The inaugural Bombshells known as the Alpha Squadron. Jumping for a cause.
My instructor and tandem BFF Ashley.
Ashley explaining to me how I will board the plane.
The first 4 Bombshells ready for their jump. Amy, me, Mary P. and Mary E.
Ready to lock and load. I felt like I was in a Mission Impossible movie at this point.
Ryan “Birdman” Parrott getting ready to jump. He jumps by himself. Show off!
Going over final prep and safety check with Ashley. Jump at 14,000 feet, check altitude at 7,000 feet, pull ripcord at 6,000 feet.
Toes over the edge. Otherwise known as my “Oh Sh&%” moment. There is no turning back at this point.
This is the moment when I thought I would die. Dear Lord help me Rhonda.
Arms out and chin up. Just following instructions during the free fall. And praying. A lot!
Our photographer captured the entire jump. He jumped out right before us and had a camera on his helmet.
Still free falling (for what seems like an eternity). Ashley has me check altitude. We are at 6,500 feet.
The best feeling ever. The parachute deploys and its so serine. Peaceful.
Legs up for the landing. Ashley guided us to a perfect landing at Skydive Spaceland Dallas.
I did it! And I’ve never been happier to be back on earth! I think Amy felt the same way.
Mary Meier-Evans, Ryan “Birdman” Parrott and me. The best reason to jump out of a plane – for a cause!
I jumped out of a plane and lived to tell about it. Seriously, I thought I was going to die. This is not for the faint of heart. But since I was jumping for a cause, it was all worth it. I survived being an inaugural member of the Bombshells raising over $100,000 for the Birds Eye View Project benefitting veterans and first responders.
Would I do it again? Well, lets review. The Bombshell team members boarded the bus provided by Wynne Transportation on Tuesday morning at 8:00 AM. Our mission: head to Skydive Spaceland for our inaugural tandem jump. I’m proud that I got to stand side by side with Louise Griffeth, Mary Parker, Amy Turner, Jenna Jackson, Mary Meier-Evans, Lynn McBee, Lisa Shirley and Mary Martha Pickens. We are forever bonded through this amazing experience.
Once there, we went through professional training and watched a video that basically says “this is dangerous and you could die”. We signed our life away on paperwork that was longer than your kids first day of school packet and went off to meet our tandem partner. My partner was Ashley and she has done over 3,000 jumps. I felt pretty good about this fact because I thought worse case scenario, Ashley could do this in her sleep. Ozz was our assigned camera guy that captured all the pictures and video. Skydive Spaceland Dallas is a professional facility and we had the greatest instructors. If you are going to so this, do it here!
Ryan “Birdman” Parrott, former Navy SEAL and founder of the Birds Eye View Project jumped with both groups. We had to break up and go in two groups because each Bombshell is 3 people: jumper, instructor and camera guy. So for 4 Bombshells that’s 12 people to load in. I was in group 1. In hindsight, its good that I went in the first group because had I lingered around, I might have backed out. The instructors went over all details numerous times with each jumper. Basically jump at 14,000 feet, head up and arms out, check altimeter at 7,000 feet, sign off from camera guy, pull ripcord at 6,000 feet and help with landing. Got it. How hard can it be?
Let me pause and say this. I was totally fine until we climbed to 14,000 feet in the plane and began scooting forward on the bench towards the opening. I went third which meant I watched Mary E. and Mary P.
roll out fall out of the plane. Like straight down going 120 miles an hour. As Ashley and I scooted forward and she got us to the door, I thought “what have I gotten myself into?”. At that point, there’s no turning back. Toes on the edge, rock forward, back and…. DIVE. You free fall from 14,000 feet at 120 mph until you pull the ripcord at 6,000 feet. Do the math. You are free-falling for 8,000 feet! The free fall lasted 40 seconds and I can tell you it felt like a solid 5 minutes. These were my thoughts (in this order). 1) I’m going to die 2) I love my children 3) Pete will be mad at me for this but hopefully my funeral will be good 4) I wonder what Sparky and Max will do 5) I can’t breathe 6) What if I throw up and it gets all over Ashley 7) Do I look good in this position? … AND it was time to pull the ripcord. BOOM! Once that parachute deployed it was complete serenity. Peace. Joy. Calm. Quiet. Like nothing I’ve ever felt.
Ashley let me steer the parachute and prepped me for the landing. Legs up and get ready to stand as we land. We had a perfect landing together and I was sooooooo happy to be back on earth. Now for the hard part. Put on a brave face for the walk back to the building because the next 4 Bombshells were about to lock and load. Ryan was such a trooper and went up with Group 2 and jumped again. As we watched them come down I realized how special this entire experience was. To jump with these fine ladies, to raise money for Ryan’s amazing non-profit organization and to know that I conquered a fear all in one day.
When my friends and family told me I was brave I quickly pointed out that I’m not. Ryan is brave. Those who serve our country are brave. Our first responders are brave. Our veterans are brave. The least I can do is honor them with this jump. Thank you to everyone who supported me by donating to the fundraising. The money will be distributed to 8 non-profits (listed here). And thank you for your prayers. They were felt!
Signing off of this mission as it is complete. xoxo- Tanya “Fashionista” Foster
P.S. Have you ever jumped out of a plane? Leave me a comment below.
Bombshell skydive video
Photo: Skydive Spaceland Dallas