By Will Armstrong
I’m on the 10 west, it’s 6:45 and I’m heading home from a long day at the office. The highway is jam packed with other commuters doing the same. I find myself creeping along reading outdated bumper stickers and aimlessly flipping the radio dial from one Lady Ga Ga song to the next.
It’s at that moment I began to fantasize about ditching my car, rising above the gridlock and zooming home faster than a speeding bullet.
Truth be told, I’ve always had a fascination with comic books and often wondered what it would be like to soar the skies like a son of Krypton. Finally I got the chance to find out at IFLY at Universal City Walk in Studio City California. IFLY is an enormous wind tunnel pointing to the heavens, and after donning the proper IFLY attire I was ready to let the wind velocity lift me up and allow me to experience the same sensation of skydiving.
I am not the type of person who would ever board a plane and then at its highest point leap out and race said plane back to Earth. I’m just not. That being said, I would love to fly, and this was my chance. Jason, my IFLY instructor was welcoming and reassuring and his love of his job was intoxicating. I felt exhilarated and still safe. For a brief moment I would join this daredevil in his playground and I was ready to push this experience to the limit. Oh, I’m sure I could just hold my arms and legs out and float on the upward current, but if I was going to do this I wanted to spin, flip and ride like the wind!
I was told to smile. “It looks better in photos.” All I could think of was what an amazing Facebook update I was going to post. After letting the instructors know I was writing an article and interested in getting a quote, Skydiver Steven simply smiled and said, “It’s windy in there.” This relaxed spirit mixed well with their strict attention to safety. The instructors put us through a brief educational video and a well-planned talk that more than prepares you for the experience ahead.
So here’s the deal, it wasn’t exactly the “Superhero Boot-camp” I was hoping for, at least not for a first time flier. This is a sport though and I was sore the next day. Classes are less expensive for repeat fliers and they teach advanced classes for the novice skydiver or die-hard thrill seekers.
I spent the rest of the day telling people what I did and how I couldn’t wait to go back. Who knows? Maybe someday, I might get bitten by a radioactive insect, find a magical talisman, or actually jump out of a plane. I like to think thanks to IFLY I will be a little more prepared for any of these situations.
For more information check out http://www.iflyhollywood.com or take a trip to Universal City Walk and ask the extremely friendly staff.