April 2nd, the day I decided that I wanted to reach new heights with my fundraising challenges. I've bared all for a charity calendar for cancer research, I've shaved my head for the down syndrome association, I've given up drink for three months among other things, so this time it was time to do something totally different.
I'm terrified of heights and get dizzy spells climbing to the top of a helter skelter, which I found out recently whilst visiting the Victorian Fair at the Black Country Living Museum with my family.
I've always wanted to complete a Tandem Skydive and never had the courage to sign up and go for it until now. I had hovered over the idea for several days, checking various websites to compare and bizarrely watching videos of people's jumps. Then suddenly out of nowhere I find myself clicking the ' confirm booking' button and that's it done, no turning back.
To choose just one charity wouldn't have been fair when I have two so close to my heart. The first charity 'Up and Downs' is a support group for families with children with Down Syndrome which my youngest daughter Lauren attends and 'Barchester Charitable Foundation's which I'm a trustee for that gives back to older adults in the community living with a physical or mental decline.
The day of my jump arrived and there's no going back, the sponsorship is flooding in and the journey to the centre has begun. We arrive at the site at 13:45 but the morning fog has delayed earlier jumps from taking place. The delay seems to be playing havoc with the nerves and as the hours tick by and with the words of my daughter constantly being shouted around the spectator area ' daddy is scaredy cat') there seems to be settling them.
My name is called over the Tannoy system at 19:30 hours for my 25 minute boarding call, I walk to the changing area and get kitted up for my dive, with the briefing done it's time to face my challenge.
This is it, I board the plane with my instructor and four other professionals, I'm strapped to my instructor and the door of the plane closes, it seems like I have left my nerves on the ground as all I seem to feel now is excitement.
The camera continues to roll, professionals remind of what I had learnt in the briefing, the plane continues to reach altitude and then the door of the plane opens and I can't wait to get out there.
Sitting on the side of the plane, strapped to a complete stranger with my entire body hanging 11,000 feet above the ground overlooking the most fantastic sunset and views I hear the words "head back, hips forward, let's go"
There is.no other feeling most exhilarating than falling through the sky, two people falling through the sky, taking in the most fantastic scenery around us, the orange glow as the sun sets, the white fluffy clouds around you taking a moment to think about what has brought you here.
My fundraising has reached nearly £1300 so far and both charities will receive an equal share. Out of all my fundraising challenges, this has to be the best by far.
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