Deborah Burton gives an exhilarating account of her daredevil skydive fundraising feat…
Date: 30 April 2006
Time: 5.15 p.m.
The plane is slowly gaining height and taking an age to reach 10,000 ft. I am terrified. My last chance to escape; but I can’t. My pride won’t allow it… and the fact that I shall be raising a lot of money for charity. Five months ago, I gave a talk to a group of 80 women. I mentioned that I wanted to do a skydive for charity and about half the people there signed-up to sponsor me.
Now the day has dawned after a night with little sleep. I had been hoping to jump early but fog prevented this. It’s almost time to go. The door is pulled back. I am the first to jump. I wriggle forward to the edge – my instructor pushes me over the side. Suddenly, we are falling, free-falling at 120 mph. I am upside down and not liking it at all. The G-force is intense. My instructor pulls the cord and the parachute opens. We drift down slowly, peacefully, calmly, chatting together as we drift over the Buckinghamshire countryside.
All too soon, we are rapidly coming into land and I try to remember the instructions so I don’t break any bones – mine or his! We are on the ground. It is over. I am relieved, thrilled, exhilarated… Would I do it again? Yes. It was very nerve-wracking but very, very exciting, especially for someone approaching 60! Best of all, I raised over £1,000 for a very worthwhile charity, United Through Sport.