Ever wondered what it would be like to jump 10,000ft out of a plane? Birmingham St Mary’s very own volunteer coordinator, Maria, did just that – and she can’t wait to do it again. Here, she explains why she decided to do something amazing for hospice care and why freefalling is her favourite feeling in the world…
That moment when you’re just floating through the air – when you feel like you’re actually flying – is just incredible. It’s a sensation like no other and it’s impossible to compare it to anything else. I absolutely loved it – freefalling was the best bit of my skydive and I remember having a massive smile on my face the entire time!
Of course, a few days before the skydive, and I remember feeling very nervous. The thought of jumping out of plane was terrifying but I was determined to do it. My Mum had always wanted to do a skydive so doing it was my way of celebrating her life. She would have been so proud.
Although I was nervous at first, as soon as I arrived to do it my nerves quickly turned to excitement. Watching other people skydiving was just amazing and I couldn’t wait to get going myself. After I had received my briefing and got changed into my jumpsuit, it was time to head off. It took 15 minutes for the plane to reach 10,000ft – little did I know that it would take just minutes for me to reach the ground once again!
I think the scariest bit was sitting on the edge of the plane, waiting to jump. It’s a completely surreal feeling but it’s over so quickly. Suddenly you’re just freefalling through the air. No parachute up – just falling. It sounds scary but it’s the best feeling in the world! I wish I could bottle up that sensation as it really is like nothing else.
After freefalling for a little while, my instructor – who I was strapped to – put the parachute up. Floating down with a parachute was fantastic – it was a great way to take in the pretty countryside setting, as well as see my family cheering me on from the ground. My instructor also did some mid-air turns and twirls, which only added to the experience.
As soon as my feet touched the ground, I wanted to do it all over again. In fact, I think I would do it over and over if I could! I’ve never really been an adrenaline junkie but this was by far the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done.
I’m so grateful to everyone who supported me and my jump. Hospice care is very close to my heart – my Mum received fantastic support so I feel humbled to be able to do something and give back.
To anyone who is thinking of skydiving for Birmingham St Mary’s, my biggest advice is to just do it! You only get one life, so why not make it one to remember?
Have you been inspired by Maria’s story? Then head here to find out how you can skydive for Birmingham St Mary’s. One big jump can make an even bigger difference to local families living with terminal illness.