So two years ago, for Christmas, I bought her a gift card to iFly. It's one of those indoor skydiving places, where you're basically just hanging out in a giant wind tunnel, floating over a huge fan. We had driven past the place several times over the years, and she always mentioned that it sounded like so much fun (and to be honest, it's the closest thing to real skydiving that either of us would ever do), but I knew that she wouldn't go out of her way to do it on her own.
Well, a whole year passed, another Christmas come and gone, and we still hadn't put that gift card to use, so we figured we had to make a plan or it wouldn't happen. Matt and I were in Texas over Memorial Day weekend, and mom and I booked a session to go iFlying in advance, so we'd finally get her that adventure!
So that Monday, the two of us (plus Matt and my dad for support) drove out to Plano, signed our lives away and got scheduled for a class! There's a 10 minute or so training class you do before they suit you up and get you into the tunnel, since it's super loud in there and they have to make sure you understand the four hand signals that they will use to give you directions. (The signals are: bend your legs, straighten your legs, chin up, and relax. Spoiler alert: Mom and I are bad at relaxing.)
We got our gear (suits, earplugs and helmets), and filed into the tunnel. There was a booth where someone was controlling the tunnel, filming the sessions and controlling the clock so the instructor would know when it was time to switch us out, and a narrow seating area where all us flyers sat waiting for our turn. We each got two flights, one to get our bearings and figure out how our bodies should be held, and then another where we got to try cool moves, like floating way up high in the tunnel!
Mom in flight!
It was kind of nerve-wracking at first! When you get into the tunnel, you're hit with this massive wall of air coming up from below, and the instructor is telling you to keep your chin up, and I'm like, "but I can't breathe with all this air rushing up my nose!" There was a moment of panic when I was like, crap I've gotta figure out how to not die while I'm in here! But thankfully that passed within a few seconds, breathing was totally possible, but Mom later told me that I looked super freaked out for the first little bit!
After we'd all gotten our turns, the instructor got to show off some moves also, like shooting up high really fast, doing loops around the tunnel and flipping around!
Our instructor, Dominic, was really awesome, and very helpful. We got certificates at the end where they noted all the moves we accomplished (things like "flew in a stable body position," "turned 360 degrees left and right," and "flew in the tunnel with minimal assistance"), so that's pretty cool. :) He also told us that we were the stiffest people he'd ever worked with, so ...
It was an awesome experience, and Mom said she had so much fun, and I'm so glad we got to do it together!