I Am In Pain.

Before yesterday, I was in pain. Pain, because the weather had prevented me from jumping for the last month. It's been rainy and cloudy for weeks and hanging out at the drop zone all day, watching the drizzle and listening to the pilots talk shit about their aviation exploits as we waited for a half hour break in the clouds didn't appeal to me. Thus I've been grounded for a while.

Today I'm in pain because on my second jump my canopy took mere two-hundred feet to deploy rather than it's usual eight-hundred.

A lot of things can affect how a parachute opens: canopy design, packing method, body position, relative wind and dumb luck being foremost among them. Maybe the slider wasn't quartered properly. Perhaps I wasn't fully out of the track position when I pitched. It's possible I hit a thermal as the bag came out of the container and the relative wind was much faster than I realized.
Point is, going from one-hundred and twenty miles per hour to fourteen in under a second feels a touch like getting hit by a car. Not a big car mind you, but perhaps a Geo, or a 323. You also end up carrying most of that force through the leg straps. I'm now actively wondering if I'll ever father children.

So, how was your day?

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Anonymous said...


Ricardo said...

Good lord Thomas!!! That does sound painful. I hope you're doing better. Hey, better it deploy than not right?

peony said...

Yes, Ricardo, better it deploy is my feeling, too. But that hit to eventual grandchildren isn't good news either! Are you sure you wouldn't prefer alligator wrestling, Tom? Still sounds safer to me.