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1.What attracted you to the sport of skydiving?
JL: I would say that the only thing that initially attracted me to the sport of skydiving when I first thought about it was how amazing/crazy/exhilarating it sounded. I was 19 years old at the time and had adopted a “live for today” mentality after a friend had passed away in a car accident. After learning how short life can be, I knew that I wanted to make the most out of mine. Skydiving sounded like an incredible experience and I wasn’t going to wait to try it. This would probably explain my attitude toward “bucket-lists.” The idea is great and everything, but why wait to start living? Live now.
2. What influenced you to actually make the phone call to make your first skydive?
JL: Well, I was actually at a party when I caught wind of skydiving. My friends threw a big bash and at this bash I ran into a friend I knew since middle school named Tim Diedrich. He had told me how he began skydiving and was currently doing the Accelerated Free-fall Program at AtmosphAIR Skydiving Center (Now known as Wisconsin Skydiving Center) to get certified at the time. During this chat he had told me how incredible skydiving was and more or less convinced me that this was something I had to experience. Funny looking back on it, I remember asking him how many jumps he had made. “Seventeen” he replied. I looked at him in awe and told him how crazy that sounded! Eight years later, each of us have now made over seventeen-hundred skydives. (Tim is currently a Tandem Instructor and I’d recommend going with him if you can tolerate the smell.) 😉
3. What’s the most memorable skydive you’ve ever been on?
JL: In October of 2012 I was asked to deliver the game ball to UW-Whitewater’s homecoming football game. This was extremely special for me because I was attending and currently am attending school there. There was a record crowd that day with over twelve thousand people in attendance, including classmates, friends and family. Consequently, leading up to this jump I recall feeling a level of nervousness/anxiety I never knew existed. Once I exited the plane, however, the nerves left and I was purely in the moment of doing something I had only dreamed of. The closer I got to the stadium the louder the crowd became, and once I entered the stadium to land I could hear the crowd chanting my name – “Jordan! Jordan! Jordan!” This would probably be the coolest moment of my whole life so far. I came in hot, stood up the landing, and gave the game ball to the mascot. Everything went as planned and I couldn’t have been happier.
4. Who / What inspires you?
JL: I think my best answer would be people with passion, and it doesn’t matter what that passion is. Whether it be tight rope walking, fishing, dancing, driving semi’s, skydiving, or playing music, a passionate person is an inspiring person. Which restaurants are best to eat it? The ones with passionate cooks. They put heart into what they do and the results show with how amazing their food tastes. The same goes with every other passion. When people are driven towards something they love they develop unimaginable motivation and determination to not only be great at what they love, but to bring that energy into many other aspects of life.
5. Of the places you have visited – what is your favorite place and why?
JL: Rock Island in Door County, WI. You drive up the peninsula and take a ferry with your car on it to Washington Island. Once on Washington Island, you park your car and take another ferry to Rock Island: Wisconsin’s least visited state park. There is a certain stillness of this place that makes camping and hiking unimaginably peaceful. You are so far away from everything. There is no traffic, no noise, and no light pollution and with that at night you see what looks like to be every single star and satellite in the universe. Nature is at it’s finest, and believe me there are secret areas on this island that you would never believe existed in Wisconsin. You’ll have to take the adventure to find them for yourself!
6. What other interests do you have outside of skydiving?
JL: I absolutely love disc golfing and go multiple times a week. I also enjoy traveling, camping, lifting weights, eating good food, drinking good beer, driving in my jeep with the top down, riding my motorcycle, riding my bike, lobster hunting and snorkeling in the Florida Keys, great films / television series, seeing live music, and most importantly hanging out with friends, family, and my cat “Mogwai.”
7. What is something about you that few people know about?
JL: Skydiving did a complete 180 for my life. At 19, that same “live for today” mentality I adopted also consequently had blurred any vision I had for the future. I had failed out of college and was on a path that was more or less not the best for me. When I began getting into skydiving I could feel something ignite inside me and I was becoming very passionate about it. This passionate feeling gave me the determination and motivation to set goals and to do whatever it took to reach them. If I could get licensed in skydiving, what couldn’t I do? So, I went to a technical college to get my grades high enough to be reaccepted into the four-year college I had failed out of in the first place (same college I delivered the homecoming football too). Since getting back in, I have worked very hard in every single class and will be graduating this December Magna Cum Laude (over a 3.6 GPA) with a Physical Education K-12 teaching license, a Health Education minor, and an Adapted Physical Education certification so I can work with students with disabilities. I am extremely proud of this and if I could owe it to a single source, I would owe it to taking the risk to step outside my comfort zone by jumping out of an airplane.
8. If you could meet anyone in the world for a coffee and a chat (alive or deceased) who would you wish to meet?
JL: Philippe Petit. He is the french man responsible for tight rope walking across the World Trade Center’s twin towers in 1974. After seeing the the documentary “Man on Wire” it became very clear that he is one of the most passionate individuals on the face of the planet. Nothing could stop him from accomplishing his dream regardless of the consequences, risks, and possible outcomes and that is what makes him a remarkable human being. He quoted: “Life should be lived on the edge of life. You have to exercise rebellion: to refuse to tape yourself to the rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see every day, every year, every idea as a true challenge – and then you are going to live your life on a tightrope.”
9. What do you do for work? If you could do anything as an occupation – what would it be?
JL: I am an Accelerated Free-fall Instructor and skydiving videographer at Wisconsin Skydiving Center. If I could do anything for an occupation, however, I’d probably be an Accelerated Free-fall Instructor and skydiving videographer at Wisconsin Skydiving Center. I love what I do an get a lot out of the teaching experience. This is why I am getting degrees in teaching. It will be like supplementing one passion with another passion. Sounds good to me.
10. What are your future goals?
JL: My current and future goal at the moment would be to learn to appreciate everything I have when I have it. So often you only begin to miss things when they are gone. Imagine if you could truly embrace and acknowledge these things when they are right in front of you. This is a goal of mine as I am always working on it and probably will be my whole life. If I accomplish it, I will write a book and let you know. Wouldn’t that be the day!?
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