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Overcoming Fear with the Wisconsin Skydiving Center Rise Above Program

Why Skydive

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

Skydiving allows us to not only face our fears but to overcome them. The Rise Above Program at Wisconsin Skydiving Center provides participants with tools to turn fear from a constant foe into a friend. Let’s dive into what the Rise Above Program is, how and why it works, and how it can empower you to be the best, most fearless version of YOU!

Overcoming Fear with the Wisconsin Skydiving Center Rise Above Program

What Is Rise Above? 

Rise Above is a half-day program comprised of a workshop and guided skydiving experience. It’s a thoughtfully designed, non-traditional motivational program focused on helping you face today’s unhealthy, debilitating fear and rise above tomorrow’s. No prior skydiving experience is necessary.

Why Would I Rise Above & Not Just Do A Regular Tandem? 

Good question! In a word: motivation.

People who choose to make a regular tandem tend to come to WSC with the aim of having the best day ever; it’s all about adventure. And we give them exactly what they want: a fun, world-class skydiving experience that blows their mind and checks a big ol’ item off their bucket list. The skydive itself takes about half an hour during a day they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.

But a regular tandem leaves a tremendous opportunity for deep introspection and perspective shift on the table. This is where Rise Above comes in.

Rise Above uses the tandem skydiving experience as a vehicle for self-examination and catalyst for healing. It’s a small-group, half-day program that promotes dialogue, welcomes vulnerability, fosters rationalization, takes action, creates transformation, and instills lasting, significant change.

Let’s Take A Look At Fear

Overcoming fear and overriding anxiety is HARD, which is why we’re here to walk through the process alongside you.

Fear is a tricky and persistent (also, annoying) critter that, if ignored, can take over our conscious and unconscious mind. Fear festers in a part of our brain called the amygdala; the reptilian brain. This is where our instincts operate at lightning speed, not surprisingly including our fight or flight response. The amygdala is said to be the oldest part of our brain box and — although it only makes up about 0.3% of the organ — it’s responsible for 90% of our decision making. How can such a teeny tiny thing have such a significant impact on our being? 

The neocortex, in contrast, is responsible for higher-order thinking. This is the big, wrinkly part of our thinker that you picture when you think of our brain. It handles perception, reasoning, and episodic memory. With Rise Above, we kick our neocortex into the driver’s seat of our fear and show the amygdala who’s boss.

Skydiving student conquering fear through the Rise Above Program at Wisconsin Skydiving Center

Why Is Rise Above Worth It? 

Rise Above is a structured, five-step workshop that helps you confront your fear(s). You delve deep into what scares you, challenging yourself to tackle it head on, consciously override the grip it has on you, and take the power back.

  1. Acknowledge Your Fear 

One of the first steps in any healing journey is admission to oneself and to others. It’s incredibly freeing to say to yourself or out loud, “Hey, this is who I am and this is what I’m scared of, and I’m ready for help to overcome it!” We believe it takes a strong and courageous person to acknowledge what’s buried within and surrender to the fact that they need help to work it out. We’re proud that our warm, welcoming environment provides the safe space participants need to make it happen! 

  1. Understand Your Fear 

For an experience to be transformational, you have to appreciate your starting point and the ground you traverse to get to the end point. Understanding the science behind fear and how it relates to you personally, helps you right-size what scares you and prepare yourself to beat it. 

  1. Why Skydive To Overcome Fear? 

Skydiving has proven to be an excellent way to process fear and progress beyond it. Traditional motivational programs attempt to relay information in a way that you will receive it. Incorporating what you learn may require you to re-read your notes or reconnect with the program. Rise Above empowers you to internalize information after you achieve it. Embodying what you learn requires you to look within for answers or watch your skydiving video and relive your achievement. With Rise Above, you are an active participant in your healing.

There’s a reason avid skydivers are known for saying, “I skydive because it’s cheaper than therapy.” It’s true! 

  1. Jump!

As we grow through life, we experience “firsts” less and less. Skydiving is chock full of firsts! For starters, you fly in an airplane with the door open and then — despite protests from that loud-mouth amygdala (probably something along the lines of “WHAT? WHY? NOOO!!”) — you jump out at 10,000 feet above the ground. There’s no turning back! Your fear goes into overdrive … sensory overload … every fiber of your being is screaming at you. But just two seconds into freefall, a switch flips and you experience pure presence. There is only this; there is only now. And in this moment your relationship with fear changes forever.

Tandem skydiver exiting an airplane door with clouds in the background at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Milwaukee
  1. Take It All In & Reflect

After you land back on Sweet Mother Earth and realize what you — YOU! — just did, you feel the perspective shift within you. Now we invite you reflect on what you’ve just accomplished. We’ll spend some time reviewing your skydive footage and talk about how you felt during each stage of your jump. Some revelations will hit you immediately, others may take some time.

Note, you don’t have to get the video, but we strongly recommend it so that — whenever you need a dose of truth talk — you can see your powerful transformation over the course of your skydiving experience. From the nervousness in your voice during the pre-jump interview and the jitters on the ride to altitude, to your huge smile during freefall and pure joy under the canopy, and finally the reclamation of self you see when you triumphantly land, your video is proof positive that you are force!

If you’re ready to not just go through life but to grow through life, reserve your spot in the Rise Above program today! We cannot wait to support your personal journey. The Rise Above Program can also be booked for groups interested in team building and improving group dynamics. Have questions about tandem skydiving or the Rise Above Program? Reach out! You can do hard things, and we’re here to help you prove it. Blue skies.

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