Jumps 13, 14, 15, 16

Sunday was beautiful. There were only a couple thin clouds in the sky, the wind was very light, and I felt good. It was a great day to go skydiving. I showed up at about 10, but everyone else had partied a little too much for St. Patrick’s Day, so we didn’t get rolling until 11. I went up to 13,500 feet and jumped out first with Larry, the owner of Richland Skysports. I was supposed to work on my left and right turns, but I was still struggling with them. I did get some turns in before the back flips started. I would do one back flip on accident, then two more before I could get things straightened out. Then I’d try turning again and I’d flip all over. Fortunately, I was watching my altimeter, so I wasn’t in any kind of trouble, and I straightened out long before I had to pull, but I was still frustrated that I wasn’t getting my turns right. On the plus side, it’s a lot of fun to do back flips in the air.

The second jump was more of the same, but I was definitely in a lot more control. I still flipped on accident a couple times, but was doing much better at turning, and was a lot more stable. I was still sliding some, but I think I’ve got it mostly under control. I’d like to try a jump where the instructor stays stable and I just try to stay in the same position and maybe even dock with him.

The third one (jump number 15), was a little different. This time I was supposed to flip in between my turns. I did a left turn, then went back, then a right turn, then back, then a flip. Only I was a little gun shy from doing multiple flips in a row, so I broke out of my flip early and ended up on my back. No big deal, I just finished the flip, but still.

The final one of the day I didn’t do any flips. I was in a lot more control as I did my turns. Still not perfect, but I’m getting there, and fine tuning now.

Most of my jumps were stand up landings, and I had no problems finding a spot on the field. On one of the earlier ones I wasn’t watching everyone else as much as I should have and was oblivious to a close call, but he told me and I’m now watching everywhere as I get closer to landing.

I’m also learning to pack. It’s a little frustrating because I’ve been watching them pack all along but as soon as I get the chute in my hands I forget what needs to be done, and I have a long way to go with getting the techniques down so that it’s not so tiring. I did pack my parachute and jump with it and it opened just fine, but I’m definitely glad I have the instructors watching me the whole way.

I’m really sore now, though. I have a couple bruises, and my ears haven’t finished popping, and on one of the jumps one of the risers hit my sunburned neck, but I’ll recover quickly and be back at it again soon.

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