Last weekend, my family and I went to iFly Austin to enjoy our group Christmas present: indoor skydiving.
Our session began by watching some other people fly around the wind tunnel as we waited for our training lesson. When it was our turn, our instructor Devon took us into a classroom to give us an overview of how indoor skydiving works. He showed us the proper body position, and we each got a turn to practice in front of our ‘class’. Here’s my 10.5 year old:
We were quizzed on the two keys to indoor skydiving success (keep your chin up, and hold as still as possible– which my four-year-old nephew preferred to think of as “don’t wiggle”), then it was time to suit up. Here are my parents– my 67-year-old Dad and 66 year-old Mom. Ready for adventure!
We followed Devon into the wind tunnel waiting area. I got to go first, kicking off our 30 minutes of flight time. Each flight was 1 minute, which doesn’t sound like very long, but it’s pretty tiring.
It’s hard to explain why this is fun…but it is! The feeling of (simulated) near- weightlessness, the experience of very small body movements resulting in very large changes in flight, and just the otherworldliness of it all was really a thrill.
We were all successful, to varying degrees, thanks in no small part to the in-tunnel assistance of Devon. Even The Bear, who isn’t great at relaxing, was able to fly on his own and gained confidence in each of his turns in the tunnel.
Above, that’s my 4-year-old nephew who needed a little more hands-on assistance for flying. That didn’t damper his enjoyment at all, exclaiming, “Aunt Karen, that was SO AWESOME!” when he emerged, drool-faced, from the tunnel.
When The Bear (age 7.5) came out after his first flight, he proclaimed: “That was the most awesome thing EVER!” And while not particularly elegantly articulate, I could totally relate to his excitement.
My parents thought the whole experience was a blast. And aren’t I lucky to have parents who want to go on the crazy adventures I give them as a gift?! Here are my Flying Mom and Flying Dad:
(Not pictured but also part of the gang were my brother, sister-in-law, and husband. You’re going to have to trust me that they loved it, too.)
Every year, my husband and I try to think of a gift that will allow us to spend time with our family doing something we wouldn’t do otherwise. Indoor skydiving certainly fit that bill. It’s not cheap, but it was a wonderfully fun way to spend an evening together. You’ll laugh, you’ll smile til your face hurts, and you’ll be so glad you did this rather than give everyone another shirt.
I received no compensation for this blog post. All opinions are mine. I receive nothing if you, too, take your family indoor skydiving– and you should– because it looks like so much fun.