Friday, March 5, 2010

Look Mom! I’m Skydiving!

So today we took Jaxon skydiving for the first time. Kindda.

Eloy, Arizona is home to a huge skydiving facility. Featuring the world’s largest fleet of skydiving aircraft, a full-service restaurant, bar, coffee shop, heated pool, souvenir store and massage therapy, SkyDive Arizona is also home to numerous world record holders and world champions.

But one of the really cool things it also has is an exhilarating indoor wind chamber that you can try out during an activity called indoor skydiving. The chamber gives you the thrill of diving and is a great tool for divers to try to stunts and routines out. To our surprise, kids as young as three can use the chamber and Jaxon was ecstatic when we mentioned it to him.

After watching experienced divers twist, roll and fly around in the chamber for 30 minutes, we suited up in our gear, listened to a short set of instructions, gave each other high-fives and got ready for our adventure.

Jaxon wanted to go first and I was so glad he did. Our instructor, Shane, got him in position and pulled him into the chamber with him. Jaxon dove right in, did exactly what he was told and was soon flying like an old pro. Shane even took him for a little spin around in circles. Jaxon had a giant grin plastered on his face and was giving a thumbs-up and waving the whole time. I think most of the people in the gallery had more fun watching him than they would have had going themselves. The contagious expression on his face was just absolute blissful joy.

I went next and then Gerry. Gerry did great and got to move around inside quite a bit. Me? Eh…I had a lot of fun but found the pressure from the wind overwhelming and had a hard time breathing. I didn’t fare as well as Jaxon and Gerry and never got into a comfortable flying position. Still, my heart was pounding from the thrill of it and it was a huge rush that I’d do again for sure.

Sound like fun? It was. And if you want to try it yourself without going all the way to Arizona, we heard a rumour today that there may be a similar chamber coming to Vancouver soon.

After today’s experience, and spending 30 minutes watching a steady stream of divers coming down 6-10 people at a time outside at the centre today, Jaxon now wants to go skydiving for real. We told him we’d take him when he’s 18.

To finish off the day, we drove to Yuma where we’re spending the night and made a quick trip into Mexico for dinner. Fantabulous!

PS: We also went to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument yesterday—a 1,000-year-old multileveled building built by the Hohokam people, true engineers that could teach today’s builders a thing or two.

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