A skydiving mishap proves to Meg Harris that her CrossFit training has prepared her for the unknown and unknowable.
In July 2009, I was at about 3,500 feet when the hopper presented me with the challenge: “Avoid a potentially devastating and body-mangling skydiving accident.”
I suppose a better word for “accident” might be “incident,” mainly due to the fact that the latter implies a freak occurrence, which it was, as opposed to something that was a mistake on my part. What went wrong was not a result of my actions. Of course, it was still up to me to save my own you-know-what.
In fact, up to the decisive point, I had made all the right decisions and done everything I’d been trained to do. While in freefall, I deployed the main parachute, and as it opened, I looked overhead to ensure it was square, stable and steerable. Gliding through the air under a square and stable canopy high above the earth—much like I had done only 10 times before at that point—I reached up to pull down the steering toggles, which are loops attached to two lines that allow a parachutist to steer with ease. To my shock and dismay, the left toggle disconnected from the line, leaving me with a useless fabric loop in hand and its abandoned line trailing pathetically in the wind a good 15 feet above my head.