Taking Risks

“The thought of leading a boring existence might be even more frightening than the idea of jumping out of an airplane at 15,000 feet.”

“Indeed, some experts have suggested that taking risks, ironically, may bring periods of welcome abandon to individuals who have trouble letting life “just happen.”

I stumbled upon an article on risk taking behaviors while googling skydiving.  The two above quotes describe me frighteningly well.

So maybe this will help people understand a little about me. Lately, many friends and acquaintances have wondered about the extra odd jobs, activities, and plans to return to school — thinking I am a bit impulsive.  Perhaps, that is partially true, but in reality, I find the idea of sitting in an office chair doing the same thing day in and day out absolutely terrifying. It makes my stomach drop, while the idea of jumping from a plan brings a rush of excitement for the relaxing abandoned of free fall.  I don’t think I am impulsive, I just like the challenge of reaching my next goal.

Cool as a cucumber! haha

I was planning to write solely about my recent skydive, but with so many thoughts in my head, ended up on another path. I did pass my T3 training!  My instructor was pleased with how calm I was; even while readjusting my goggles as they tried to fly away. He felt I had good awareness/use of my altimeter during free fall, and was happy with the calm manner in which I pulled/threw the handle to activate my parachute.

His excitement in telling me this, was almost as exciting as the skydive itself! I managed to easily locate the DZ under canopy (hopefully not a fluke). I also completed my two 360 turns and forward tracking during free fall.  The next step is a transition class for solo jumping. During my first solo jump, the instructors will “dock” to keep me stabilized until I deploy the parachute. For my landing, I will have radio communication with someone on the ground.  Over the subsequent jumps, they will slowly back off until I am “flying” on my own! It’s kind of like taking training wheels off for the first time.

The sad part is skydiving season is almost over.  Training students must stay current, so there is little point in starting the process, just to redo my jumps later.  Sadly (for me) I will be waiting until spring to work towards my license! I am horribly tempted to do another tandem while the weather is nice-ish, but that’s probably money best saved for next season.

Much of my extended family are risk seekers, or “adrenaline junkies” as some put it.  They are involved in everything from flying planes, to horseback riding, to race car driving, and briefly polo to name a few. My mom has years of scuba diving experience and is an avid back country camper. My Dad, before he passed was into skydiving, in the early 1970s, when they were still figuring shit out! Reading his log book is an interesting narrative on how things have changed.

Log book complete with screw from a broken leg
What a cool piece of my father’s past.

It is amazing how many malfunctions and reserve rides he had in just a few pages. They used different shaped canopies and it seems he often landed off target. Some of this is beyond me, being very new to the sport, but at the same time there are also similarities I recognize.  One of his entries mentioned using “wings,” so I imagine he used some early wing suits.  He also did many “hop and pops,” which I must do to complete my solo certificate and move towards my CSPA A licence.

You know, just casually hitting a bridge and falling in a creek.
Underlined: broke leg.

I may only have 3 tandem jumps, but as I have been told, skydiving is a seductive sport, and I think I am absolutely and hopelessly addicted.  I guess it is truly in the blood, so here is to next spring, and moving forward with this adventure.

3 thoughts on “Taking Risks

Leave a Reply