I was invited for what turned out to be one of the best experiences I have ever had in my whole life. Red Letter Days invited me to iFly in Milton Keynes for an indoor skydiving experience. This was actually very interesting because I’m afraid of heights and I am also very claustrophobic, so the idea of flying and also being in a tunnel, riding on a rip-roaring 120mph torrent of air really scared me a lot. Initially, I thought that Nick should do it but he said that it would be better if I did it so I said yes without really thinking about it too much.
The closer it got to the day of the event, I was getting more nervous. I don’t know why but I was starting to think that it would be better not to do it. I know it sounds silly but I was really scared! One of the things I always said to myself is that I would never do skydiving and look at me now, getting ready to go to an indoor skydiving event! Am I crazy? What am I doing? Will I manage to conquer my fears and actually do it? Will this be over quick? These were all the questions happening in my head while I was getting ready to leave the house.
Before you read the full blog post about this event, we have made a short video which I would love for you to watch. See below:
On our way to iFly Milton Keynes (was feeling so nervous inside)
We had to drive about 1 hr and 30 minutes to get to Milton Keynes. The event was at 8 pm and we left London just after 6:30 pm. My thoughts didn’t disappear. They were with me during the whole car journey. I was feeling so impatient as well. I wasn’t sure if I would chicken out at the end so I was trying to give reasons to myself to carry on with the plan.
When we arrived, we saw the big building which has the tunnel from the car park outside. OMG, I got even more nervous. We were actually there and I was about to do this! How crazy was I? I kept telling myself that it would be alright and that I shouldn’t think like I’m actually jumping from a plane. This was just indoors and should be easier to do.
BLOGGERS MEET UP ROOM
As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by the lovely people at Red Letter Days. There were about 9 or 10 bloggers invited, each with a plus one. Nick was my guest and was going to take photos and film me in action.
The room where we all met was nicely decorated with red balloons. They also had some pastries and drinks to have while we were waiting as well as tea or coffee. I couldn’t eat anything at that point but we enjoyed them after and they were yummy.
While we were waiting, things changed. We were told that a couple of people couldn’t make it anymore and that they had 2 available spots for any of the plus ones that were keen to also experience indoor skydiving too. Of course, I suggested Nick should do it. He was happy with that and with that, he was now part of this whole experience too. I felt less nervous knowing that he was going to be next to me for most of the time.
I was so happy to see Eilidh from Mummy and Monkeys. I have not seen her for a while so it was nice to catch up a little bit with her. It was a shame that we didn’t take a photo together. Maybe next time!
We were then taken to another room where our instructor, Ted introduced himself and gave us a brief training session of what to do and not to do. Some health and safety points as well as a video showing a little bit more about what we should expect from this experience.
Ted is actually a national indoor skydiving champion so it was an honour to have him as our instructor. He was so experienced. He explained the correct positions to achieve a better fly as well as the hand signals we needed to learn in order to communicate with each other while inside the tunnel. The fan makes a very loud noise so it is impossible to listen to anything so this was the only way to communicate.
Ted told us that he would be next to us while we fly. He would give us our space if he felt we were ready for it, or if not he would stay close to help. I felt relieved after hearing that.
GETTING THE GEAR ON
We then went to the changing area and collected our jumpsuits, ear protectors, goggles and helmet to gear up. I was worried that the jumpsuit would not fit as I have a big bum but it actually did and I felt great in it. It was super cool! 🙂
The goggles were very tight but apparently, it needed to be like that because of the 120 mph torrent that we would experience inside the wind tunnel. So it was better to be protected. Putting the whole outfit on was really fun!
We also did some exercises, straightening our arms and legs so we had our body ready for all the movements we were about to do.
We were taken upstairs where the huge wind tunnel was. It had a big net which protects you so you don’t fall towards the fan. I was getting very nervous again. We were given our last instructions. Ted mentioned that we will naturally learn to position ourselves just right to stay afloat.
