ReadWrite is looking for rare experiences and companies in the world of technology that we can recommend for highly motivating encounters. Our team was invited to “Take the Leap” to Limitless Flight in SLC, Utah. Jump is a highly technical VR experience, and we decided that due to the technological world we work in, for a team-building and mind-expanding event, we would travel to Utah and try The Jump.
My experience at JUMP has been the most emotionally freeing and uplifting experience I have had in my life.
I have participated in many experiments in my life that some would call “bold”, but I cannot adequately express what my feelings were directed towards Jump. I read and watched a few YouTubes on wingsuit jumping as well as skydiving and anticipated that it might give my heart a little jump or (or a thump).
A few of my buddies had been skydiving (as beginners) in the weeks leading up to The Jump – so I asked one of them to come over and give an unbiased account of their experience with The Jump and its connection to his skydiving – and how close the two experiences and feelings were.
I was blown away by the complexity of the whole operation
When you enter the hall, there is a huge window in front of you (I called it “the window of the soul”). The soul window is about 12-15 feet of glass and looks like a movie is unfolding. But you see the person in front of you “in flight”. You see what they see as they fly.
The whole interior is like a movie set that prepares you to step into the experience.
You go up a ramp to the right, where there are all sorts of basic jump wing combinations and other thought-provoking objects and planes. Then you receive instructions on what you are going to do, how you are going to dress, and how to put on the wingsuit and helmet.
We brought about ten people with us – (I wasn’t going to go it alone on something so important). Several of my buddies lined up – and that was fine with me. After the brief instructional video, we entered a space where many wingsuits were hanging from sliding racks. Someone came out to help me get dressed.
I was fitted to a real world wingsuit and a real world parachute harness. In a way, I thought the VR experience was going to be VR all the way – but no – the real-world setup and gear started to put me in the zone immediately. At this point, the reality of the experience began to set in.
I really do this – where am I? – how did it happen?
I was located in a room where a unique VR headset was put on my head – yes, in red, my favorite color. When I went to put the helmet on, my first thought was that I had the biggest, fattest head in all of the United States of America, and it wouldn’t fit – but I put it on, and it was going very well.
Then I was guided inside the belly of a cargo plane. I looked up and down the side walls – I was really inside the plane. I shivered a little for some reason. Was I brave or not? What if I couldn’t jump?
I heard instructions through the headset. At that moment, the door of the cargo plane opened and it became clear that I was now going to jump out of the plane and fly with my wingsuit. What my team… what? — And I was gone — completely enveloped in the experience. I overcame my fear and jumped out of that plane; my mind could not distinguish reality from virtual reality. I was completely immersed in an exhilarating event, but completely scary at the same time.
Flight experience is something I can’t explain. I don’t have a frame of reference. The words to express the experience are exhilarating, exciting, beautiful and fulfilling.
From that moment, until my experience was over, I completely lost my sense of time and reality.
Why am I leaning? Was it the right arm higher to move right? Why am I going around in circles here? Oh yeah, I made that circle, lifted my other arm and stepped out of the circle, Brad – now head for the flag. Man, I’m too close to that cliff!
The cliffs – so real. I can feel the air, I’m weightless. Am I asleep? Did I fly over this mountain range somewhere? What do I recognize? I think I’ve been here before.
Landing safely on the platform, I took the second leg of the jump.
There was no concept of time and space while I was in the Jump. After completing the Jump and getting out of the wingsuit, I had to check with my mind to make sure what was happening was real again. The experience itself was mind-blowing – but I came away with more than expected.
I had to deal with a real fear of heights that obsessed me for years – like a tightness where you don’t mention it – and now it’s gone. Accepting the invitation and leaving with my team felt like applying for a new job on another planet. Would I be able to jump – especially with my team there? I didn’t realize I feared the unknown, but I felt like I was facing it, and I’m better at it.
The next jump
There is an “after Jump” room where we quietly talked about what had just happened to us. It was as if we had walked through a secret and wanted to contemplate things. I thought we would immediately go out and start a big planning session. The After Jump was very eye-opening and it was obvious that we were all deeply touched.
In a very real way, I experienced a mind shift that lasted for days.
I play video games – and I play VR games with the headset on. I have the Oculus and the Oculus Quest 2. I bend, jump and play games — It is by no means That.
Since Jump Day, I’ve read everything I can find about altered states of mind, getting into the zone, and the flow state of mind.
In the book “The Rise of Superman”, Steven Kotler talks about Dean Potter of fame rising to Fitz Roy, where Potter says, “I can sit on my ass and meditate for two hours to get a glimpse of fifteen seconds of this state [Flow State]or I can risk my life and get there instantly – and it lasts for hours.
Yes – that’s what I felt – the flow state. As I sit here writing, I can feel it again. The reality of what happened practically impacted my life – and I can say that “life” happened as a result of the experience.
Open your mind and heart to new things and experiences
It was hard to admit that I entered the Jump experience with some trepidation, fear and anxiety. But things and feelings like these are no longer difficult for me to accept.
I left after completing the experience feeling uplifted and confident – and back to my usual self – with something more. My mind is more open to new ideas. Now I’m like, “If I can put on a wingsuit and jump out of a plane and off a cliff, then what else is possible?”
Go take the leap —
In the words of Nike – Just Do It. I asked my team – and you’ll ask yourself, “What other things can you conquer”. What other ways can you push yourself personally, professionally, or emotionally? »
…and the best thing — because of The Jump — you’ll get answers!