In this new issue of Behind Mark of Odin I’m going to talk you about parachuting, a high altitude sport that has a great influence and importance in different parts of Mark of Odin: The Awakening. Not for nothing Luis Oden, the main character of the story is an elite skydiver.
Maybe you have wondered why Luis is a skydiver and its importance in different parts of the story. Since I was child I had the dream of flying, either piloting a plane or flying myself like a super hero. To feel the wind in my face while I was moving at top speed in the air is something hard to explain.
That’s the reason that when I started with the idea to write this saga and decided that the main character had to be parachutist I had to feel the experience myself. I should be able to feel what happens when you throw yourself from a plane and freefall to the ground, to be able to express it correctly with words. So yes, I had the perfect argument to find the courage to make real one of my biggest dreams, initiate myself to the incredible world of parachuting.
I was lucky because in Seville we have a Parachuting Club (Club de Paracaidismo de Sevilla) with real cool and professional people. I was honored to start with them and earn my own parachuting license. I was able to proof that I was brave enough to jump alone from a plane at more than one thousand meters high and find out what you feel there.
I must tell you that skydiving, despite what you could think, it’s a “simple” sport. You only have to follow four basic rules that you have to master before you can jump. Obviously, jumping from a plane requires some bravery and sincere will to enjoy that experience but, first of all, be able to react against any unexpected stuff. Don’t get me wrong, if you commit a fatal mistake in the air, is more dangerous than if you are riding a bike.
In fact, one of the toughest moments when you start doing skydiving is the take off with the plane until you reach the jump high. You are in a closed and crowded room with your partners and, suddenly, the door opens and the wind salutes you at 250 km/hour with a hit. It’s something that can scare. But if we keep our willpower you will reach to the most difficult part, to get closer to the door. If we manage to arrive then we have the key moment. When we have to be ready to jump, while we see the world below us, so far away, so small, so insignificant, but at the same time so wonderful. The first reaction that I had was “You are crazy! What the hell are you going to do!” But then you realize that there’s no turning back, take impulse and jump…
I think that I’ll never forget my first jump. I felt fear, I can’t deny it, but at the end I told to myself that if I reached that point, there was no going back. So I jumped and I felt an adrenaline explosion. The first seconds you feel like if was a black well, your mind is unable to process that extreme change, but when the parachute opens (Take into account that your first jumps are using automated aperture always), you look above and see the plane moving away a new world starts for you. You check that the parachute is correctly opened and that the cords are fine too. Once all is ok you take the controls and then it’s time to have fun…
And how fun is dear readers, imagine the feeling of being floating while you see the beauty of the landscape. In my case was the Natural park of Doñana, the city of Seville, even the city of Huelva if you force your sight! That was my first view, something marvelous. The truth is that over there, after the adrenaline charge, I felt an immense feeling of peace and tranquility. It was like I was alone with the world far away looking at me. But when you want to descend then things change depending of your will to play. You can accelerate, break, and make looping to one side or another. Everything without losing the view of your landing zone. Because if you do so and land far away then you will have a long, long walk back to the aerodrome.
Before that, when you are less than three hundred meters you have to start the final maneuvers for landing. You have to take into account the wind direction always. If you have it in front of you it will slow you so the landing will be peaceful. On the other hand, if the wind pushes you from your back you will go faster and maybe you have to round when you touch land. If you do it correctly it will be really soft, nothing to be feared. In my jumps I had a little bit of everything. From soft landings to aggressive ones. One day I even landed in a sunflowers land! But no worries, the teaching is good and the rules are so basic, so even in the worst situation if you follow them you have nothing to worry about.
That’s all for now, in a future issue maybe I go deeper with this sport, his influence in Luis character and what are the HALO jumps.
Meanwhile if you ever want to initiate to parachutism in Seville please check Club de Paracaidismo de Sevilla website and their Facebook Page. With they you will be able to o the theory exam and the practices (3 automatic aperture jumps), or well do a tandem jump as a tease of this great adventure. Do you dare to try?