When you first walk onto a skydiving dropzone, you’re going to notice something interesting: Everyone you run into is going to be–well–passionate. Noticeably so. Skydivers exude an energy that seems to expand far beyond the confines of the skydiving facility they hang out in. But…why? What’s going on here? Isn’t everybody here to just jump out of a plane and come back down under a parachute?
Even if you don’t have a preconception of skydivers as a bunch of adrenaline-addled kids, you probably do assume that skydivers are the oddball denizens of a subculture you might gawk at but want no part of. After all, skydiving’s star turns in film have been the backdrop for characters with a blasé disregard for life, who generally relish pushing the limits on every jump (sometimes, hilariously, totally outside the scope of physics). Often, the skydiving characters in movies are criminals; always, they’re cringingly flawed.
So why does a dropzone seem so full of friendly, welcoming smiles? Why are people spending so much time talking about safety margins and dancing out freefall moves on the ground with such singleminded dedication?
Okay, that’s not entirely true. We’re an incredibly diverse bunch. Since we’re everywhere you can think of (CEOs, moms, mechanics, marine biologists, soldiers, high school science teachers, high school dropouts, plumbers), we do a lot of generalized thinking. Our “factory reset” mode, however, is always to think about skydiving.
Because, as Da Vinci duly noted,
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
Once you start jumping, you pretty much immediately immerse into the community of skydivers that surrounds you to help bring you up in the sport. You travel around the country (and the world!) to participate in events; you seek out coaching and train hard to progress; you buy all the equipment you need to be a well-set-up sport skydiver.
You set literally sky-high goals and smash ‘em with a huge smile on your face. Soon, you discover that you’ve started to spend more time in sport than doing the other activities you used to invest in because skydiving is so profoundly fun and fulfilling. The investments we sink into skydiving pay off in spades–and the passion you see around the dropzone is the inalterable proof.
Now this one is going to sound a little out-there for a minute–we know. Just bear with us for a second.
Most people who have gotten out to the dropzone and made a skydive have dreamed about doing so for years before they worked up the courage to actually do it. Doing your first solo jump course and pursuing skydiving more seriously is an even bigger exercise in bravery. It’s terrifying, first of all, and it’s not cheap, and it’s physically challenging.
…But everything in life that’s worthwhile is hard, right?
You can see where we’re going with this. Conquering something that’s really rewarding but really difficult makes you feel like there’s nothing you can’t do. Then your friends and family watch you do it, and they’re inspired–and, even if they never make a jump, they often join the jumper on a self-improvement journey of their very own.
The passion for skydiving has knock-on benefits you’d never imagine at the beginning…and everyone benefits from the way skydiving turns up the volume on life.
Are you ready to get passionate? We know you are. Come out to Skydive Tecumseh and get ready for the good vibrations!
On Labor Day my daughter took our first jump. She got me it for my 62nd birthday to check off my bucket list. It was the most intense adrenaline rush I have ever experienced. James and Amber (my daughters tandem partner) were very professional and made our jumps fantastic. We will be back again and hope to bring a group with us. Tremendous experience.