• author
    • Cathy Speck

      Columnist, Photographer
    • March 9, 2013 in Columnists

    Go ahead and jump me

    Howdy iPinion Peeps!

    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to jump out of a plane — one that’s way, way up high, over the rainbow and almost touching the afternoon moon? “No,” you say? Harrrummpphh! Even if you’re tandem jumping with a professional strapped on your backside?  Remember — he doesn’t want to die or get injured either. Yes, he. I have not yet met a female jump master, but I’d love to meet one. Just think how handy she’d be around the house. Wait a second, I’m gay, so maybe you might not appreciate the previous sentences at all. And that’s okay.

    Decades ago, I really, truly wanted to skydive even though I am afraid of heights. But after so many years of playing kamikaze basketball, my knees were so bad that the mere idea of landing on the hard ground made me cringe  and look away — look away from what, to what, you ask ? Don’t bother me now, I’m busy typo-ing.

    Now that all this time has passed, my knees don’t bother me at all because I don’t use them. I just leave them in a shoebox in my closet. Ha! there ain’t nothin’ about me that’s still in any closet. It’s a long story to explain and I’ve already used too many words — I should learn how to recycle words. I don’t have kids of my own, but I do have nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and I want to do my part to help “save the words” for future generations.

    Speaking of generations (oh, what at perfect segue ) one of my personal goals is to raise ALS Awareness which leads to FUNdraising, and those funds help researchers find a cure for ALS. I am not asking for donations; it’s okay to finish reading this column. I don’t want you to feel pressured, guilty or compelled to go to the nearest Catholic church and confess your sins. Not that thinking about skydiving is sinful like other risky ideas or behaviors.

    Did I hear someone talking about skydiving? Oh, yeah that was me, and it is happening on Sunday, May 5, at Skydance Skydiving at the Yolo County Airport, just a bit northwest of Davis.

    Last year, we got lots of TV news, newspaper headlines and full color photos and, of course, online social media attention. This year will be our 4th Annual Skydiving Specktacular for ALS Awareness, and the excitement is already building… The first time we did this event, we set a record for the most people skydiving (and live to tell about it) ever! The second time, more than doubled it. Last year, not as many because it was too darn hot, but we totally got the massive coverage to help with ALS awareness.

    What is the point of this column, you wonder? I’m just trying to update and connect with extended family, friends and readers, to let you know how I’m doing and what the heck I’m doing these days. And… if you are anywhere near this area, on May 5, please come join the party. It’s super great if you want to join the skydivers, and also super great if you just want to watch and have a picnic in the shade.

    It is so fun and amazing to watch our peeps jump out of the plane and land safely. Then when you ask them how it felt, they’re so excited they can barely talk! There are picnic tables, rest rooms, a skydiving gift shop, and you’re welcome to bring your ice chest and picnic lunch/snacks.

    ALS awareness pamphlets and sign-ups for the Oct. 5 2013 ALS Walk-a-Thong will be available for you to peruse as well.

    I jumped at our first event on April 2010. My experience was so amazing — it seemed spiritual in a way. I could easily get addicted to skydiving, because I have “an addict-like personality.” But I never want to lessen my experience in any way, so I’ll stay with my first and last skydive. Hmm, that sounds kind of morbid, but I didn’t mean it that way.

    More  details about the skydiving costs, location, regulations, etc.,  are on the  website, Skydance Skydiving www.skydanceskydiving.net/

    By the way, disabled folks can skydive too — your “jump master” just needs to know ahead of time so he can determine how to adapt the equipment for you. You can also email me directly at: speckduval@gmail.com

     Additional links

    Here is a link to the article in the Sacramento Bee. The website includes a video.



    Here is a link to the Sacramento Bee’s photo essay. Be sure to click on the arrows to see all 12 photos



    Here is a link to the KCRA video on Yahoo! News:


      • davidlacy

      • March 9, 2013 at 11:39 am
      • Reply

      Great column! By the way, my second tandem jump was with a female jump master! 🙂

    • Thanks David. Totally awesome about the female jump master. Was that at Skydance?

      • Maya North

      • March 10, 2013 at 3:47 am
      • Reply

      Sooo freaking cool, but, um, no. I can send money. That’ll do for me, although 2 of my housemates say it’s incredible. That’s okay. <3 P.S. My donation would be in memory of my uncle, Kit Spier, taken by ALS a few years ago…

      • Karina Dreyer

      • March 11, 2013 at 11:05 am
      • Reply

      Love to read the beautiful, funny, exciting flying through the air. What if the sky is yellow at that time, do they still use the flying machine to fly upward and spring outward?

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