If you are looking to knock an item off your bucket list or do something outside of your comfort zone, Monday might be the day. July 26 is "National Skydiving Day," which celebrates the thousands of people a year that want the thrill of launching themselves out the side of a perfectly good airplane.
The Oklahoma Skydiving Center in Cushing sends roughly 6,000-7,000 people a year tumbling through the air all for the fun of it. OSC Co-owner Andy Beck said there is nothing like the feeling of free-falling with someone for their first jump.
“It gives them a crazy sense of power to push themselves to that limit and being able to do it when they are still scared,” Beck said.
Beck’s wife and co-owner Alyssa Beck said she typically gets one question the most. She said people always want to know just how scary falling to the ground is.
“Is this scary, is it scary, its terrifying, when you’re sitting in the door and your legs are hanging out of the plane, but once you leave the plane it’s an overwhelming calmness,” Alyssa Beck said. You’re so free, you’re only thinking about what you’re doing in the moment and there are few things in life that give you that clarity.”
Now you might be wondering, “why would someone voluntarily jump out of an airplane?” Beck said everyone has a different reason.
“They will all have a story,” Beck said. “It will be a birthday, anniversary, first date, cancer survivors, commemorating the passing of their grandma, everyone has a story of why they do it the first time.”
It turns out some are celebrating life, by cheating death.
“I was stage four colon cancer, like most people, I got complacent with life and got into a routine and used to certain things but with cancer, it makes you like go okay this could all be over anytime now I think it did make me live more,” Art Rutledge said.
Some are looking for clarity.
“If you can handle jumping out of a plane you can handle any problem in life,” Kathan Tribidi said.
Some just want a cool story to tell.
“We try to get out and live life to the fullest extent and not have any regrets, this was just part of it lets experience something new,” Brittany Perdue said.
And others, well, they just get roped into it.
“This was a birthday present I didn’t expect it at all or ask for it, but I am excited” Ashton Bourque said.
Art Rutledge said he feels fortunate to be alive, so he wants to make this chance at life a good one.
“I was diagnosed with cancer in 2017,” Rutledge said. “It metastasized in 2018, I was stage four, and once I beat cancer in 2020 I decided I wanted to live more, do more, so this was one of those things I said let’s do that.”
After free-falling for one minute at 120mph, taking in the views for another four minutes, and a smooth landing, Rutledge said it is only the beginning for him.
Right after he landed, Rutledge could only say one thing: “Oh my gosh it was amazing!”
They say it can take weeks or even months to get a reservation during peak season, which is summer, but if this is something you want to try, you can look at skydiving options at the Oklahoma Skydiving Center in Cushing by Clicking Here.