1. Once you’re facing the open plane door, you realise how stupid you are to think that you’re capable of exiting the plane without a far more coordinated person strapped to your back.
2. Instructors and fellow jumpers will push you out anyway and laugh as you demonstrate the completeness of your grasp on expletives, threats and other colourful phrases.
3. The graceful “belly facing down” arch you plan on making somehow turns out to be an ungainly belly up/parachute down, arms & legs flailing wildly freefall which only ends when,
4. The parachute opens from underneath your body, whips around smacking into your arm like a fourbetwo being wielded by an angry builder,
5. Before opening and pulling you instantly from a 10G freefall to a complete and sudden stop.
6. The resultant concussion combined with distraction from the pretty scenery makes you forget to look where the parachuting company guys are telling you to be,
7. Until you look down and see the barbed wire fence you’re pretty much straddling.
8. Did you know that when parachuting, like when riding a bike, what you look at is what you head towards? True fact!
9. Narrowly missing the fence, you then land in the only bit of uncleared land in the area and prepare to perform the roll which closes the parachute so it doesn’t fill with air and drag you off.
10. Unfortunately, for the chronically uncoordinated, rolling is a bit too challenging. So you just flail around a little as the parachute fills with air and drags you across the uncleared paddock.
11. As much as you’d think that logs, stumps, rocks and various shrubs would stop you. They actually don’t.
12. However, I did learn that people bounce. At least I do.
13. Fortunately, large blackberry bushes growing over the barbed wire fence on the other side of the paddock have a little more stopping power.