In a few days time Graham Machin will be taking to the skies, skydiving for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.
We heard from Graham in the lead up to his daunting challenge:
“How did I end up signing up to throw myself out of a plane at 12,000 ft?
“Let me take you back to a certain Saturday in early August.
“I’d already seen Great Britain win three Olympic gold medals when in one magical hour saw Jess Ennis show us why she was the poster girl of the games winning gold in the heptathlon. This was followed by Greg Rutherford becoming the first Brit since Lynn Davies in 1964 to win a gold in the long jump. Then of course came Mo Farah.
“About an hour later after tucking into more wine gums and ice cream it hit me-what have I ever done? I thought the Olympics was supposed to inspire a younger generation, not some middle-aged, slightly over-weight granddad approaching 50. Inspired by these athletes I decided to do something for charity – the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.
“They do an amazing job, made even more amazing by the fact that they are not state funded. Can you imagine calling for an ordinary ambulance and being told sorry you can’t have one because they haven’t raised enough money from the public?!
“After choosing the charity, I knew straight away it would have to be something that either a lot of people couldn’t do or wouldn’t want to do for people to really to support me. After a couple of weeks of looking at various ideas I ending up looking into skydiving .
” I decided to do a Free Fall Level 1 skydive which is the most they will let brave or daft first timers like me do. Basically I jump out of the plane with two instructors at my side, free fall a few thousand feet and when they tell me open my chute and then I’m guided down by another instructor on the ground.
“Having booked it all up I decided to make this spoof training video which gave everyone a laugh.
“It’s getting really close now, and I cant wait to do it. You can sponsor me on my fundraising page.