Disclosure: I received an invitation for complimentary flights at iFLY San Antonio in exchange for this blog post, but all opinions are my own.
One of our 2017 goals was to do monthly date night, but like most parents of small children, we struggle to fit them in. Between one child with an anxiety disorder and a breastfed baby who refuses a bottle and an overly attached mother who doesn’t like being away from her kids, we have really failed on our date nights this year!
My husband and I recently started doing a Whole30 which further complicates the whole date night idea because every date we’ve ever had has revolved around food or drinks. Sure we could go out and have a Whole30 compliant meal, but how exciting can plain chicken, salad and seltzer water be?
So instead of our old standby options like dinner or dinner and a movie when we’re feeling adventurous, I decided we needed to get out of our comfort zone and do something really fun and different that didn’t involve food or drinks. We also had to find something where we could take a baby along without adding stress.
We decided to try out indoor skydiving at iFLY San Antonio. When I told my husband about iFLY he was surprised I was interested because I’m not known to be a thrill seeker or an adrenaline junkie. Skydiving is on my never-ever-would-I-ever list.
In college, I worked at the campus newspaper and our editor thought it would be fun to do a team building event where we had to climb up a telephone pole and jump off of it.
I tried my hardest to get out of it and there were lots of tears involved but they were not going to take no for an answer. I ended up jumping with a friend (aka she pushed me off) and to this day I can still feel that terrifying feeling of falling and can’t think about it without getting a pit in my stomach.
So yeah…skydiving? NOT. FOR. ME. But iFLY is skydiving without the jump and to me, that’s the worst part. According to their website, “There’s no jumping, no falling, and no experience is needed. You simply float on a column of air. There is no sensation of falling or anything that would make you feel motion sickness.” OK then, count me in!
We arrived for our scheduled flight and had some time to watch a couple of the instructors do a demonstration. They made it look so easy that I thought for sure I’d be doing flips in the wind tunnel in no time.
We watched a short training presentation with our flight group to learn the hand signals used to communicate with the instructor inside the wind tunnel and then suited up for our flights. The instructors wear spandex bodysuits which made me nervous so I was happy to hear them say the flight suit should fit baggy. Functional, not fashionable.
iFLY provides everything you need to fly. The flight suits go over your own clothes and you just have to wear lace-up shoes that won’t fall off during the flight. They also asked us to remove our rings and braid my long hair. We put in ear plugs, slipped on the goggles and then put our helmets on.
I went first in our group and by this time I had watched at least 15 other people in the wind tunnel so thought I had a pretty good idea of how my flight would go. I’ll let you go ahead and watch the video to see for yourself:
Instead of an exhilarating experience floating on a soft column of air like most people, I went into panic mode. The instructor did a great job of signaling what I needed to fix, but every time I straightened my legs I felt myself going up and I did NOT want to do that! I realized that I failed to ask the most important question- what’s the signal for “all done”?!
I kept trying to motion that I wanted to stop or say it, but the wind is so forceful there is no way I could do it. I think between the look of panic on my face and me basically jumping toward the door, the instructor got the idea and helped me out. Whew. Thirty seconds seemed like an eternity! I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Obviously, from the video I can now tell that I was in fact holding my breath the entire time. Oops!
I’ve watched this video so many times and can’t stop laughing. I’d say this experience was worth it for the post-date entertainment value alone.
My husband took flight a few minutes later and I thought for sure he was going to look like a professional right away. It was a pretty rocky start, but I could tell he started to get the hang of it toward the end. His second flight was pretty awesome and looked like so much fun!
I thought iFLY would be a fun date night experience and while it was, we wished we had brought the kids along. I’m not sure they would have loved actually flying, but they would have been enthralled with watching. I can definitely see us taking them back as it would be a really fun family experience. iFLY also offers STEM field trips which would be an awesome opportunity for one of our homeschool groups.