By the way, this is what I did for my thirtieth birthday:
It’s called “indoor skydiving,” and it is FABULOUS.
My understanding is that the setup was invented to help skydivers train. You can also do it for fun, though. A giant fan beneath the wire trampoline blows enough wind upward to lift a person who’s perpendicular to the flow, simulating the effect of free-fall. The trainer is there to catch and adjust you; it can be hard to stabilize if you’ve never done it before, so you sink down or drift into the wall. Once you get the hang of it, they may spin you, or (in the case of our guy) latch onto you at shoulder and hip, put themselves into free-fall, and then take you zooming up into the shaft above, dropping down until you almost hit the trampoline, zooming up again, down again, maybe spinning as you go . . . .
SO. MUCH. FUN.
You may be put off when you find out what your money gets you. My husband bought a group package for me and some friends/family; we each were allotted two one-minute flights. Doesn’t sound like much — but trust me, that’s a lot of free-fall. One of our group fell sick and didn’t come, so I got his extra time, making for two two-minute flights, and holy god by the end my pecs were tired. It’s like lying on your back, holding a heavy weight juuuuuuust above your chest, for one (or two) minutes at a stretch. (Since I, for some
ballet-related totally inexplicable reason, found it more natural to bend at the hip rather than the knee – as seen in this photo — I also ended up with sore glutes. I’m pretty sure I would have just traded those for sore quads instead, though, had I made the effort to drag my knees down.) By the time my second two minutes were up, I was more than ready to be done.
If you have any desire to fly, you should absolutely try this out. Especially if, like me, you’ve had enough ankle-and-knee problems that leaping out of a plane (or rather, landing after such a leap) is just asking for trouble. It will make you giddy with joy.