Grammar: Present perfect simple. Past simple and Continuous. Comparatives and superlatives.
Vocabulary: Gradable and non-gradable adjectives. Sports.
Useful phrases: Giving advice about complaints or injuries.
I’ve just done my first jump since accident that nearly killed me just over a year ago. As I was lying in hospital after the accident, I wasn’t feeling glad to be alive. Instead, I was wondering how I could possibly live without skydiving again.
It all started one evening after another typical nine-to-five day. I was sitting at home thinking “There has to be more to life than this”, when an advert came on the television. “Try skydiving”, it said. The next day, I called my local skydiving centre and booked my first jump. At the end of a day’s training, I signed a document to say that I understood I was taking part in an activity that could end in serious injury. At that moment I wondered
if I was completely mad.
I will never forget my first jump. Five of us walked to the runway and got into a tiny plane. I was beginning to feel nervous, but the others were chatting and joking, and I started to feel more relaxed. It was a beautiful, cloudless day and the sun was just going down.
We climbed to eleven thousand feet, and then the trainer opened the plane door. Suddenly, it was time to jump, and as I pushed myself away from the plane, my mind went back.
Words cannot describe the rush of adrenalin I experienced while I was free-falling. At five thousand and five hundred feet I pulled the cord, and the parachute opened immediately. Suddenly, everything was silent and peaceful. Twice I shouted, “This is absolutely incredible!”. It was the most amazing four minutes of my life.
From the first jump, I was hooked. I started spending every free moment I had skydiving. It became my reason for living, and nothing else mattered.
Things were going very well. Then disaster struck on my one thousand fortieth jump. Another skydiver collided with my parachute. I fell and hit the ground at about thirty mph. I broke both legs, my right foot, left elbow, right arm, my nose and my jaw. I lost ten pints of blood, nineteen teeth and twenty five pounds of fat. I was lucky to survive.
People who have never experienced skydiving will find it hard to understand that my only motivation to get better was so that I could do it again. All I can say is that for me, skydiving is life, and life is skydiving.