This story was published on RELEVANTmagazine.com.

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My freshman year of college I decided to go skydiving with a group from my dorm. Being that I was already 18, I didn’t need parental consent, so I didn’t tell my parents until after I had done it, which allowed them to freak out but be happy for my safety. It was actually a rather safe process. We had to go through extensive training. We spent one night watching safety videos and then an entire afternoon practicing on-site before they let us anywhere near the plane.

The kind of skydiving we did was called “static line.” Basically, your ripcord is attached to the plane so that, when you’re at the end of the static line, your parachute is pulled for you. A large portion of our training involved “what to do if your static line fails to pull the ripcord.” Every jumper pack was equipped with a primary and a backup parachute, you know, just in case. Read the rest of this entry »