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Flying as Free as a Bird

Flying as Free as a Bird

I had wanted to challenge myself for The Molly Watt Trust for some time.

For the 4 years since setting up I have kept busy with Keynote Presentations for the Charity raising awareness of my challenges and those of so many others deal with on a daily basis.

I tackle issues like communication, isolation, inclusion, bullying, accessibility, mobility, depression, anxiety and most importantly coping strategies.

I am not an expert but I live with and have experienced each of the above and I know awareness of need is key.

I wasn't even aware what a Skydive was until it was suggested to me and I researched it and then I was definitely up for it.

I was happy Claire wanted to do it with me. 

Claire had already challenged herself for our charity doing Tough Mudder last year so my turn with the expert.

The day arrived and I was not nervous at all, just excited.  It was a beautiful day with the slight risk of rain so fingers were crossed.

I was so relaxed we stopped for a bite to eat on the way to the surprise of my parents

On arriving at the airfield we were met by Claire and her family and Tina a friend I knew through Facebook came along to support us which was great.

After a short but thorough briefing we got ourselves into our suits, Claire was nervous!

I felt adrenalised and couldn't wait, I surprised myself but thought I'd be nervous once on the small aeroplane.

During the briefing we mentioned Usher Syndrome and that Claire and I would not be wearing our hearing aids, my doctor had recommended no hearing aids for the jump, so we would need an alternate way of communicating.

This was not a problem at all and a simple tapping system was suggested and what was really good was that the two guys Claire and I would jump with were really patient and keen to make sure we felt comfortable with being touched.

Just simple taps on the arms or sides and for me I was happy to have my head moved gently so I could at least try to see in the air - I would fully recommend the team at Sibson Airfield in Peterborough. 

The small plane was quite noisy, Claire and I struggled to communicate with each other without our hearing aids, we made do with a little lipreading and the odd tap here and there, Claire was nervous, I had thought I'd be nervous once up in the air but I wasn't!

Even as Ralph and I wriggled on our bottoms to the opening in the plane, the door opened and I sat on the edge waiting to go, I was in awe of the sight - yes I'm blind but I could see blue, lots of blue and floaty white clouds as I scanned all around me and then I was out, WOW, I felt exhilarated and free, I knew there was a skydiver close taking pictures but as much as I scanned I couldn't see him and although I knew Claire was now behind me somewhere I couldn't see her either even though Ralph tried to point her out.

I felt free as a bird, I was 13,000 feet up and completely weightless. My daily challenges a million miles away.  I wasn't going to fall over, walk into anybody, I didn't have to concentrate on listening for 7/8 minutes I didn't have a worry in the world it was just the most amazing experience.

 made it fun, we flipped and somersaulted around, I loved every moment, even our landing which for me was on my bottom on top of Ralph!

Once I'd landed I looked for Claire, Ralph pointed her out and I was so happy that I got to see her perfect landing on her feet.

It was actually quite an emotional end as Claire had been so nervous but she had done it and loved it too.

Claire and I met through Usher Syndrome and though we live far apart thanks to setting up The Molly Watt Trust and social media we are friends who understand each other and it was fantastic to share this challenge with her.

I will never forget this challenge it was a truly memorable event Friday 26 June 2015   - thank you to all who supported us.

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