You probably think we’re going to talk about freefall now, huh?
We’re totally not that predictable. 😉
Sure: at first, skydiving is all about the freefall. But–as you progress in the sport and start to build up your skills–something else starts happening. Suddenly, the people around you on the dropzone, in the plane and in the sky start to become more important than the act of falling through the air. You’re suddenly wrapped up in this iron-strong community of people who are vastly different than you are–socio-economically, culturally, racially, educationally–and, yet, absolutely the same. You become an integral part of an incredibly diverse, tight-knit community of fellow adventurous spirits, and that starts to become just as important as–if not more important than–the adventures of the sport itself. Skydiving is so great because of the people. Here’s why.
Here’s a little exercise for you: Stand around and watch the loading area at the five-minute call. There’s no way you’ll miss it.
You’ll see the skydivers who are about to get on the plane check each others’ equipment. You’ll see each of them looking each other over to ensure that everything is configured correctly. You’ll see them talk about the plan for the jump so nobody is caught off-guard. As skydivers, we approach these safety conversations with very serious-minded focus, despite the fact that you see us smiling, laughing and playing around. After all, we’re all responsible for not only our own but everyone else’s safety on every jump.
It’s not just the jumping that we approach with that attitude, either. We look out for each other outside the dropzone, too. Skydiving is a tight-knit, mutually supportive community, and we’re proud to be there for each other through the great times and the awful times alike.
Skydiving is a massively international community, so we reflexively understand the concept of interconnectedness. Maybe that’s what drives it or maybe it’s something else, but it’s inarguable that skydivers don’t just help fellow skydivers and call it a day. We tend to be really involved with our communities at large. Often, we use skydiving to do our outreach. Feels natural, no?
There are SO MANY examples of skydivers’ charitable efforts. Off the top of our heads, we can think of a few: Leap for Lupus, headed by an afflicted jumper in the Pacific Northwest, which has been raising funds for disease research for many years; Operation Enduring Warrior, which facilitates skydiving training programs to support our nation’s veterans; Just Care More, which supports inspirational programs for at-risk youth; Jump 4 Joy, which supports anti-suicide efforts with outreach into public schools and programs; and Freefall Foundation which helps those that can’t afford to skydive be able to experience it!
If rich experiences are the world’s real wealth, we skydivers count ourselves among the luckiest people on the planet. We have a tendency to get pretty poetic about the freedom, the focus and the peace that we experience as we’re plying the sky with our friends. Skydiving is a gift that has brought so much joy into our lives, and we’re eager to share that joy with everyone else on the planet.
Over here at the Wisconsin Skydiving Center, we couldn’t be more excited to share that gift with you, and to welcome you into our community. People, after all, are the real reason why skydiving is so great–and we believe you belong in this community! C’mon over and introduce yourself. You’ll see exactly what we mean.