The public believes a lot of unfortunate misconceptions about our sport–generally, perpetuated by the big (and small) screen. It likely owes to the overriding sense in the media that skydivers are reckless people without any regard for life and limb; that we live to push the envelope of our safety; that we’re in it for the adrenaline and the adrenaline alone.
We’d like to address a few of these misconceptions (flat-out lies, actually, in lots of ways) so you have a more solid appreciation of what skydiving really is; what skydivers are really like. If you do–heck, you might even decide to join us! So here it is, folks: the real truth about skydiving.
Most of us skydivers didn’t come to the sport for adrenaline. Some of us are “legacy” skydivers–our moms and dads jumped, and we were brought up on the DZ–but that’s super-uncommon. Most of us chose it entirely for ourselves, later in life. Fun fact: Many of us came to the sport because we were in some sort of transition in our lives and were looking for a way to mark it: a graduation; a breakup; a move to a new city; a clean bill of remission. You get the idea.
At any rate, we all went through pretty much the same process. We sweated and tossed and turned the night before our first tandem. We struggled to keep all our instructor’s directions in our heads as we watched the earth recede through the little plane windows. We looked around at the other faces in the plane–the sport skydivers–and mused at their total calm. After all–we were freaking out. (Shouldn’t everybody be freaking out? The plane door is open, y’awl. He-LLO.)
Now, each one of us is just another one of those calm faces, smiling and goofing around in the open door of an airplane in flight. We never thought we’d get here, but with time and dedication we did–as will you. We made adventure a part of our everyday lives, and the knock-on effects from that choice mean that we’ve chosen a life of agility, resilience and confidence. It shows in pretty much everything else we do. The heart of it is that skydiving teaches you how to face life’s roughest challenges. After all, sitting serenely in the open door of a plane at 12,000 feet and gracefully exiting into the sky is an elegant lesson in how to face…well…whatever else might come up.
Here’s another important note: We may have fallen in love with skydiving for the adventure, but we stayed for the community. We were looking for a tribe, and we found one. The connection we feel with each other after a great day of jumping is real; tangible; euphoric. It’s a connection that few non-skydivers can understand, and it builds lifelong friendships.
The worldwide community of skydivers comprises thousands upon thousands of people who look at the world just a little differently; who demand more out of life than you can glean from the 9-to-5 grind. It has no limits and it has no borders. No matter where you go in the world, you can walk onto a dropzone and be immediately at home.
So: suffice it to say, we’re not a bunch of wild children spray-painting anarchy symbols on the walls of the world and deliberately scaring our mothers. We’re an open-armed community of adventurers–and we want to meet you!
Learn more about what to expect tandem skydiving for the first time at WSC.