Flying high: Skydiving with Cerebral Palsy

April 25th, 2013

I recently went indoor skydiving with iDID and discovered flying is an amazing way to spend a Friday evening! Before I arrived I really didn’t know what to expect or how I would be able to do it. This concern was heightened when we arrived and were shown a video demonstrating how to do it ‘properly’. I have Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy so the positions being shown in the video felt very distant to the positions I knew I could do. I began to worry about what would happen if I wasn’t able to do what had been shown on the video.

Once kitted up we made our way up to the entrance of the air tunnel and the roar of the engine heightened my nervous excitement.  I was second so there wasn’t much time to worry. As most people with Cerebral Palsy will know nervous excitement can send your limbs haywire; taking the few small steps towards the door took a lot of effort as a result. On getting to the doorway I just fell forward slightly and suddenly the wind lifted me and supported my body in mid-air. I felt so free! I reacted in the most normal way when confronted by extreme winds – I laughed hysterically the whole time!

For my first flight the instructors held me so I could maintain the right position, although nothing like what was shown on the video. Half way through, one of the instructors took hold of my arm and leg and span me up to the top really fast – an amazing feeling! By the time my second flight came around I was raring to go. I knew what to expect and I was able to follow the instructor’s hand signals better. As result I was able to maintain my position for a few seconds while they let go of me, something I hadn’t imagined was possible when I was watching the demo video.  When I started leaning to one side they were quick to catch me.

I’d really recommend this to other disabled people providing they felt it wouldn’t cause them too much pain. The instructors were amazing and weren’t fazed by anything which in turn gave me confidence. It’s an amazing feeling to look down at your empty wheelchair as you fly freely above it. I would like to do this again with the hope of being able to maintain my body position for a longer period of time. It has also given me a drive to try a real skydive…watch this space!

Click here to check out the video of Katy Evans' Skydive with iDID Indoor Skydiving

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