What it’s Like to go Skydiving + Video ✈️

I told my Kyle I would NEVER go skydiving. I had also told myself that for years. Why would I jump out of a well-functioning plane? But when August rolled around, I had NO IDEA what to get him for his birthday. He’s a minimalist who had everything he needed, and I was at a lost. After doing some research on things to do instead of gifts to buy, I came across the idea of skydiving. If I could face my fear, trust that God will protect me, and take one for the team, this could be an amazing surprise. He would have no clue.

I spent the next few weeks preparing myself mentally, watching videos, and convincing myself that this was going to be fun, safe, and something I wouldn’t regret. I was so right. Skydiving is unbelievable and if you can overcome the fear, do it!

You’d think you’d be scared once you get up there, but you’re in a bit of shock, so the anxiety and nerves hit you after! If you want to feel like a bird for a couple of minutes, do it. I flew with Piedmont Skydiving & they were amazing! Our instructors made us feel so safe and the humor saved us from having too many fearful thoughts.
I told Kyle we had a surprise weekend. He thought we were just going to the fancy restaurant down the street, but that was just the first part of it. I figured a fancy meal would be worth it, especially if it were our last. You can read about our restaurant experience the night before our adventure here! (click here)
We woke up super early in the morning. I told him to wear gym clothes and that we would go workout together. He had no idea why I was driving 45 minutes away from Charlotte. 
And then he saw the signs…

He was like a kid in a candy store. He gave me a huge kiss and kept asking me if I was really going to do it. He was in shock. I’ll never forget how big that smile was, and it was worth it for me.
 When you first get there, you’ll have to fill out some forms. (you, know…just in case…)
Then, it’s time to get strapped up! I wasn’t nervous at all, which surprised me. I was more excited than anything else! I think seeing Kyle so happy, made me forget all about the fact that I could possibly die.
It takes about ten minutes to make it to the top. Our instructors were singing Bon Jovi and doing everything they could to keep us from getting nervous. Kyle wasn’t nervous though, he LOVES skydiving. 
We attached Go Pros to our wrist to record the entire thing. Piedmont Skydiving provides them for you.
Ugh, those goggles sucked your face. There is no looking cute…
This was the most terrifying part of the whole experience. When he opens the door and you look down, it all hits you. You’re about to jump.
I had to put my feet on the little step, and getting the courage to do it was hard. I had three seconds to do it myself, or Scott would do it for me lol 
Yup, there is the reality kicking in. 
The free fall is the first 15-25 seconds. You’re just swallowing in all the air and it feels like you can’t catch your breath at times. I remember looking back and saying “I can’t breathe” and Scott started laughing.
It all happens so fast. 
Every inch of your body is fighting the air, so your cheeks are moving, your skin is flopping on your face, and it looks pretty funny actually. 
I swear you’ll feel like a bird.

Once the parachute is released, you slow down a bit. Everything looks so magical and you feel a bit safer at that point because you know the parachute released. I think that is everyone’s biggest fear.
You spend minutes gliding through the sky. 
You never realize how small you are until you’re so far up.       
He actually let me fly the parachute! If you go, definitely ask the instructor for the handles. They feel like wings. 
The moment you get closer to the ground, you want to get back up and do it all over again.

I’m not sure how, but Kyle jumped after me and landed before me. 

There I am! 
My straps on the legs were tight, so it was hard for me to get my legs up. I had a muddy butt, so totally wear old clothes.
This was one of the best experiences of my life!!! Face your fears and DO IT!!!!!

Questions for you!

1. Would you do it? Yes or No.
2. Do you have any questions for me about my experience?
3. What the heck am I going to do to top this in August?!

Thank you, Piedmont Skydiving for giving us the BEST experience ever!!!!



  • Jessica

    Ugh what have you done to me Tara! When I read this post last year I was thinking about how amazing you were for doing this. My husband has wanted to since before we met. Now you have me thinking about taking him for his 30th birthday. I am actually starting to think about doing it. What is wrong with me?! haha

    Reply to Jessica
  • Chelsea Huckabay

    hahaha “Can i cuss?? F******ck!!!” haha Omg I laughed so hard. That was terrifying! I could never stick my foot out onto that little step! I never even thought about the rush of wind into your face and not being able to breathe! I think that would freak me out too. This was an awesome shot and it was so cool to see it first hand. You go girl!

