MADISON (WKOW)-- It's not for everyone. But for some, it's what they live for. We're talking about skydiving.
Two local skydivers brought home gold from a recent national competition. It makes Jim Rasmussen and April Schuldt, both 'Someone You Should Know.'
"I love being up in the sky," said Jim Rasmussen. "It's amazing."
I think it's safe to say Jim Rasmussen and April Schuldt are addicted to jumping out of a plane.
"It's a feeling of being everything and nothing all at once," said April Schuldt.
They both jumped for their first time on a birthday.
"I made my first jump in 1985, when I was 21," said Jim.
"I've been jumping since 1999," said April.
The two are part of the non-profit skydiving club called Seven Hills Skydivers near Madison. The group formed in 1962. It has about 70 members ranging in age from early 20's to mid-80's.
"My heart gets going every jump which is probably what keeps me interested in it," said Jim.
Jim and April recently won 2 gold medals in a national skydiving competition for what's called Canopy Relative Work.
"We jump out and deploy our parachutes right away and then we take our parachutes and fly them together in different formations," said Jim.
One of the most common questions: what's it like to free-fall.
"If you roll down your window and you are going 80 down the interstate and you hold you hand out, the air is a real force," said Jim. "So as we fall through the air we are laying on the bed of air rushing past us at 120 miles per hour."
How else can you truly understand why someone would by a skydiver and what it's like to fall at 120 miles per hour? You do it yourself.
"How many tandem jumps have you done? I asked Russ Haas. "Russ says, "this will be 299 I believe."
That's right. I will be Russ Haas' 299th tandem skydiving student.
While Russ will do all the work, I did have to learn how to be a good passenger.
He helped me make sure my gear fit and worked.
We even simulated the jump.
Before long I was getting into a very small airplane. I asked for first class, but it didn't have one.
We climbed to 11,400 feet and opened the side door.
I was nervous and concentrating. I didn't want to be the reason something went wrong.
And just like that, we jumped.
One of the first things I notice--the temperature. It was 60 on the ground; but it was only 25 when we left the airplane.
The free-fall lasted 42 seconds at 122 miles per hour. I must have had some fun--I was able to flash a smile!
I couldn't wait for the free-fall to be done because I had an "ice cream headache" from the cold air.
The moment the chute opened I was able to relax and really take in my surroundings.
It is a great way to see Madison
I even helped guide our parachute for a short time, making a couple of turns.
After about 5 minutes it was time to come back down to Earth.
I would give us a 10!
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