Well after going for my initial training in October, being the only course out of 3 where students didn't jump the same day, spending every weekend possible between then and now at the drop-zone I eventually managed to get my first jump in! Well, more than my first jump actually, my first 7 jumps! it was a static line course so my first two jumps were both in the static line just getting my exit right, they were both perfect (in the words of the instructors) and so I progressed onto 'dummy pulls' where, still on the static line I had to pull a handle from the bottom of the pack where the ripcord would be when I'm in freefall. To progress you need to have 3 good pulls consecutively. My first two were good, but not perfect, took me too long to find the handle, the instructors, seeing my determination, decided to cautiously let them count towards the three on the condition that if the third was anything less than perfect I'd have to start again. I had done my 4 jumps for the day (you can't do more than that because apparently each jump takes the equivelant of 6 hours mental stress) so I spent the evening practicing the pulls, went to bed early and dispite a number of disturbances during the night I got up at 8am to practice some more before the first lift. the lift went up at about 11am I think, and for the first time throughout all the weekend I was actually nervous, if I didn't get it right then I'd have to do another 3 static line, £26 per jump, that's an expensive mistake! I got out of the plane, counted, pulled, got it straight away, punched the air and shouted as I pulled it out and then relaxed back into the harness with a HUGE grin on my face, I was almost sure I'd got it, though I did have a little pang of uncertaintly as when the chute opened I still had my hand on my head, hadn't recovered properly.. I hoped that hadn't been seen. I got down to the ground, waited for the instructer to get down, which he did in his usual dramatic fashion, almost skimming the cars parked by the airfield.. I waited for him to get back, nervously walked over and stood waiting for him to finish talking. He didn't look at me at all, turned to the other instructor and just said, 'we need to get some freefall training for this one..' I jumped about like a crazy thing, I was just overjoyed! I went off for the training, then immediately put my name down for the next lift, it was only a 3 second freefall but it was still freefall, no being attached to the plane, no more static line, if I didn't pull the cord I'd have 3,000 feet to fall before the automatic device kicked in... it was all down to me... I got up in the plane, for the first time I wasn't first out, because I had to be dropped off at 4,500 not 3,500 with the static lines, for the first time I watched other people jump, I think that made me more nervous, I got to the door, jumped out, did not stay stable at all, barrel rolled, pulled the cord, looked up and there were 5 twists in my lines! I kicked those out and wondered what I'd done wrong. Turned out I dropped my shoulder when I left the plane. Second try, still on freefall as I'd managed to pull the cord at the right time, dispite being out of control and tumbling through the sky, so up I went again, this time with the express instruction to push UP as I leave the plane, i did, I tumbled again, pulled the cord and floated nicely back to earth, what I'd done that time is pushed up too much and tipped myself over backwards. I didn't get to do my 4th jump as there weren't enough people to fill the plane, so I now have to practice my exits and stable position before next saturday and hope the weather is good enough to progress more. one good 3 sec delay and I'll be onto 5 sec delay. Blue Skies!!!