Flapping Cheeks

Sky diving indoors?

I did fly, but my cheeks flapped.  No, not those!  I mean on my face.

This bucket-list item goes in the “What will they think of next?” bin.

I have no desire to jump out of an airplane.  Not going to bungee jump and wet my pants.  Won’t dive into the sea off those high cliffs in Acapulco.  Heights don’t bother me per se; I do mind falling off of them, though.

But I did skydive indoors.

My son and daughter-in-law gave their respective dads this opportunity as a Father’s Day gift.  We finally made it to the big indoor sky on Thanksgiving weekend.   If you have any farm roots, this facility resembles a corn silo with an enormous fan at the base–a vertical wind tunnel.  On about the third floor of the silo, there’s a steel platform with holes in it that the air rushes through at 120 miles an hour.  With an instructor holding on, the sky diver leans out over the blasting wind, assumes the proper prone body position, and attempts to float on air.  If you do it right and someone uses the right camera angle, the photo-op looks like you are sky diving—three feet above the ground!  No parachute required.

This is when the problem with flapping cheeks rears on your ugly head.  (Maybe there was some flapping on that rear, too?  I digress.)  When a 120 mph wind hits your face, anything that isn’t Botox-tight wiggles.  And if you put your hands on your cheeks, trying to stop the vibration, the adjustment of your body shape may cause you to shoot to the top of the wind tunnel—followed by a precipitous three-story drop into the arms of a terrified instructor who is yelling, “Holy c–p, look out!”  This now is real sky diving, free falling without a chute!  And, come to think of it, the owners of the big indoor sky did make us sign some waivers.

Actually, no one seems in too much danger in the silo.  And you wear a helmet, goggles, knee and elbow pads, and a cool sky diving suit that makes you look like a zany mechanic.

But if I dive again, I’m duct taping my cheeks.  All of them.

Next:  Left Over Love

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