Once again, I found myself getting tortured in this addictive thing they call the tunnel from August 20-21, 2010; however, this time I went with the SDH Outlaws. Jon and I flew in to Denver on Friday morning at about 7:30 a.m. (Shannon came in about 3:30 p.m.). We were in the tunnel by 10:30 a.m. working on our headdown stuff with mostly Jordan. On the first session, I got beat up by the excess strap on my helmet. It really did a number on my chin and neck. Ouch! I was learning how to get stable and really come up off the net. With Derek V in hand, I was finally able to lose the second spotter, which was a big step for me. We were going to work on transitions from sit to headdown (with spotter, of course), but Jon and I were tired. We decided to move our last 15 minutes to Saturday (not a recommendation to do). Each session was 7 minutes long (7 skydives, 2 skydives in one tunnel entry). Our bodies were exhausted. My butt, hips, and legs hurt, which was awesome, because I was totally exercising my body and I was using my legs more than my arms. In fact, the only time I hurt in the arms was after I worked on sitflying. I really need to get my arms out of the equation.
Our next session started on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and we went all day until 8 p.m. Most of our sessions were in 5 minute intervals each instead of 7 minutes, which I liked alot better. I know you are thinking that it's only 2 minutes more and to quit whining, but 2 extra minutes is just enough to tire you out for the rest of the day.
Shannon was there this time and she worked on her headdown, as well. Jon worked on eagles and everything under the sun. He's a natural and sometimes it makes me mad, but I love him for that. I still worked on my headown; my goal was to get off that net and be controlled. And that is exactly what I did! I was able to get off the net on my head, while not assisted. It was an awesome feeling. Jordan, the second spotter left and then Derek P. started to move away from me. The next session, he didn't even come into the tunnel and let me do it all on my own without any hand signals. And I did it. I could hear Jon, Shannon, and Jordan just yelling and clapping for me. On the next entry, I did the same thing, but this time, I saw a hand signal from Derek P. to turn. So, I did. Although very very slow, I turned a full 360 hoping to God I didn't crash out right in front of these kids that were glued to the glass. I got all the way around and flew for a second before I had to end it. I was tired mentally and physically. I only had 20 seconds left and decided to go to my sit. Unfortunately, this was the last time I did the headdown. I tried again, but I was so tired that I ping ponged out of it quick and hit every wall I could find. I tried one more time on our last session and almost the same thing. I just couldn't do it anymore. But it's okay, because I got cleared to do headdown in the tunnel. YAY ME!
I finally got it!!! Even Jordan is in the back giving me thumbs up.
Even though we weren't officially training at Skydive Houston, we did train. Jon and I got in the tunnel together and worked on a few freefly moves, such as Knee Dock, Foot Dock, and Joker. It was hard with him in the tunnel and we were trying to figure out everything. We weren't rockstars turning 50,000 points, but we were able to make a few happen. At the end of our tunnel (me completely exhausted), we tried our belly moves. This was probably the worst belly flying that I have ever done. I couldn't turn correctly on axis and even hit Dan in the face a few times (with a big apology from me as he was laughing at me). I couldn't help but laugh, because we were that awful. I swear we won't be like that in the sky.
All in all, I had the best tunnel time ever. I got to hang out with my friends afterwards and that was a good time. I hurt all over on my body, which means that I did a major workout. Who needs running when you have the tunnel to torture you. I also want to note that Colorado thinks 95 is a scorcher and that was their record heat. Pfft in their general direction. We are at 102 (and that's not including heat index).
Quote for this trip: We are huge in Japan!