Sunday, November 7, 2021.
That was a good day.
Many years ago, I was scheduled to go skydiving with some good friends of mine during our annual get together. Unfortunately, my body wasn’t cooperative, and I was unable to go with them. I’ve always regretted that I couldn’t go that day and now, two of those sweet friends have passed away. I never stopped thinking about missing that jump, though, and for years, I kept thinking someday. When I lost my ability to walk, I figured that dream was over.
Enter in Wes and Ryan.
Wes and I met down at the Riverwalk in San Antonio when my family and I were exploring our new town. We were eating lunch at a little place by the water, and I saw him at a table near us. It’s not all that common to see another wheelchair user out and about, so I wanted to talk to him, but decided that would be weird, and I chose not to interrupt his lunch. Fortunately for me, however, Wes decided to introduce himself to me as we were leaving. It turns out I’m not the only one who wants to meet every other wheelchair user!
As we talked, Wes told me about an amazing nonprofit called Project Airtime, which aims to get families with disabilities up in the air to go paragliding on their trikes. I was ALL IN at the first mention of it! I am all about adventure. I called Ryan, and after some setbacks with equipment and schedules, we finally were able to get me up in the air. It was INCREDIBLE! We did barrel rolls, sudden drops, and just soared high above the earth. It was so freeing!
After the experience, another guy asked if I wanted to go skydiving. OF COURSE I said I did!
So, we set it up for Sunday, November 7.
He designed and built an incredible harness for wheelchair users. The pants are a bit like snowsuit pants with suspenders, except they have straps in them that attach the legs to the skydive instructor’s legs, and also have straps in them that when pulled, pull up your legs so that they are out of the way during landing. The harness then goes on over the pants, and is attached to the skydive instructor. I felt incredibly safe and secure.
When it was time to go, he went out first, then my instructor and I went out. the freefall was definitely the best part! Once the chute opened, he let me steer for a bit. the views were amazing!