When learning that we skydive, people who haven’t skydived yet (note, not non-skydivers; we’ve converted the most unexpected people) often say something along the lines of, “YOU’RE CRAZY!” or the classic, “WHY WOULD YOU JUMP OUT OF A PERFECTLY GOOD AIRPLANE??!?”.
We may well be crazy, but ain’t because we skydive! And, besides, aren’t we all a little cray in our own way?
People skydive for a host of different reasons. Some of us were served up a heaping helping of the thrill-seeker gene in utero and crave a bit more excitement than the average bear. Others of us jump for release, reclamation, rejuvenation … the list of the positive attributes of skydiving goes marvelously on. Skydiving is a powerful thing. It’s intensely empowering. And empowerment is for everyone, y’all.
If not nuts, let’s talk about what skydivers are:
The last kind of character you’re going to find frequenting a dropzone is an Eeyore. Skydivers tend to be high energy – whether that translates to mega amped or laser focused – as well as open minded, super positive, and ultra disciplined. They are dedicated to honing their craft. Practicing, practicing, practicing until their mission-at-hand is damn-near perfect. From completing a course in Accelerated Freefall (AFF) to mastering intricate in-air choreography, skydivers are a steadfast bunch who demonstrate grit, emulate perseverance and just. don’t. quit.
A commonly held misconception is that skydiving dropzones are populated by go-with-the-flow types whose primary ambition is to ride the air currents. We have mad love for every stripe of skydiver, and free spirits are wonderfully plentiful, but perhaps surprisingly the majority of skydivers are highly accomplished and hyper-driven people. Doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs; detectives, executives and engineers … they’re all keeping good company with us. Skydiving attracts innately curious individuals. The same swirling energy that drives people to peer down a microscope for hours or pour over law texts in pursuit of justice is what motivates those same people to experience freefall, to float under canopy, to experience the sensation of coming back down to Earth. Eureka, yo.
Skydiving is as much an individual sport as it is communal, promoting autonomy while celebrating collaboration. Sure, there’s a competitive edge to some aspects of the sport, but for the most part, it’s about positive vibes, high-fives, bear hugs and shout outs. Novices are coached; high flyers are mentored. After the skydiving day is done, there are often cookouts, game nights and rad parties where the ground crew, sky crew and fun jumpers come together as a community. Work hard, play harder.
A first jump can mark the turning of a whole new leaf or simply the start of a new chapter in an already thrill-soaked journey. Whatever the milestone, skydivers tend to nurture seeds of adventure that make them hungry to experience what’s next. With skydiving centers big and small, state-of-the-art and barebones across the world, opportunities to meet like-minded people and gain a unique perspective of a particular place constantly presents and simply must be leveraged. A parachute, log book, open mind and warm smile are all the keys needed to gain access to an open-armed community. With a welcome like that guaranteed, the world ought to be your oyster.
Skydivers are keen calculators of risk. With time, they understand basic meteorology and aircraft mechanics, and carry around a whole lot of physics knowledge. They tend to know when to hold them and when to fold them, carefully weighing the odds, pushing the limits, and always keeping safety top of mind. It’s a balancing act that often yields memories that last a lifetime and sage wisdom that serves them time and again.
If you find yourself identifying with any one of these five characteristics, perhaps it’s time you give skydiving a try. From our perspective, you’d be crazy not to!