    Reply to Chelsea Huckabay
  • Hollylee

    I bought my boyfriend a groupon for 2 to go for his birthday assuming he would use it with someone who enjoys heights/that sort of thing since it was his 2nd time.
    Nope. He decided I had to go. Got in the plane and I started to have a panic attack but the instructor made me go. We were the first to jump and I was in tears, and kept eyes shut most of the way just wanting to get down faster.
    Pretty lame I know.
    To make it worse when we landed I tensed up and hurt my tailbone something fierce that I had to stand primarily or sit on a donut for a month afterwards.

    Reply to Hollylee
  • Alex Windings

    I’m TERRIFIED of heights but you actually made me consider doing this one day! Looked like a blast!

    Reply to Alex Windings
  • Skydive Scott

    Thanks for writing the blog and skydiving with me Taralynn. You rocked it out!

    Scott George

    Reply to Skydive Scott
  • Karissa

    That looks amazing! My boyfriend would be the same way if I surprised him with skydiving. What a great gift and fun experience to share!

    Reply to Karissa
  • Haley

    Wow! That looks so awesome.

    Reply to Haley
  • Shyann

    I arranged the same thing for my Husband on our 2 year wedding Anniversary in March – after Bungee Jumping last year, I was not excited – I cried when the plane took off, when I realized the only way out is by jumping.But once I was airborne I knew I would do it over and over again. My Instructor saw my nerves and didn’t let me sit outside the plane, he just picked me up and jumped – but it was AMAZING!! Everyone should try this at least once in their life, it’s the best feeling!

    Reply to Shyann
    • Taralynn McNitt

      This was much more fun than bungee jumping because you are up in the air longer and you really get to experience all the views. Bungee jumping is terrifying lol

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • April J.

    Skydiving is the bomb-diggity!!!! I had always wanted to do it when I went so I wasn’t as nervous about it beforehand. The only time I had an “oh-fuck-what-am-I-thinking” moment is right when my foot left the plane. Everything else was pure excitement. The free fall went by so fast to me! Honestly, was kind of unpleasant with all the wind and unfamiliar sensations. Was it like that for you? I, too, didn’t manage to pick my legs up when landing. Haha! Makes it really awkward with an instructor strapped to your back. I remember as soon as I stood up, I IMMEDIATELY wanted to do it again! I want to try bungee jumping before going skydiving again. They also have those indoor skydiving places. Have you ever done either of those?

    As for August, it kind of just depends on what he is into. Maybe go scuba diving? Or learn how to sail? Take a history tour along the east coast? Civil War stuff? Horseback riding? Go carts? Music festival? Take a road trip up the west coast through Pacific Northwest? Camping? Hike a small slice of the Appalachian?

    Reply to April J.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      YES! As soon as that door opened, that is how I felt!!

      I didn’t LOVE the free fall because it was hard for me to breathe, but Kyle loved it. It was his favorite part. I’ve never done any of the indoor skydiving or ever heard of them! Interesting!

      So many ideas!!! thank you!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • April J.

        I haven’t done indoor skydiving, but I hear it’s a lot different than regular skydiving. I haven’t heard anything bad, though! I’m sure it all depends on expectations. No problem for the suggestions! Hope his birthday turns out great 🙂

        Reply to April J.
  • Mariah

    I love that you did this and were able to video the whole thing! This is so awesome! I’ve been wanting to skydive for a while now and am planning on going this summer of for my sister’s birthday. Thank you for sharing your experience. This definitely makes it seem less scary and makes me want to do it even more! XD

    Reply to Mariah
  • Karlye

    I’ve been thinking about doing this! Looks so fun!! You know that feeling in your stomach when your riding a roller coaster and you go straight down after being at the top? How long does that stomach feeling last while skydiving?

    Reply to Karlye
  • Jacky

    haha I just realized you wrote in another comment that you have bungee jumped before! Right on!

    Reply to Jacky
  • Jacky

    Wow! Your pictures turned out fantastic! I have been skydiving before and it was a great experience! I would do it again in a second. I preferred bungee jumping to be honest. Have you ever been bungee jumping? (Sorry, I am new to your blog, so if you have and posted it, I probably haven’t read that far yet)

    Reply to Jacky
  • Evie

    Gosh… that looks terrifying. Just going up in such a little plane would freak me out! You are so brave (and such a good girlfriend, haha!)

    Reply to Evie
  • Kayla

    I went skydiving in Hawaii (in Kauai) two years ago. I agree with everything you said about it. I was terrified but it is such an amazing experience! The views were so gorgeous on the way down. The free fall part went so fast and then it was extremely relaxing and peaceful. We went right at sunrise too which made it even more beautiful. The funny thing is I refuse to go on roller coasters or anything like that but I’d sky dive again in a second!

