Saturday, January 18, 2020

Look Before You Leap

Startled, Tom awoke to the ringing of his alarm, the day he had been waiting for had finally arrived. Sitting up, Tom tugged at his curly black hair and wiped the sleep out of his eyes. A feeling of excitement rushed through his body as he remembered that today was the day he was going to do the most exhilarating but equally terrifying thing he had ever dreamt of. Tom had turned eighteen the previous day and receiving a gift of skydiving had been something he had longed for. Growing up, Tom had always loved sports. His athletic frame had made him excel in all activities, however, he craved the trilling experience of extreme sports. Although anxious his parents had agreed this would be the perfect gift. After saying goodbye to his apprehensive parents, Tom headed off to the skydiving centre. He felt numb and uneasy as he drove the forty five minute drive to the skydiving centre anticipating the trill that lay ahead. Feeling the adrenaline kicking in, he saw the sign that read â€Å"Skydiving Centre†. Tom was led down a long winding road and finally arrived at the centre. Walking towards the vast white building, Tom could feel his heart pounding like the beating of a base drum. A tall stern looking man introduced himself as Allan, my instructor for the day. They proceeded to the training centre and initially went through a series of safety instructions. Through a haze of nerves and excitement, Tom listened as Allan enthusiastically explained and demonstrated every aspect of the jump. Several hours later Tom was deemed competent to take to the skies. Once fitted with his clothing and parachute, Tom followed Allan out to the vast runway where the small plane was awaiting him. His eyes lit up, and a serene smile spread across his face. Sitting in the back of the plane, a calm and composed Tom became anxious as he awaited take off. The roaring engines echoed in his ears and the plane shuddered uncontrollably as the plane left the security of the tarmac. Butterflies danced menacingly in Tom's stomach as he tried to listen vigilantly to Allan's instructions. Cautiously Tom peered out of the small window as cars and people turned into tiny pin heads and fields looked like a patch work quilt. â€Å"We have reached the required height† explained Allan, â€Å"are you ready to look before you leap†? As Allan opened the sliding door on the side of the plane the angry wind roared in with incredible force. Allan's voice became muffled as fear took over. Tom had told himself not to look before he leapt but he became fixated on the terrifying open space beneath him. He felt rooted to the spot as if bolts had been driven through his feet and unable to take that final step towards the edge of the plane. With Allan's support and words of encouragement Tom somehow found the courage to make that electrifying leap into the unknown. Adrenaline rushed through his body as free fall reached terminal velocity with the skin on his face pulling back so tight it felt as though it was going to tear. A feeling of euphoria gripped Tom as he was free falling through the sky at 125mph. Then at 5,000 feet, with the ground rapidly coming to meet him, he pulled his parachute cord hard and fast. Silence filled the sky as Tom's parachute opened and he experienced the breathtaking descent, free as a bird. The ground was fast approaching and Tom began to remember how he had been taught to land. Quicker than expected, Tom felt his feet running along the ground, all the fear and apprehension had disappeared. Tom had experienced a stimulating sensation that was difficult to explain to anyone who hadn't skydived. This had been a once in a lifetime experience where Tom's dreams had certainly become a reality. This unique and lasting experience was one he would never forget.

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