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Why would anyone jump from a perfectly good plane?! We hear this question a lot and we train a lot of people to become licensed skydivers… so we thought we’d ask them to get their answers. This week, we pick Sean Kennedy’s brain…
1. Tell us about your very first skydive. Why did you decide to jump?
My very first skydive was a tandem at Wisconsin Skydiving Center in July of 2014. My decision to jump actually started 5 years ago, when I was 17. I bought a gift certificate at a cancer fund raiser, and actually forgot about it! When some of my friends started talking about going, it dawned on me…I had a gift certificate to go!
2. Did you know immediately after your first jump that you wanted to continue jumping, or did it take a while before the urge to become a solo skydiver took root?
As soon as my feet touched the ground after my first tandem, I knew this was something that would soon be a huge part of my life. The feeling I felt was not only the adrenaline rush I was looking for, but an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and joy. Coming from a background of extreme sports I thought I knew how I would feel after, but it was something completely different.
3. What do you remember most clearly about your first solo AFF jump?
It’s actually kind of funny, the thing I remember most about my first solo skydive was riding up in the plane with someone who had recently become one of my friends through WSC, Bryson. I remember he asked, “Want to know what your first AFF jump is going to look like?” as he threw up two fingers in front of my face he shouted “LEGS!”. He was spot on.
4. The sport of skydiving can be very demanding on your mind, body, and, let’s be honest, personal life. What’s been the biggest challenge for you on your journey so far?
To be honest, I really haven’t felt like skydiving was ever a “challenge”. I was pretty nervous the day I first showed up for AFF but through Bo’s training I felt ready for it. Ever since that first day I have had more and more of a hunger to learn as much as I can, and everyone at WSC was amazing at making sure I was fully prepared for my next jump. They were having fun teaching me, and I was having fun learning.
5. How do your family and friends feel about your decision to become a skydiver?
All of my friends, like me, come from an extreme sports background so they are all super excited for me and want to join in on the fun. My family on the other hand is pretty split on the whole thing. My mom thinks it’s awesome, and has come out to the DZ to watch and even despite her extreme fear of heights did a tandem jump! My dad still refuses to come watch in person, but loves seeing the videos once I am home safe.
6. People tend to think of skydivers as adrenaline junkies or adventure seekers. Do you think you fit that description or are people generally surprised when they learn that you’re a skydiver?
That description fits me perfectly, but I have learned that you can’t always judge a book by its cover. I remember some of my first thoughts when meeting people at WSC were “Wait, you’re a skydiver?! You’re not here to watch?!”.
7. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting AFF, but can’t quite bring him/herself to commit?
I would tell them how much I can already tell that skydiving has changed my life for the better. Some times I can’t tell what I love more, skydiving, or the skydiving community at WSC. Every time I am there I feel like I am on vacation. It has without a doubt been the most personally rewarding thing I have ever done. If someone were close to signing up for AFF and decided not to, they would be missing out on one of the greatest things life has to offer.
8. Why did you choose Wisconsin Skydiving Center for your AFF training?
After doing my first tandem, I stood around and talked to some of the staff and other skydivers for hours without even noticing the time flying! I instantly connected to everyone there and saw their passion for the sport, I loved it from the get-go. I knew I wouldn’t want to learn anywhere else.
9. When you’re not skydiving, how do you spend your time?
In the summer I spend as much time on two wheels as possible. I ride motocross, and also have a custom “bobber” I love to ride on the street. I also love anything outdoors whether it be hunting, exploring, traveling, training dogs, or just cruising on my boat, I try to spend as much time outside as possible.
10. If you could skydive anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Skydive Dubai is on the top of my list, it looks beautiful, and the city itself is extremely intriguing to me.