Paragliding Police

A number of years ago a friend of mine, Anna, convinced me that it would be a great idea to try paragliding. 

Anna is a nurse and is a bit of an adrenaline junkie.  I’ve always thought she would make a fantastic police officer, but she has dedicated herself to the medical aid of others, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for her and her chosen career path. 

I like Anna.  I really do.  Except for the moments leading up to me jumping off a mountain with only a parachute between me and certain death, I love Anna like a sister. But standing up on that mountain ready for my first tandem jump, I was not liking her all that much. 

“How the hell did she talk me into this?”

With my knees literally knocking together and my breath coming in raspy little gasps, I told the jump instructor I was good to go.  By the look on my face in the photo below, and the fact the instructor is trying to be reassuring, you can most definitely see I am not liking my decision.  But a ‘no refund’ policy combined with my frugal financial sense confirmed I was not backing out.

 

I gave the jump instructor the thumbs up a few minutes later after coming to grips with my insane choice . 

A few minutes after that I was strapped to the guys chest.  All he could see was the back of my shwanky helmet (a bike helmet – like THAT was going to make a difference if the parachute failed).  And when he shouted ‘Go!’ we sprinted down the slope and leapt off the cliff.

My heart nearly stopped.

They say your other senses are heightened when you lose the use of another one, and I can say ‘they’ are right – the wind was very loud, more so because my eyes were screwed shut, and the jump instructor was bellowing in my ear for me to adjust my seat.  Apparently, the 6″x12″ piece of wood digging into the small of my back was considered a seat.  He wanted me to remove my white knuckled fingers from the parachute straps to grab the seat and ‘hop’ onto it.  Ha!  I did what he said, but I’m sure he didn’t even notice – I was like greased lightening. 

Fast.  Peel fingers from parachute straps.  Hands on seat.  Shove seat under butt.  Wrap fingers back around the straps.  Done.  I think I set a record.

We floated around up there for about twenty minutes. A few minutes into it I opened my eyes and looked around.  What a sight.  The Fraser Valley is breathtakingly beautiful from 3200 feet.  Here we are:

 

Now the reason I bring up this moment of insanity is so I can mention another blogger’s post.  ‘Slamdunk’ wrote about the Palm Bay Police Department in Florida and their initiative with using a team of paragliding police officers for special operations.  I kid you not.  Take a look at his post.

As for me?  Yes, I ended up loving paragliding, but once was enough.  I’ll be staying here on the ground, with my feet planted on terra firma.

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4 Responses to "Paragliding Police"

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