I do. The wind is a bit of a shock and I spend the first few seconds of my flight oblivious to Ted’s hand signals to straighten my legs. I’ve completely forgotten what the signal that he’s waving infant of my face means. Then I suddenly remember, the shock isn’t as strong and I start to enjoy it.
I can’t wait to get back in and have another go, a total mixture of nerves and excitement. We are really lucky that Ted is qualified to be able to fly with us and take us up to the top. On my turn he asks if I want to go up and I excitedly nod. I’ve decided if I’m going to do it I might as well experience as much as possible. My second flight the wind isn’t such a shock and Ted let’s go pretty quickly. I’m even able to have a go of making myself fly up and down a little on my own. Think I’m going to need more practise with that though.
Then it’s time to ‘high fly’ with Ted. The wind strength is turned up and it’s so strong that it takes my breath away. Ted gets me into position and then we are spinning around and all the way to the top of the tunnel. It’s so fast. Flying up and around is amazing, such a rush of adrenaline. I couldn’t stop smiling. The others said they dribbled, I didn’t get that but my shoulders ached from the pressure of the wind when I got out (rather ungracefully) from the tunnel.
After the flights we head back downstairs and remove all the kit. We all then receive our flight certificates. They explain how you can come back again with your certificate and work towards an indoor skydiving qualification which I’m tempted to do. The rush could definitely get addictive. I have a look at the pictures and videos they have taken during our flights which you can purchase. They are fab, one is below. The whole experience was amazing! I drive home that night feeling like I’ve accomplished something, a little braver and more alive
I would definitely go indoor sky diving again. It’s something I think the kids would love to do to. Although the flight times sound short, they aren’t when you are in there and the whole experience lasts around an hour and a half. It really was incredible and I think is a bargain of an experience at £100 for two with Red Letter Days. Thanks so much Red letter Days for helping me be more interesting again. I now want to jump out of a plane!
Disclosure: I was invited to try indoor sky diving at iFly Milton Keynes as part of Red Letter Days #RLDTasters.