We were told that we were not allowed to take our phones to the waiting bench. They collected our mobiles and put them in a box but there will be someone taking photos from each phone during each individual flight.
Ted went through the hand signals one last time to make sure everyone knew their meaning. After this, it was finally time to fly. The wind tunnel was turned on and the instructor Ted called us one by one for our flying sessions. OMG, my heart was going so fast at that point. Thankfully I had Nick next to me so I squeezed his arm several times while I was waiting for my turn, LOL!
I think there were about 6 people before me. So the wait felt super long but I really enjoyed watching everyone’s flight. It was really cool to see all their expressions. And then the moment of truth arrived and it was my turn! I cannot express how scared and nervous I was but I just thought to myself to close my eyes and go for it. I saw the people before me that were super happy after their flight which really reassured me that it was going to be a great experience.
Ted called me and I was there stood up ready to fly! He asked me to jump towards the middle of the net with my arms closed and then immediately after that I had to open my arms and try to properly position myself so I was able to float. OH GOD, it was hard. I felt like I was going everywhere apart from where I was supposed to. Thankfully Ted stayed by my side guiding me.
The effect of the wind caused me to dribble like crazy! I think I probably wet the whole tunnel! And also my nose was running too! It was a shower inside that tunnel, LOL! I’m glad Ted was also wearing a helmet and visor otherwise the poor man would have needed a towel to dry himself after my flight, LOL!
I felt tense the whole time but towards the end I started to let myself go and I think things starting to work out better for me but my first flight was over. This left me feeling ready for the next flight.
I was super excited after my flight and my adrenaline was pumped up to the sky! I never thought that I was going to enjoy it so much but yes, it seems that I’m up for these once in a life experience too!
After my flight, it was Nick’s turn. I think he was better than me although he said he felt the same as me: very awkward. He is very tall so I guess it must have been hard for him to control his body and poor Ted having to manipulate his limbs, LOL! But his flight was fantastic. It looked awesome to watch.
I’m sure with practice, we will be able to pick up the techniques needed to change height, direction and position too. So I was hoping that my second flight would be better than the first one.
Second Fly – High Fly
We all had the opportunity to go up again but this time, Ted asked us if we would like to fly to the top. So the idea was that he would take us to the top of the tunnel with the help of stronger wind speed. Ted held on to us, presumably in an ideal aerodynamic position and with the fans increased we spun up towards the top.
This was the most amazing experience ever! I loved it so much! I enjoyed every single minute of going up high! And believe it or not, I will 100% do this again!
Before we left the tunnel, Ted did an amazing demonstration for us. It was fantastic! He really knew what he was doing and he showed us lots of tricks. It was a delight to watch!
After we were finished, we went back to the changing area. Ted gave us each a certificate which says that we have completed our first flight. It was very cool!
And of course, before we handed back our jumpsuits, goggles and helmets back to Ted, we had an obligatory group photo!
This was an AMAZING experience. I feel super proud of myself for pushing myself to do it. It was all worth it. Now that I know how cool this is, I am absolutely up for another flight. I would love to bring my girls too. The minimum age is 4 years old, so Sienna would be too little now but I’m sure Bella would love this experience.
Indoor skydiving offers a unique way to prepare for a skydive from a plane, but it’s also a distinct and stand-alone sport that’s performed competitively all over the world. If this is something you would like to experience you should definitely have a look at Red Letter Days experiences. They also have almost 200 other Flying Experiences to offer, including hot air balloon rides, flight simulators and helicopter tours.
You can also read Red Letter Days blog post about the event where they have shared a big selection of photos of all of us flying. And check out their hashtag #RLDTasters to read all the tweets about this event.
Have you done indoor skydiving before? Have you visited iFly before? What do you think of the Red Letter Days package? What do you think of this event?
*Disclosure: we were invited to attend this event for the purpose of this blog post. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
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