A while back, I did a Tandem Skydive to raise money for charity. I thought I’d write a blog to fill you in about my incredible experience… plus, if you keep reading, you’ll find the video!
I’ve always fancied doing some fundraising for a deaf charity, plus I’m a total adrenaline junkie! The opportunity came along to do a Tandem Skydive for my local Deaf Association, so I signed up before I could talk myself out of it! I’ve not been one to let my deafness stop me from achieving things in life and as the opportunity was for the Norfolk Deaf Association, I took the chance when it came!
A few questions…
Of course, I had some questions to ask the Parachuting company before I did the jump, such as could I do it without my hearing aids in? How will they communicate with me? How can I understand the safety briefing? They replied with very helpful answers and sounded like they were quite deaf-aware. They told me I could wear my hearing aids, as everyone has a hat on, but I didn’t want to risk losing my fabulous Phonak hearing aids!
The fundraising process
I set up an online fundraising page, with an initial target of £500. I’ve always wanted to give back to the deaf community and a part of me has always fancied doing a Skydive! Also, that I must be mad to jump out of a perfectly serviceable aeroplane! As days went by, I was amazed at the funds that were coming in. I was overwhelmed at everyone’s generosity.
Finally… the day came!
I woke up, greeted by dark gloomy clouds and was worried whether the jump would go ahead! I joined the group for the safety briefing with my hearing aids in and my Dad sat with me in case there was anything I was unsure of. The parachuting crew repeated the instructions a few times to make sure we understood what we had to do. They explained they would tap my arms or legs when I needed to do something, as I can’t hear their voices.
Whilst we were getting geared up with equipment, it started to rain- our worst nightmare! They told us that we’d have to wait a few hours for the skies to clear, before going up. A few hours later, they gave the all-clear! I took my hearing aids out and bid farewell to my family, as my Tandem partner led me towards the plane.
I’m surprised that I wasn’t nervous when boarding the plane and I was pretty chilled and excited about it! As we were taking off, I was thinking in my head about each step I had to do. The camera man kept asking me questions, luckily I was able to lipread him and answer back! If in doubt just smile and wave! Before I knew it, we were above the clouds and they opened the plane door.
As soon as it opened, I could see the ground and my heart did somersaults! I thought to myself, this is really it!! I saw the first Tandem fall out of the plane, knowing I was next and my nerves were all over the place! My partner pulled my head back and shuffled us to the door. It was so windy and my legs were blowing everywhere! A few seconds later we fell out of the plane and it was so scary yet exhilarating at the same time! I screamed with joy! We freefell for about 45 seconds, posing for the camera and enjoying the view. Soon after he pulled the parachute open. I didn’t even realise, even though most people feel being pulled upwards! He tapped my shoulder and pointed upwards and I breathed a sigh of relief!
The journey down on the parachute was lovely and relaxing, gliding and swooping, it felt like I was on top of the world! When we came in to land, I was disappointed it was over so quickly as I enjoyed it so much! I wanted to do it again! I thanked my Tandem partner and explained how amazing it was! I walked over to greet my beaming family who were all so proud of me!
A little note!
If you’re worried about your hearing loss affecting something like this, don’t be afraid! I didn’t wear my hearing aids, as I knew I could either lose them, or the wind noise would be too much to deal with. Always make sure you understand what you’ve got to do, and just enjoy it! Don’t let your deafness stop you!
The big reveal…
I’m so pleased to announce that my fundraising total is £1,150! I really hope it will benefit my local Deaf Association and I would love to do it all again!
You can watch my Skydive here!
Love E x