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When I say slightly crazy I mean it in the most loving way possible. Afterall- aren’t we all slightly crazy in our own right? Or is that just me? Anyway- so yesterday Tony jumped out of an airplane with another man strapped to his back.  And yes it was a perfectly good airplane.  He was tandem skydiving with the US Army’s Parachute team the Golden Knights.

Now before you ask, I really do not know anything more about this than is posted on the Golden Knight’s website…so I have no idea if this is something he’s always wanted to do and the opportunity presented itself or if his sponsor was like we are having this event and need you to represent (Ryan Newman was at a different US ARMY appearance at the same time) or what…but yeah he jumped out of a plane:

(ALL picture credits are SSG Joe Abeln and SFC Eric Heinsheimer from the Golden Knights Parachute Team):

Tony Stewart and SSG Jones before the jump. The release on their website says he was a little nervous. Um I would be more worried if he weren't nervous because he's jumping out of a freakin' airplane.

Tony Stewart and SSG Jones clear the aircraft. There is no going back now!

Tony and SSG Jones land perfectly on their collective feet.

The post on the Golden Knight website said that Tony enjoyed it and claimed he would do it again.

Would I? Oh hell-freaking-NO!!  I have this incredible fear of heights.  It rears it’s head at strange points.  For instance- I can go to Las Vegas and go to the observation decks (both indoor and outdoor) on the Stratosphere with NO PROBLEM. I have done that several times.  One day on a lark, Misty and I decided that I could probably handle the Eiffel Tower at the Paris! Casino…which is actually much lower.  On the way up I start to get that PANIC PANIC PANIC DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER feeling where all I wanna do is sit down and go back to ground level and unfortunately for us there was nothing I could do cuz we were sandwiched in that elevator like sardines.  Misty’s seen me do the freak out before so she was just talking quietly and joking with me and trying to distract me…but one guy noticed I was in panic mode and basically made a point of pointing out to the entire elevator (and it was packed so full that you couldn’t have fit another person in if you had wanted to) that I was freaking out. Nice. Nothing like drawing attention to someone freaking out (because I was truly doing it quietly in the corner). That’s really going to make them feel better. Seriously. So yeah…long story short I bolted out of the elevator for fresh air and then just as quickly bolted back in to get the heck DOWN.  The Ferris Wheel at Disney’s California Adventure? Yeah I thought I could handle it too…until we got to the top and I burst into tears (and at the time I was with Misty and her little brother and I was trying to hold it together because I didn’t want to freak him out)- that thing is a lot taller than it looks.  Yet there were parts of the tour of the Queen Mary in Long Beach that they say can freak people out if you are afraid of heights…and I didn’t have an issue there at all.

So yeah just getting me to fly is a feat.  I have done it and will prob do it again in the future but I really don’t like to do it- especially alone. If I have a window seat? I have to close that little window shade.  Take off and landings are the worst part because I guess I pretty much figure that once you are up in the air you are SOL if something happens anyway- and it doesn’t help that they stuff people into the planes so freaking tight.  If I were in that plane and they were expecting me to JUMP OUT OF IT?- I would most likely be sitting on the floor (when I get that lovely feeling of panic my first instinct is to sit down as low as possible) with my arms and legs securely wrapped around a seat or anything. And probably crying.  And saying things like GET ME DOWN!!!!!!NOWWWWWW!!!!!! LAND THIS THING!!!!

So I have to give great kudos to anyone who would willingly jump out of a plane.  If you are going to tandem jump with someone the ARMY would be who you would want to go with I am sure they know what they are doing!  There is this little airfield by were I work where they have skydiving (ironically it use to be an army airfield).  So it’s not uncommon on nice days to be driving home from work and see four to eight people drifting down towards the airport with their parachutes…and for a split second I think it looks fun and peaceful. Then my brain tells me “yeah…but you would probably die of a heart attack/panic attack/fright before they got you to the door of the plane so probably not for you.” In this case, it’s probably best that I listen to myself.  So if this opportunity ever comes knocking on my door? I will hiding under my bed until it goes away to knock on some other person’s door.

The Tom Petty song "Free Falling" comes to mind here...

Edited to add Tony’s jump video (with sound! YEY) Courtesy of GoArmy’s Youtube Channel: