Flying high

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In search of the ultimate adrenaline rush, Dr Taoran Wang of The Chatswood Dental Practice in NSW threw herself out of a plane

Taoran-1I don’t have a fear of heights and I really enjoy rollercoasters and rock climbing. Skydiving was always something I wanted to do. Last year, a friend told me about ‘Skydiving at the Gong’ in Wollongong so we signed up for our first experience of freefall.

“During the training session, I was feeling anxious and told my instructor to strap us together tightly. He just looked at me and said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re going to jump from the plane, then I’ll jump after you and clip myself onto you in mid-air.’ It was obviously a joke but I was so nervous, I actually believed him.

“So I went onto the helicopter, thinking I was going to jump alone. Right before the door opened, he strapped himself onto me and said, ‘There is no way in the world I would let you jump by yourself without a parachute.’ I was so relieved!

Taoran-2“When the door opened, the freezing cold wind hit me. At this point I was screaming to release my anxiety. Then my instructor tumbled us out of the helicopter at 14,000 feet [4300 metres].

“The first 20 seconds are the most terrifying. We were falling so fast and it was so cold that my face felt like it was being hit by ice. After 20 seconds, your body starts to get used to the sensation of freefall and I began to enjoy it. I wasn’t panicking anymore and I thought that this was really fun. We fell through the clouds and then the parachute finally opened.

“I had a bird’s-eye view of everything, and Wollongong beach was spread out below me. We spent a couple of minutes floating back to earth and it was really beautiful. The instructor steered us towards the park and we landed very gently.

“The skydive lasted for five minutes but the adrenaline high lasted for the whole day. It’s definitely an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

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