Thursday, July 16, 2015

Learn to Fly

We spent some time recently in our home away from home. We headed down I-81 and found our way to The Smokies. This trip was different for us because each of the boys had a friend along for the fun. The friends needed to get the full Townsend and Smokies experience so we did more of the touristy thing than we usually do when it is just us and family.

One touristy highlight was a trip to the not so peaceful side of the Smokies...Pigeon Forge. Generally, we avoid PForge, as we like to call it, because it is so commercialized and every square foot is filled with all manner of tourist trap imaginable. But we had these friends with us that really needed to see it. So off to PForge it was.

First stop was indoor skydiving at Flyaway. My boys have done this a few times before and my husband and I have done it once. Let me state that I would never actually skydive as in the type where you jump from a plane. I have a healthy fear of heights and and even healthier fear of falling. So real skydiving is not an option for me. My husband has actually leapt from a plane once. He said once was enough.

The indoor variety of skydiving keeps the best parts of the real thing while removing the scary, life flashing before your eyes, I'm gonna die experience that is jumping from a plane. That is my perspective of course. Adrenaline junkies would disagree. Indoor skydiving gives the weenies like me the chance to experience the best parts: flying in the air, maneuvering in space and wearing a squirrel suit, all done in the safety of a giant padded wind tunnel.

Everyone was game so we signed the waivers. There was some mention of risk of injury and death but I suspect that would only happen in the event of an unexpected fan malfunction which might unfortunately coincide with a breach in the net floor. Those two events couldn't possibly happen at the same time, right?

So we got the kids suited up with ear plugs, goggles, helmet, closed toed shoes, gloves and squirrel suit. Thumbs up and ready to fly. All suited up, they sort of look like a band of ragtag Power Ranger knockoffs. Or Teletubbie prototypes that didn't quite make the cut.

Once in the wind tunnel, they became fearless and airborne. The instructors are twenty-somethings who probably jump out of real planes and they start off your session with a few tricks. It takes time and practice to be able to control your body they way they do. They make it look so effortless.

I can't really describe the experience with words so I'll just share this video. It's the best way to learn to fly.