Jump Number Two Hundred Ninety Nine

I’ll tell you something… to be perfectly honest, there is nothing I needed more right now than to sit and talk about skydiving. I’m glad you stopped by to listen for a while.

Let me tell you about jump number 299. If anything, this highlights something I think I’ve always done wrong with the story’s I tell about skydiving. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you may remember this post about jump my 300th jump. I just went and re-read it myself. I told the story of jump 298 (which was a ton of fun, once I figured out Jon and Franz were just fucking with me!) and then I said “Next was my 300th!”. As if 299 just didn’t happen or somehow, wasn’t worth writing about.

The problem you see, is I didn’t seem to think 299 was quite as important at the time, as 298; a simple (and one of my favorites) RW skills training dive. Nor did I seem to think it was as important as 300; a celebration (which, I did wrong… another post to be revisited later) of a double-zero accomplishment of mine. However, in hindsight, only 299 made it to the end-of-year video’s that season.

And by not important, I don’t mean I didn’t enjoy or appreciate the jump that day; but for whatever reason, by the end of the weekend, I only wrote about my own jumps.

August 30, 2009 was a good day for skydiving. First, I watched Rick in a three way from a distance. Then, I tried to race Rob’s wing suit in my track, while he had Jon riding on his back. And next, were the cat-flyarounds. After that jump, I started asking who might come with me on my 300th. It was going to be a hula-hoop dive. I had asked Evan if he would join me on my jump and he said he would. Then he invited me on his next jump too; jump 299, my pre-300, didn’t seem to matter much to me, so I kindly obliged.

However, even though my video didn’t seem to take on that jump, I can remember it clearly when I close my eyes. Me and Chris K were in the door as a two-way base, Evan diving with a hand on both of our chest straps. Behind him was Jon and I think Franz was already outside – as we know, only the special jumps get double outside video. Yet to me at the time, being a belly kind of guy, this hybrid was just something to take up a number; truly, I was just waiting for my next jump.

The exit went well and me and Chris held up a strong base with grips up high. As soon we settled, Evan dropped down to stand on his feet below us and Jon and Franz circled around us, looking for the best shot. The video I do remember seeing was Evan’s with a good shot of my ugly mug smiling back at him with my tongue out in the wind.

Thank You Evan, for inviting me on that jump. I should have said so then and I hope I did; and if I did, twice still won’t hurt. We all already know how well I did on my next jump. On my next double-zero occasion, I think I might follow your example. Rather than organizing a herd of cats through a hula-hoop and proving myself the biggest baboon in the sky (I mean really, who tries to go through a hula hoop backwards? other than me..) – maybe I’ll pick a simple jump that I know how to fly.

Perhaps I’m still wrong, and only he would know for sure, but when I think of his jump now.. it seems he did his best to drag two good friends into what he considered, a normal freefall speed. And I hope I haven’t lost your attention, as I see it took me almost three years and eight paragraphs, to write one simple line:

Congratulations Evan on your 500th jump!

[edit, a few hours later with Evan’s contributions]

Tongue in wind:

What not to do on a hula hoop dive?  Don’t fly backwards..

What else not to do on a hula hoop dive?  Don’t take out out a hoop holders..

Thank You Evan!  A picture truly is worth a thousand words!