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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

The Plane Truth

Image+provided+by+Kellie+Bosworth-Newman%0A

Image provided by Kellie Bosworth-Newman

 

 

 

You know those icebreakers people use to make things less awkward? The ones that ask an open-ended question so anyone can answer them? One I’ve heard here at UMass Boston is, “If you could have any superpower, which would it be, and why?” My go-to answer for that has always been the ability to fly. 

The idea of being able to go anywhere at a moment’s notice has always appealed to me, especially since I love traveling. Think of all the time that could be saved if you could just immediately fly instead of going to an airport. Well, after years of wondering what it would be like, I finally got my chance to fly… sort of. 

Somehow I convinced my dad to go skydiving with me this summer. We went to Jumptown in Orange, Ma. It’s basically a mini-airport just for skydiving. Its only building includes a sitting room where they play DVDs of people skydiving for the first time. I’m sure that they affect everyone differently, but watching those videos made me want to suit up and jump out of a plane then and there.

First, though, I had to sign a contract that basically acknowledged that skydiving could potentially cause serious injury and even my demise. I barely read over that part before signing it. If I was going to die, I might as well do so in a cool way that would end up on the news. I could already hear the reporters: “A local college student died Sunday while skydiving…” 

Before I could actually jump, a 30-minute class was required. An instructor went over the safety procedures and the correct way to jump out of the plane, as well as the parachute operation. Since most people who go skydiving don’t have a license, they are strapped to an instructor who ensures that the parachute string is pulled and activated. You can pull it yourself, but nine times out of 10 the person is so overwhelmed that they don’t remember to pull the string. (Not to brag or anything, but I did remember.) 

Once you’re done with the class, you can suit up. When I had the suit on and walked towards the airplane, I felt like an astronaut. I don’t think it hit me that I was skydiving until I stood in the open doorway, 13,000 feet up, and all I could see below me were the clouds and green patches of land. “Ready Kellie?” my instructor asked. He counted down from three. Then I was in a free fall.

When I tell people that I’ve gone skydiving, I usually get one of two reactions. The first is this: their eyes light up and they tell me how cool that is, they’ve always wanted to go themselves. The second reaction usually involves a minor look of horror, followed by, “I would never do that.” 

Personally, I loved every minute of it and plan on going again. In fact, I’ve already bought my next jump. Skydiving certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve ever entertained the idea even if just for a second, I say, “Go for it.” It’s one of those experiences you can’t capture on film or in writing without living it yourself