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Who are the Experience Arizona Adventurers?

Matt Marine

Matt Marine is an Arizona resident who loves exploring Arizona's wonderful outdoor adventures. To find out more about Matt, click the link below.

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Cat-Dog

Cat-Dog is my faithful trail companion. Her real name is Cammie. Why do I call her Cat-Dog?

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Interns

Sara Harelson

I’m Sara! I’m 21, a senior in college, and a journalism major.  I love to read, write, travel, and listen to music.  I’m always on to my next adventure.

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See Intern Page for previous interns

Falling for an Adrenaline Rush: Indoor Skydiving

Story by Amanda Oien

My hands were clammy. The only sounds I could hear were my own breathing and muffled voices straining to be heard above the roar of the wind. The wall behind me sucked in against my back. I was nervous yet eager and seemingly lost in the middle of the Southern Arizona desert.

An hour earlier, I gazed out a car window, taking multiple turns down long, empty roads surrounded by barren landscape, I saw a structure with three monstrous tunnels sticking out from the top of the building. My boyfriend, Michael, said: “I think that’s where we’re going,” with excitement in his voice.

I gulped. He was right. The tunnels looked so odd, sticking out from the building, soaring into the sky. My irrational fear of huge objects,  kicked in and my palms began to sweat.

Michael looked over at me, noticing my fingers touching the palms of my hands. “Nervous?” He asked, with a teasing laugh.

Yes, I was nervous. I was about to do something out of my comfort zone and completely new— indoor skydiving.

We checked in and walked up stairs and into the building with the wind tunnels the size of trains, sticking out from the top.

After a first-time flyers introductory course, we suited up.

I put on an orange and blue flight suit on over my workout clothes, a helmet, strapped goggles to my head and stuffed earplugs into my ears.

Our instructor, GT, warned us that the wind tunnel would be loud and to make sure we took off any jewelry and tied our shoes extra tight.

At this point, I was excited. I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I was ready for this.

We entered the chamber and GT closed the door behind us. I sat on the bench, with my back against the transparent wall. I tried talking to Michael but with the earplugs in, I could only hear my own voice and my breathing.

Then the fans began turning, faster and faster.
The wall behind me sucked in, pushing against my back.
I looked to Michael, my breaths becoming short and my palms feeling clamming again.

I walked the edge of the tunnel where the opening was.  We had been instructed to keep our head up, put our arms close to our chest and trust fall into the wind tunnel.

I fell into the wind tunnel.
The trust fall was surprisingly easier than I had imagined.

I adjusted my body’s form, using the coaching from GT. Suddenly, I realized I was flying and I couldn’t stop smiling.

While I thought I was somewhat relaxed, GT kept coaching me to relax with a ‘hang loose’ hand motion we had been taught prior to flying.

With so much focus on my body’s form, moving in what seemed like an uncontrollable way,  and so much air hitting my body, I realized why I wasn’t relaxed.

I wasn’t breathing.

I took a deep breath in, my lungs filling with air.

After one minute, I was done. I was amazed. I couldn’t believe how much fun I having.

Five minutes later, it was my turn again.
I trust fell back into the wind tunnel, adjusted my form and began flying.
I felt GT hold only my ankle and wrist.
The fans got louder which meant they were getting faster.

We soared up into the tunnel, spinning and coming back down. Then again, this time higher.

I was scared, but not overwhelmingly. I was having a blast as we soared higher into the creepy looking wind tunnels that stuck out of the building, close to the fans.

The fans slowed and we came back down. GT gently threw me like a bowling ball at the opening to the chamber.

I grasped the edges of the opening and pulled myself into the chamber. My body was exhausted but I was full of adrenalin. My heart was pounding, the smile never leaving my face.

I looked at Michael, giddy with adventure. We gave each other high-fives and a thumbs-up.

Once we left the chamber and took out our earplugs, I noticed I wasn’t nervous anymore. Michael and I looked at each other with shared excitement, and I told him one thing:

“That was so incredible, I want to do it again!”

More Information

For more information on SkyVenture Indoor Skydiving, click here.

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