Before kids, three of us decided to go skydiving. Tandem jump strapped to an instructor, just go, get kitted up, jump out of a plane.

Our wives got wind of the plan. We probably should have just told them that we were going fishing or something. They conspired, and the pitch to me was that it was OK if I went jumping, but what about Bob, he was only doing it because I was egging him on – he had a kid at home to worry about. Besides, he was just being macho, his wife remembered how he would stay up all night worrying when he used to jump in the Marines.

25 years later, I ask my now ex if I can borrow her car to go skydiving in New Jersey. Sure, the registration is on the counter.

Wake up bright and early, head out to Skydive Jersey, tooling down the interstate listening to tunes. My son turned down the opportunity to come and watch, so I was by myself.

Everyone is very nice when I get there, and I hang out while waiting for my jump. It kind of takes an extrovert to do something like jump out of a perfectly good plane, and pay for the privilege. I sit for the mandatory video, only to find that it is not a training video, it is the legal waiver. And instead of clipboards with forms to sign, iPads.

The actual training takes about 30 seconds. Put your feet on the step, the instructor will push you when it’s time.

36 seconds of glory!

We wound up off course, and instead of a picture perfect landing back at the hangar like everyone else, we wound up in a field next to a swamp. Bit of a hike to get to a road, and some friendly people gave us a beer and let us use their phone to call for pick up.

Drain the Swamp!

I’m going back for my birthday next year!


Network engineer by day, activist by night, and I try my best to have some fun along the way.

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