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Instructor Spotlight

Wisconsin Skydiving Center Posted by: Wisconsin Skydiving Center 10 years ago

1. What attracted you to the sport of skydiving?

TN: Since elementary school, when I announced to my parents that I wanted to become an Army paratrooper, the idea of jumping out of a plane has been developing. For me, it was both the adrenalin-fueled adventure and an opportunity to test myself that was the primary attraction. Never actually jumped in my 10+ years in the military, but the interest remained until I finally had the chance years later.

2. What influenced you to actually make the phone call to make your first skydive?

TN: While I had fulfilled half my stated childhood dream of joining the military more than a decade before, it wasn’t until 2004 that I first made that call to make my first skydive. At the time, I was recently divorced and living on my own for the first time in nearly 15 years, so I was rediscovering many of the dreams I’d held since my childhood. Skydiving was top on that list!

3. What’s the most memorable skydive you’ve ever been on?

TN: I’d say in addition to my very first jump, an AFF Level 1 jump, the most memorable I’ve had was just recently when I took my 18 year old daughter, Alexis, up for her first jump. Two months later, we again jumped together. What an opportunity sharing such an emotionally transformative experience with one’s child! It’s something I’ll never forget.

4. Who / What inspires you?

TN: To name just one inspiration in my life would be tough. My parents, family, friends, and colleagues never fail to inspire me. In reality, there are simply so many people who lend me inspiration on a daily and weekly basis. I’m one of the luckiest people anywhere, to have role models in every aspect of my life who set standards to which I can always strive to meet.

5. Of the places you have visited – what is your favorite place and why?

TN: The southern western Colorado Rockies will forever stand out as one of my favorite places to spend time. There’s just something about the tranquility of a mountain pass and the vistas that stretch from horizon to horizon that lends itself to wonderful reflection, relaxation, and rejuvenation of spirit. Never have I felt so at peace, and yet, so humbled as when backpacking the San Juan mountains outside of Durango and Telluride, Colorado.

6. What other interests do you have outside of skydiving?

TN: Backpacking, reading, and playing ice hockey are all activities that relax me, besides skydiving and spending time with my family and our three dogs. I’m also a very avid traveler, having lived, worked, and traveled in over a dozen countries and across four continents in the past two decades.

7. What is something about you that few people know about?

TN: In college, I was a dual intercollegiate athlete, with stints on both the football and college squash teams.

8. If you could meet anyone in the world for a coffee and a chat (alive or deceased) who would you wish to meet with?

TN: Richard Branson, the CEO of Virgin, exemplifies success for me, and I would absolutely love to share a conversation over coffee with him, preferably on Necker Island. Between his tremendous ability to grow a world-class business organization, his steadfast focus on philanthropy, and just a strong personal mission for building a more caring and compassionate world, he could teach us all a ton!

9. What do you do for work? If you could do anything as an occupation – what would it be?

TN: Professionally, I teach business and organizational psychology at Edgewood College. This is truly a dream job for me, and I can say without hesitation that teaching is a perfect match for me. If I weren’t teaching, however, I would love to be living in the foothills of the Rockies, sipping coffee, and writing fiction.

10. What are your future goals?

TN: My future goals could likely be split into several different buckets. As a professor, I would like to continue gaining skill in lighting the passion for learning in my students. As a father, I strive to better support my daughters as they transition into their adult lives. And, without question, within skydiving, my goals include jumping a helluva lot more, completing my coaching rating, and beginning to gain proficiency in video flying.