**Editor’s note: since this post was drafted, all of the Wise siblings successfully departed a perfectly good airplane with parachutes…Jess included! And Christy’s landing was exceptional!!**
Sometimes when things don’t seem to work out, after repeated attempts, maybe it is for a reason.
Christy had given Jess a tandem skydive for their 25th birthday. After years of waiting to cash in on this adventure, it had still remained as a sort of IOU. Since joining Christy in San Antonio, Jess had scheduled her skydive on multiple dates. Every date had been a disappointment. Saturday we (Jess, Christy, Katie, Nathan, Jake, and Yari) traveled to Skydive San Marcos to finally fulfill this birthday gift.
After signing pages of paperwork and getting the tour of the dropzone, we waited. Christy and Katie did some ground school to prepare for a currency jump while Jess and Yari patiently waited. The goal was for all of the jumpers to ride up on the same airplane and land in several different and colorful canopies.
Christy and Katie rehacked emergency procedures: line-overs, horseshoes, line twist, etc. But Christy’s mind was focused on one thing only–the landing. Landing a parachute is tricky enough with two legs. You have to set up a landing pattern that will be into the wind and in the small landing zone. You have to flare at exactly the right time. And in most situations, you have to sort of “run it out” when you hit the deck. After getting the green light from the instructors, Christy and Katie used the mock-up door to practice exits and then the PLF.
PLF stands for parachute landing fall. It’s a strategy developed by the army to save static line paratroopers from getting injured during landing. After several good PLFs and discussing other options for landing (land on good leg then run? Hold up both legs and slide?) Christy said the famous last words–“I’ll just decide what to do when it happens!”
Unfortunately, the winds picked up and clouds moved in. The skydives would have to wait for yet another day. This was a bummer, but there was still plenty of fun in store.
After ditching the skydiving gear back home, our crew treated ourselves to a fantastic Mexican dinner and drinks on the riverwalk before heading over to a Spurs/76ers game. Katie introduced the Wise twins to the magic of Uber and off we went! Despite the Spurs best attempts to lose, they managed to chalk that one in the Win Column.
Jess’s skydive was rescheduled for Sunday, but unfortunately that bad weather had stuck around through Sunday morning. Lucky for us, San Antonio’s brunch game is strong. We nerded out a little by visiting the Alamo and one of the Spanish Missions from the 1700’s; both of which were pretty inspiring. If you haven’t read William B. Travis’ letter penned at the Alamo, you should here. Then be inspired because he was 26 when he wrote it. The last line reads “P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.” As Christy’s journey has reminded all of us, Travis was absolutely right. The Lord is on our side.
- A nosebleed seat at the Spurs Arena for the Finals (Game 2) costs the same as entire regular Season Tickets for that same seat.
- The Universe (or God, or someone) doesn’t want Jess to skydive; everytime she tries the weather is bad.
- YouTube can help repair car window mechanisms.
- If you bench three of your five best players you turn what should be a run-away game into a nailbitter.
- Don’t bet on basketball with Katie. For real. It’s going to seem like a great idea, just don’t do it.
- Losing a leg doesn’t define Christy; the ordeal has merely exposed her character.
Christy is heading back to GA soon, having made great strides at the CFI, and please keep her in your prayers as she begins reintegrating to Active Duty; the road is still hard.
Jake / Katie / Nathan