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BEING SPORTY – DEADMIKE.COM

Deadmike.com

I’ve just done my first jump since the accident that nearly killed me just over a year ago. As I was lying in hospital, thinking that I would never skydive again, I wasn’t feeling glad to be alive. Instead, I was wondering how I could possibly live without it.

It all started one evening after another typical nine-to-five day. I was sitting at home thinking, ‘There has to be more to life than this,’ when an ad came on television: ‘Try skydiving,’ it said. The next day, I called my local skydiving centre and booked my first jump.

I spent a day training and then I was ready for my first jump. Or almost. First, I had to sign a document to say that I was taking part in an activity that could end in serious injury. At that moment I realised that I was about to do something voluntarily that could put my life at risk and as I signed I wondered if I was completely mad.

I will never forget my first jump. Five of us walked to the runway and got into a plane barely big enough to hold three people. I was beginning to feel nervous, but the others were chatting and joking so I started to feel more relaxed. It was a beautiful, cloudless day and the sun was just going down. It took us about 20 minutes to reach 4000 metres and then the trainer opened the plane door – the view took my breath away. Suddenly, it was time to jump and as I pushed myself away from the plane, I didn’t know what I was thinking, my mind went blank.

Words cannot describe the rush of adrenalin I experienced while I was free-falling. At 2000 metres I pulled the cord and the parachute opened immediately. Suddenly, everything was silent and peaceful. Twice I shouted, ‘This is absolutely incredible,’ though I knew there was nobody to hear me. It was the most amazing four minutes of my life.

From the first jump, I was hooked. I started spending every free moment I had skydiving. At work, I sat in front of my computer and imagined ways of making more money so that I could jump more often. It became my reason for living and nothing else mattered. I was addicted to skydiving.

Then disaster struck on my 1,040th jump. Another skydiver collided with my parachute at 25 metres. I fell and hit the ground at about 45 km/ph, face down. I broke both legs, my right foot, left elbow, right, arm my nose and my jaw. I lost 4 litres of blood, 19 teeth and 12 kilos of fat. I was lucky to survive.

People who have never experienced skydiving will find it hard to understand that my only motivation to get better was so that I could do it again. All I can say is that for me, skydiving is life and life is skydiving.

  1. Mike was reading a newspaper one evening when he saw an ad for skydiving.
  2. He phoned the skydiving centre immediately and booked a jump.
  3. After a day’s training, he was sure he was doing the right thing.
  4. His first jump was unforgettable. It was a beautiful morning and he was feeling relaxed.
  5. After an hour’s flight he jumped out of the plane and his parachute opened immediately.
  6. After his first jump he didn’t think he would do it again.
  7. During his free time he thought about skydiving a lot.
  8. On his 1,040th jump he had an accident when his parachute didn’t open.
  9. He nearly died and thought that his skydiving days were over.
  10. The only reason he wanted to get better was so that he could skydive again.