The strut is what I was supposed to hold on to before we let go. Can you see the iron grip I have on the thing? And we're not even off of the ground!
I mentioned that we jumped from an altitude of 10,000 feet. When I glanced out of the door before my jump master
forced prompted me to exit the plane, I think this is how it looked down below. I'm pretty sure my vision didn't fail me because I also recall seeing something like this: