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Why I love skydiving!

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Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: CarterBlunt Sent: 2/18/2019 1:19:31 AM

Running a skydive plane takes a lot of fuel, usually around a gallon per person, per flight. The amount is negligent when compared to the rest of transportation for simple commuting, but it's still an obscene abuse of resources. So how is an environmentalist supposed to justify such an activity? Simple, like this:

Skydiving puts you in an amazing place in nature, experiencing extreme forces of nature. Your senses are overflooded, the wind resistance falling at 120 miles per hour is incredible power. You can't even hear yourself scream. Controlling the parachute is amazing, even the existence of such a device is engineering genius, and the sights are gorgeous. You can't really compare it to being at a sacred place on land, it's a different experience.

Psychologically, it forces you to take a look at yourself in the mirror. You have to face your fear to begin the skydive. When that plane door opens and you hear the roaring sound of wind rushing in, you start to feel very small. You have to push through that discomfort and confront the monster in the door. Looking at the space between you and the ground and climbing to the outside of the plane takes tremendous courage.

Once you jump, it's all about faith. Faith in your equipment, and faith in yourself that you have the abilities and mental soundness to save your own life. It's a source of great self understanding and self pride, to know yourself in such a fundamental way, and to battle with your own consciousness in such a way. I've never experienced anything else like it.

I feel that everyone should skydive at least twice. I'm glad that my first jump was strapped to someone else controlling the parachute, because I was too terrified to focus. I clutched my straps the whole way down. I told myself, "never again". It was the scariest thing I've ever done. After I landed, I felt almost weightless from the adrenaline still coursing through my body. Then I crashed out, my whole body felt weak for about 15 minutes. My legs didn't stop twitching for about an hour.

I decided to try it again for two reasons. The main reason was that I was even more scared to do it a second time, and facing my fears was the entire point. If I backed out then, it was like admitting to myself that I was defeated, that I was mentally weak, that I would never have the guts to face difficulties when everything was on the line. I signed up for solo training the next week and piloted the parachute myself for the first time. I was nervous the entire ride up to altitude, but landed my parachute feeling like I could go right back up and do it again.

The other reason I had to try it a second time, was the community. The new generation of skydivers are uniquely outgoing and expressive. They aren't just everyday people, and the culture is nothing like normal society. You have people from all walks of life, and people from all over the world, visiting all kinds of places to participate in this sport. Yet we share a kinship, every one of us is like family. We meet each other on different dropzones, sometimes for only a short while, but I will never forget any of my sky family.

Even after my first jump, I knew that these were awesome people to hang out with. But in order to hang, you gotta be able to hang! So I made it happen.

I really encourage everyone to try it if you get the chance, no matter the age, no matter whatever excuses you come up with for why it should not be done, aside from serious health concerns. Life is short, and this is one of the most amazing things humans have been able to do. Nothing is more worth it. It's spirit food.

Messenger: JAH Child Sent: 2/18/2019 1:40:18 AM

I am not sure I would go out seeking the opportunity, but I have always been willing to skydive. I am not afraid of heights at all so I don't have that reason not to go do it. Just kind of not in that place in my life right now, to go seeking thrills. Because that's what it would be for me, it would be fun.. and expensive haha. Just have other priorities right now and other focus.
Bungee jumping seems more scary to me than skydiving! I think because of that bounce back up, like it would be an uncomfortable jolt. I guess you might get the jolt also though, when the parachute deploys?

Messenger: CarterBlunt Sent: 2/18/2019 2:06:03 AM

Bungee jumping should be scarier, you are closer to the ground, so you will see it coming up really fast. You're also relying purely on the equipment, if something goes wrong you have no way to fix it. The fatality rates are equal at about 1 in 500,000. But, most skydiving deaths are people already at a pro level, who do more aggressive maneuvers under smaller parachutes, sometimes using equipment without the same safety measures installed.

You definitely feel a jolt when it deploys, and maybe something similar to an elevator going up. Then you are just upright. You can do something called a flare, pulling down on both control toggles to slow down the flight, which feels pretty weird. You can induce a stall doing this, which feels like you're falling backwards and it's swinging your legs out in front of you repeatedly. You can do a spiral pulling one toggle, which swings you around facing the ground. Those are fun.

Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 2/18/2019 4:03:35 AM

Got to say I would never....

From I medical experience I've seen a few people end up with burst ear drums from the pressure differences

Does look a whole lot of fun though if that's what your into

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 2/18/2019 4:27:34 AM

Kudos to you for braving the adventure of skydiving, CarterBlunt.
i did 8 jumps in 1981 with a buddy of mine; 2 on a static line and 6 free fall. It was quite an experience, but i couldn't ever really overcome my fear (until the chute opened) so it was difficult for me to really indulge in the joy of the free fall that other jumpers experienced. On the 8th jump i misread the wind direction when landing and tore some tendons in my ankle. That was it for me. i was already a pilot at the time so thereafter i chose to remain in the cockpit & fly the plane rather than jump out of it. Still, it was a great life experience & i'd encourage anyone to try it at least once if the opportunity arises.

Messenger: CarterBlunt Sent: 2/18/2019 4:27:36 AM

Yeah, a lot of people don't get warned about that. It only happens if you're congested, normally your eardrums can adjust to it just fine. Definitely don't skydive congested, I hear it's really painful.

Messenger: CarterBlunt Sent: 2/18/2019 4:44:14 AM

I've done 50 skydives, and I'm still scared every time!

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 2/18/2019 4:44:49 AM

Yeah, i'm not sure i can think of anything more painful than rapid ascent/descent to/from high altitude with block sinuses. For me, it was as intense as kidney stone pain. (i'm told childbirth is worse!)

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 2/18/2019 4:49:59 AM

It's pretty normal to feel fear jumping out of the door of a plane. I just remember those career skydivers (you know those thousand-plus jump guys) who'd frolic and play around on the long free falls. It always looked to me like they didn't have a care in the world. To hear them talk about it, they were very analytical and if they felt any fear they didn't betray it by mentioning it to lowly newcomers like me.

Messenger: speaks from the chalice Sent: 2/18/2019 7:58:09 AM

I'd love sky dive myself think it'd be an amazing experience. Should've joined the paras when I was younger =)
in my line of work i'm used to heights but anyone ever seen that Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge in China? I think i'd need a few hits of my chalice before i ventured across that. At least i'd enjoy it more. Maybe :)

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