It’s hard to simulate some extreme sports but there is one that does it very well. Indoor Skydiving. I was very lucky to be invited by the BBC’s The One Show to Milton Keynes and the Airkix Indoor Skydive Centre. Basically it’s a tunnel of air that travels upward at 110 mph, terminal velocity. The fastest one can fall to the ground prior to opening a chute. I was introduced to the instructor, Chris, who made everything very clear, what his hand signals meant, where I should place my arms and legs once I’m in the airflow and how to wear the protective clothing. Once I was in the tunnel all that information that had been given to me moments earlier was gone and all I could think about was ‘Let’s get on with it!’.
I got out of my wheelchair and clambered onto the floor in a undignified manor as the suit I was wearing was very baggy and clumsy. Once in the tunnel I laid down on my front. This is the only way that I could get into position as most people would normally walk up to the door and then lean into the airflow. This wasn’t going to be possible so lying on my front seemed to be the next best thing.
The airflow started and very quickly got to a point that I could feel myself lift of the ground. Within seconds I was up and free-falling! What an amazing experience, I was out of my chair and doing something that anybody could do. Chris did warn me that he was going to take me for a ‘flight’ and he didn’t disappoint. Twice he got air-born himself and we started flying upwards, spinning around. Fantastic experience.
Thank you to BBC’s The One Show, Chris at Airkix in Milton Keynes