Friday, 26 August 2016

One of the best experience of my life

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته and good day!

This actually happened quite a while back. I came across an ad from the Muslim hands that popped up on my facebook newsfeed for a tandem skydiving experience. As my dad did a bungee jump when he was in his late 30's in New Zealand, I have to top that up a notch and do a bolder move, which is skydiving.

I found out about the event from Muslim Hands, a charity that I have been involved with since I came here. They held a lot of interesting events, some that I've been to include Winter Walk for Gaza in 2014and All Girls Paintball in 2015. They have many more events that I couldn't join. I only managed to be involved personally once a year.

This is another poster for a different date. Couldn't find the date we went to.

Without any hesitation, I immediately signed up. I only needed to pay £50 for registration. The term is that you need to raise a sum of money, but they're not too strict about this. Even if you can't raise the whole amount by the time of the event, you can still raise them afterwards. It's all about 'amanah'. 

My bestie is actually afraid of heights. She gets vertigo and doesn't like any of extreme activities. We went on a mild ride at a funfair before, and she blacked out when we were on it. I hadn't even noticed until she told me later on. LOL. But I still signed her up and told her a few weeks after. hahaha..It's once in a lifetime opportunity can you pass on it. Even if you could do it later, it'll surely be more expensive than this!

We went to the airfield by a provided transport by the organiser, where we departed from London at 3AM!!!! It was around Spring, so it was still quite cold, especially in a British weather. It was clear the whole day, which was lucky for us because the previous group had to cancel due to a heavy rain. So we ended up being the first group to do the jump. Woha!

As we arrive at the airfield (it actually didn't look anything like an airfield from the outside, you'll only see the take-off path when you enter further), there were already a few groups that had arrived earlier. We registered our names, some even signed up for a video/photos while jumping (which we didn't take because it was a wee bit expensive). 

We were grouped for a pre-jump briefing inside the hangar. The instructor made it looked like so easy. He was super young too. 

All these are lined-up after safety checks and ready to be used. 

The best thing about doing this with Muslim Hands is that they have made sure that only female instructors allowed for the female participants. Beccles Airfield is the only place in the UK with female instructors, there's only two of them when we were there. Amazing!

The plane was small, so there are only three tandem skydivers allowed at one time, the rest are these solo jumpers. They are both amateur and professional divers. 

The first person to successfully made the jump. Woohooo!! That is not what a tandem skydive is. Tandem skydive is where you are strapped in front of you instructor, and they'll do the parachuting and landing for you. For this type of skydive, you'll land on your bottom, and not your feet, so it's safer for first timers. 

See the guy laying down, he's training for his jump later on. That's me at the back, pounding my hearts off my chest. hahaha...

My instructor is called Zeus, like the greek god, just because she is awesome in skydiving. She has done more than a 100 skydives, and has been doing it for 15 years!!! She just drops from the plane, land, ran back to the hangar to get another schute, and off for the next one. No wonder they call her Zeus. This is me waiting for Zeus. Thankfully, I wasn't the last to board the plane, because the last person will be the first to jump!! Climbing on the plane, as you feel the wind blowing from the plane's fans very strongly, you'll feel your blood just drained from your body and your chest felt tighter and difficult to breathe. 

Inside the plane, the instructor will brief you again while strapping his/herself on to you, making sure it's nice and tight and asked you to practice what they had briefed earlier. Just writing this down makes my fingers cold as I'm reliving the feeling. hahaha.... =P

As the plane took off, I didn't feel anything, literally nothing at all. No emotions. Not nervous, scared, anxiety, none whatsoever. As the plane reached 13,000 feet, the siren starts sounding (like the emergency siren). The first to jump are the solos. They jumped like it was their day job (which is true for some of them). It goes so fast...then the person in front of me.'s the big moment...MY TURN!

My instructor scooches over to the edge, hence pushing me along, so you don't really have a choice in the matter. No second thoughts. Then she let me dangle as she sat by the edge of the plane as shown in the picture for a brief second and off we goooooo....

As we freefalling, it felt very difficult to breathe. The velocity of the wind towards your face is like when you put your face outside your car window as it goes 100km/hour, or maybe faster, like you put a leafblower directly in front of your face. Plus, the temperature up there is close to -10 degrees bruh!

It wasn't really long (but it felt like a lifetime) before she pulled and open the parachute. As it opens, you'll feel as if you were yanked from above...a bit painful in certain places, if you can imagine.

These were the solo skydivers. Their helmets and goggles were much cooler than ours. The one we used, the goggles felt like being pulled off my face when we were freefalling. Flappy darn things.

It was such a phenomenal experience. Taking in the gorgeous view of the seaside, the much more. The landing part is as much thrilling as the jump because you can see clearly you are descending and felt it right in your guts as you go down, fast! Just as you almost touch the ground, the instructor yanked the ropes to make it slow down a bit and badabump...safely landed...

I went before my bestie, that's why we managed to take a video of each other landing. Lucky!!

Can you see her nervous face? hahahaha...poor girl.

She had to wait her turn quite a while, so I distracted her by taking loads of pictures.

Kept reassuring here, it'll be great!!!

Almost time...


I asked her after she jumped, how did she felt, and she said it was amazing!!! Definitely, she will not try again, but absolutely worth it!  

Here's a short version of our jump. I'm glad I got to do this and help a good cause at the same time.

Another bucket list checked. Woohoooo!!!! I'm thinking of doing it again...hmm....

Until next time...

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