MUST DO! I must do it!

Text: Irina Ivanova, photographs: Sandrin


Under anesthesia

I was always afraid of heights. So much so that I was scared to approach the railing on the open balconies of tall buildings, and flying over the sea with a parachute hitched by a long cable to the boat is a feat for me. What can we say about a real parachute jump! So I included it several years ago in my wish list, which must be fulfilled, in the hope of overcoming my fears. Well, as they say, “be afraid of your desires, for they have the property of being fulfilled”! Yes, I was offered to jump with a parachute. It's good that in tandem with the instructor. And I, of course, could not refuse such a chance.

All the best happens spontaneously, so the very next morning I was in the center of Dubai Skydive. A small neat dropzone complex was hidden on its own beach strip behind the Al Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, and you won’t see it from the road right away. But the guests of the nearby coastal hotels and the still free beach of the JBR housing complex have the daily pleasure of observing the colorful dots of parachutes opening over the sea.

A clear clear sky, a light sea breeze - wonderful weather for a heavenly walk ... I am in the first group of first time jumpers. The cheerful charming instructor Kai Kai encourages me by attaching a complex structure to me. The charming blonde Sandrine, the photographer who will jump with us, asks me questions and shoots what is happening on the video, but I can hardly answer them and just smile stupidly - the fear of an approaching event seems to have flooded my mind entirely.

Behind the panoramic window you can already see how such a joyfully yellow airplane unfolds near the building, I'm getting ready to go out .... And then we are asked to wait another 20 minutes! To the plane are several solo paratroopers. What is it, why out of turn? “Sorry,” says one of the staff, “this is from our, um ... top management, we cannot delay them.” Well, at least I’ll look at the landing of professionals - the windows look directly at the drop zone platform, planted with grass, with a special path for accuracy. The colorful planning of the paratroopers, the ease with which they landed, and the happy smiles on their faces add confidence to me. Stop! It seems that I already saw this face somewhere .... On the "billboards" along the central highway! It seems like I missed my turn because of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Muhammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, under whose patronage this company works. Now it became somehow awkward to worry about the safety of jumps. I wanted to be proud that the Crown Prince of Dubai inspires his exploits by his personal example!

Well, enough about the lyrics, it's time to go. Beginners with their instructors were placed on a narrow bench by the windows. About 15 minutes we could admire the beauties of coastal Dubai from an airplane. Having made a small circle over Palm Jumeirah Island, the plane slowed down and the door was opened in the cabin. A stream of bursting air together with the returning fear pressed me into the instructor Kai Kai. "Do not be afraid, I myself am afraid," he laughed, and fastened me to himself. “Remember to spread your arms apart when I pat you on the shoulder and keep your legs behind me like a scorpion’s tail,” he repeated his instructions. “God, why did I sign up for this, and what am I doing here,” flashed through my head as I tried to grab onto the rescue bench, staring with horror into the void overboard.

What a beautiful decisive leap! I am ashamed to admit, but Kai Kai just crossed me, numb, overboard like a sack. The sensations are akin to mild anesthesia - you faintly think what is happening around and, it seems, does not hurt.

Air jacuzzi

The first seconds of free fall. Take your legs back? With such a wind, all the instructions flew out of my head, and I “run” them in the air, as if trying to climb back into the plane. It’s good when there is someone who knows for you what to do! Kai Kai “tumbled” us in the right direction, pulled the ring, the slings pulled up sharply, rushed upward with a gust of air and ... time slowed down. Phew! Now you can relax. Sandrin from a nearby parachute waves my hand so I can pose - it turns out she has been filming for a long time, and I need to spread my arms out to the sides to complete the picture. Kai Kai claps on the shoulder once, then more and more, but I frantically grabbed onto the seat belts and, for some reason, am afraid to let them go. However, I can already smile. He pinches his cheeks with his wind to his eyes, puffs his nostrils ... I vividly imagine this picture from the side, and I have fun. Kai Kai wonders if I can see my house from here, but I’m not even trying to see it, and I don’t admire these amazing views of the “Palms” from above.

I enjoy how the air massages all parts of the body, and I'm just so good that I want to sing, and it seems that I love everyone, well, absolutely everyone in this world! What I inform my instructor about, and he tries to laugh out loud, shaking our parachute. I immediately get scared and ask him to let me enjoy the silence and go down as carefully as possible. We plan over the sea, turn around to the shore, beautifully and smoothly descend to the ground. ... I begin to regret that everything is already over when I just stopped being afraid.

Release the energy of desire

As soon as my feet touched the ground, and Sandrine is already here, as here - asks if I want to repeat. Emotions overwhelm me, I am extremely pleased with myself and everything around, but probably not. I still did not understand whether my fear of heights had passed, and whether I would decide again on such an experiment. But, anyway, it's so cool that I did it - I realized one of the desires from my list, freeing up space for a new one. Indeed, in life there is still so much all that is interesting, something such that at least once, but it is definitely worth a try ...