    Reply to Kayla
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Oh I bet that was so AMAZING!!!!! lol well you hear less people dying from skydiving than rollercoasters! It’s actually more dangerous to ride in a car than jump out of an airplane .

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • jordan @ dancing for donuts

    i love this!!!! congratulations girl, you are braaaaaaaave, idk if i could do it!!! when i studied abroad in paris, a bunch of my friends went skydiving in switzerland and i swore i’d never do it, but those photos from above are so stunning and you look like you’re having a blast!!! guess you can never say never 🙂

    Reply to jordan @ dancing for donuts
  • Kate

    I went sky diving with my brother and my dad for my dads 60th birthday. It was amazing! Im not sure I need to do it again though, haha. Maybe in a really cool location like mountains or beach.

    Reply to Kate
  • Molly

    Oh my gosh I had a huge smile on my face while watching this. I never ever would have even considered going sky diving until seeing this. It seems like such a once in a life experience bucket list thing to do!

    Reply to Molly
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    Is this a good activity to do on a rest day?! All that adrenaline!

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
  • Carleigh

    When the parachute is released and you get closer to the ground, does it feel super fast going down? Or easy going? I have a huge fear of free falling and speed without a break or way to stop. I get too anxious and won’t even jump off cliffs into water over 20-30 feet lol so I’m curious….I know my paralyzing fear will kick in most like yours did at taking that step..and skydiving is something I said I’d NEVER do, but I’ve done spontaneous things that I never regretting and am happy I said I did so skydiving has very recently entered my mind to try, especially with my boyfriend who is a little more of a thrill seeker lol

    Reply to Carleigh
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It feel SUPER FAST when you are free falling. As soon as the parachute releases, its much slower on the way down. You get to really enjoy the experience of floating in the sky. I think jumping off the cliff was harder for me than this. It was so much fun and the views are incredible.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Harriet

    Wow what an amazing birthday present to give Kyle! I haven’t skydived yet but have all intentions to do so. When I was in Austria I went paragliding it was so exhilarating would do it again in a heartbeat! Would you ever skydive again??
    To top skydiving you could try Nevis Swing (the worlds biggest swing in Queenstown), I have done it twice absolutely amazing.

    Reply to Harriet
  • Candice

    This whole thing gave me anxiety! You’re so brave.

    Reply to Candice
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    That’s so, so, amazing! I’m still on the edge about skydiving. I mean, I want to try it for sure, it looks more plausible (and less scary to me) than bungee jumping but I have yet to travel to a place that offers it, unfortunately, haha!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Jaz

    Holy Moly! NO NO NO I would NOT do that.

    Reply to Jaz
  • Susie

    YESSS! We actually went skydiving to celebrate Ben’s 10,000th day on earth (yes, this was a thing for us haha you can calculate it online!) and it was INCREDIBLE. Such a rush! He went again while in Hawaii and said it was even better because of the view.
    Not sure how you’ll top that surprise, but I say that experiences/trips are ALWAYS better gifts than things!


    Reply to Susie
  • katherine

    i literally JUST went for the first time this morning!! it was surreal and exhilarating and i’m SO glad i did it!! glad to see you had fun!

    Reply to katherine
  • Brooklyn

    I went bungee jumping in New Zealand and loved it. The next day (my last full day) I was supposed to go skydiving but it ended up pouring rain so I never got to go.
    I would definitely go skydiving if given the chance!

    Reply to Brooklyn
  • Mallori

    WHAT A COOL VIDEO!!! Ugh I don’t know if I could do it! This video gave me anxiety! Haha!

    SO many questions. What was the worst part? Hanging out of the plane? Did you feel really tight and secure to him? What about your legs? Did they feel numb from the tightness of the harness at any point? When the parachute finally came out did all the fear and anxiety finally go away? AH!

    I have no idea how you will top his next birthday!

    Reply to Mallori
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Lol, it actually gave me more anxiety watching it than it did doing it to be honest!

      Worst part is looking down at the platform and getting myself to step on it.

      We were so tight, there was no personal space lol. We were strapped on for life! No my legs didn’t feel numb. It all happened so fast! My face was numb from smiling and you can kind of see it’s hard for me to even move my lips at some points lol

      As soon as the parachute came out, everything was different. You could finally hear yourself, and things were slow! It was so amazing!!!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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