Monday, 19 September 2016

Nine lives

I'm currently reading Classical Studies with the Open University and have been learning a lot about the Greek and Roman gods. One of the things they seemed to like to do, especially Zeus and his wife, Hera, was to turn humans into animals. Well I'm beginning to wonder if I'm an animal that's been turned into a human. I think that I'm really a cat. Why? Well, cats are reputed to have nine lives and I feel like I might also have nine lives. Let me explain.

My guardian angel
This year I've been celebrating a significant birthday and have been enjoying participating in a number of 'experiences' which I received as birthday gifts. The latest one was an indoor sky diving experience. I was really excited about doing this one. I really wanted to do the real thing and jump out of a plane, but my hubby wasn't too keen on the idea, so this was the compromise. But even that proved to be a bit too dangerous for me. On the morning of the flight day, I was checking Facebook and this picture popped up in my memories. A first sign of what was to come, but at the time I just found it amusing.

We set off in good time and arrived early at the Airkix centre in Milton Keynes. As we made our way into the building I spotted this ambulance drop off point on one of the doors, so I asked my hubby to take a picture of me pointing at it, just for a laugh. Sign two. Undeterred, I made my way to the reception desk and checked in. As we were a bit early we went off to get something to eat. But I was too nervous and ended up wrapping my piece of coffee cake in a napkin and placing it in my bag for later.

Finally it was time to report for duty. After watching a short video, it was time to get kitted out. I'd spotted a Batman flying suit in a glass display case and asked if I could have one of those, but I think they only had them in children's sizes, so I just had to make do with a normal one. Fully kitted out with flying suit, goggles, helmet and ear plugs, I made my way up the stairs, accompanied by the other crew of flight 17.

When we arrived in the tunnel room, we caught the end of the
previous fliers. It looked amazing. Then as we waited for them to leave, a guy on crutches with his foot in one of those rigid boot things, came hobbling out of the room next door. I wondered if he'd sustained the injury in the tunnel, but convinced myself that he was probably just there to watch someone else fly. The third sign.

Then we were off. I was to be the fourth person to go in. The first three fliers seemed to be all over the place and keeping the instructor busy, but they were smiling and enjoying themselves. Then it was my turn. I leaned forward into the tunnel. I adopted the position we'd been told to take and I was off. I couldn't believe the force of the wind on my face as I swooped this way and that, occasionally having to push myself away from the wall or lift my chin to make me go higher if I touched the floor. Usually you're only in the tunnel for a minute at a time, but because we'd paid for extra time, I was to be in it for two minutes. But sometime into the second minute, my back started to hurt and I started to panic. I put my thumbs down to signal that I wanted to exit. What happened next came as a bit of a shock.

All I could think about was getting out of the tunnel. When I reached the doorway I launched myself through. What I should have done was grab hold of the door frame and wait for the instructor to place my feet on the ground. Instead I fell flat on the ground, hitting my chin as I landed. There was blood all over the floor in front of me. As I exited the other fliers had started to clap, but stopped very quickly when they realised what had happened. I lay there for a few minutes too winded to move, then I was helped up and into a room next door. The others started clapping again. Apparently my flying technique had been very impressive.

To begin with, my hubby didn't realise what had happened and kept on filming, even as I lay on the ground. But eventually it clicked that all was not right and he appeared in time to help me up. The first aider arrived and helped cleaned me up. I'd cut my chin and she recommended that I get it checked out at A&E. Then the guy on the crutches appeared. It appeared that he was one of the instructors. By this time the others had finished flying and as they passed me they expressed their concern and once again commented on how well I'd been doing up to that point, even the instructor said how impressed he'd been. I joked that I told him that he should've let me have the Batman flying suit.

The doctor at A&E couldn't help smiling when I told him what I'd done. It just needed a bit of glue and a few steri strips put in place to hold it together while it heals. The instructor on crutches told them to give me a voucher to go back at a later date. At this point I'm not sure if I will. I don't think my hubby or my Guardian angel would be too happy if I did. But I did enjoy the experience and have a great video record of it, including the fall.

After my previous incident when I was bitten by a cat, Story of my cat bite. you can see why I'm feeling like I must have nine lives. I have one more experience present left, but it's for a spa day. That should be safe enough, shouldn't it?

Photos and videos my own, apart from sleeping angel.

My video

Isabel Johnstone 2016 ©

No comments :

Post a Comment