Floating On Air and The Angry Vending Machine

I am taking a break this week from curating the Wakatobi video to share this recent local adventure.

One summer in the late 1980’s, a younger (and smaller) version of me gathered a few friends and drove three and a half hours to Oshkosh, WI to go skydiving. Opening the side door of a Cessna at 10,000 feet and jumping out generally stimulates people in one of two areas: their heart or their bowels. Thankfully, the adrenaline-to-fear ratio tends to skew differently in your twenties and we ended up making the trek several times that year.

I have recounted those memories a few times over the years…typically when asked to reveal a little known fact about myself to strangers. (Being a ballroom dance instructor is another “Go To” tidbit.) Nonetheless, the feeling of the experience had begun to fade. I remember that it “was” loud, but I couldn’t recall “the” sound…if that makes sense. Similarly, I could recall what to do, but it was getting harder to feel as though I had actually done it.

Leslie wanted to help polish the nostalgia. Whether it was to avoid the potential bad weather at a drop zone or to protect me from realizing that my heart/bowel dynamic may have switched, she gave me a certificate for indoor skydiving at iFly Chicago.

The first video below shows my triumphant return to skydiving, albeit indoors…with a net…surrounded by a giant plastic tube…and some guy standing next to me adjusting my form. Hey, speaking of adjusting my form, around the 50 second mark, I inadvertently do something that puts me on my back. The iFly guide flips me faster than a cowboy roping a calf in a rodeo competition. Quite impressive!

While waiting for my allotted time, we decided to get a drink from the vending machine. The second video shows our encounter with said machine. It appears the manufacturer did not engineer the coin return too well, as it shoots change toward the user initiating an unexpected game of catch-me-if-you-can. The first quarter landed near Leslie’s feet, but the second rolled across the floor and fell into an air vent. The video shows several other lost quarters, so clearly we weren’t the only victims. “Take your water and stop bothering me!”

After a little over an hour, it was over. I left with clean shorts and a refurbished sense of floating on air. If you get an opportunity, I encourage you to give it a try.



I have been diving since 2002. While my technical and editing skills have not risen as fast as my passion for shooting video, I am enjoying the opportunities I get to learn and grow. Many thanks to Leslie for her love, partnership, suggestions, wit and equally compulsive technology interest.     Must...get...more diving in...

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