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Ratings: AFF Instructor | Coach | Pro/Exhibition
When Dan is not skydiving, he is a freelance graphic artist as well as a bartender at the “World Famous” East Point Sportz Pub in Janesville, WI. Dan’s hobbies include rock climbing, skiing, hiking, camping, biking, watching movies, sketching and sleeping. Dan loves people and being outdoors. He used to work at a corporate desk, but it drove him crazy. Today, Dan is happily married with a one-year-old daughter and two beautiful stepchildren.
Dan works a lot, and skydiving relaxes him. “I enjoy jumping with first-time jumpers because it allows us all to share energy and form a bond that does not exist in everyday interactions.” – Dan
Dan Schultz doesn’t dream of the life he hopes to have – he is living the life he’s dreamed of living. Read about him and his many interests in this week’s 10 Questions With… Dan Schultz.
1. What attracted you to the sport of skydiving?
Patrick Swayze. That movie (Point Break) initially got me hooked on the idea as a kid, but I never thought I would actually ever do it. I figured maybe a tandem and that’s it. I learned it’s a sport that takes confidence, discipline and you have to be a little bit crazy. The more I learned about it, the deeper the hook set. It’s not something for everybody, so it allows us to be part of an elite group of people. Those crazy people are what really attract me. We play together, we work together, and we watch out for each other. They become family from the instant I jump with them and form bonds that can never be broken.
2. What influenced you to actually make the phone call to make your first skydive?
A longtime friend called me up and dragged me to that first jump. Honestly, I hated it. I was hungover from a softball game the night before, and I was just happy to have jumped and to be safely back in the ground. The same buddy called me again a couple summers later – and again, the same result. I decided to go a third time to show off to some girl I was dating and she had expressed an interest in jumping. I stayed in the night before and showed up fully rested. The buddy who had arranged the first two jumps had gone on to get his license and coincidentally happened to be there that day. He jumped with us. It blew my mind! He flew down to us and touched me! I’d known that face for 20+years, but never with that background. He tracked away and I was in absolute disbelief of what I had just witnessed. Been hooked ever since.
3. What’s the most memorable skydive you’ve ever been on?
There have been so many. My very first night time jump was amazing! I now jump at night whenever I get a chance. But I would probably have to say my Cut-away. I learned a lot from that jump. I learned what I did wrong to prevent the need to do so again – but I also learned that I was capable of utilizing my experience and training. I was terrified of ever having to do a cutaway, I knew it was always a possibility and hoped I would never have to go through with it. We were trained from day one how to react, how to respond to emergencies and what we would need to do to save our own life. I was actually euphoric to finally be tested and pass.
4. Who / What inspires you?
Honestly, Bo. He tells us stories of when he first came to America with little in his pockets and now has a successful business that he runs with the help of his former students who have ascended to the statuses of instructor. Around the Dropzone, Bo has everyone’s love, admiration, and respect. Through his training and philosophies, he has filled me with the confidence necessary to survive in this sport, as well as to have a sharpened perspective of the real world. I trust his decisions and most of all I believe in myself because he believes in me. He trusts me to take his students into the sky, shoot videos of his tandems, and even pays me to do so! I have nothing but admiration and respect for the guy. He is like a father to me. He just makes me want to be a better person.
5. Of the places you have visited – which is your favorite and why?
Again, there are so many places. Badlands. Mammoth Caves. Grand Isle. The Dominican Republic. Jumping over the desert in Phoenix was amazing, but so was Canada. My favorite place is the neighborhood I grew up in. It’s good to go home.
6. What other interests do you have outside of skydiving?
Sometimes I think I may have too many interests. I love being outdoors. I love downhill skiing, hiking, camping, rock-climbing, but I also love the technology that is available today. I have a graphic arts degree with an advertising minor, so I love art and animation. I love movies, video games, music, bluetooth speakers and other gadgets. I also love my Wisconsin sports teams. Go Packers, Badgers, and Brewers! I’m always busy doing something, and my biggest problem is I’m too busy with interests to enjoy other interests… ha ha ha
7. What about you do few people know?
I’m freaked out by open water. It doesn’t matter if it’s an ocean or a backyard pond. If my feet can’t touch or I can’t see the bottom, I just assume that there is something bigger than me looking up, debating whether or not to eat my toes. I also hate needles. I would rather the doctor cut my arm off to get a blood sample than to actually stick me. So of course, my biggest fear is to be in the middle of the ocean and encounter a shark with needles for teeth. But as freaked out as I get, I still do it. I love to swim. I just swim fast and anticipate any attacks.
8. What’s on your bucket list?
Honestly, I get annoyed by “bucket lists”. Everybody talks about what they want to do before they die. I just wanna live. I don’t really have things set out that I need to do before I die. I just want to get through this life without hurting anybody or disappointing my parents. Otherwise, I do things as the opportunity arises. But I guess I would like to go into outer space. Maybe walk on the moon. Run with the bulls? There is nothing that really compels me. If an opportunity comes along, I just do it. I feel that I have done so much that each opportunity I get from here out is a blessing. But- I guess if I had to give an absolute answer, it would be to finally get married and have some kids.
9. What do you do for work? If you could do anything as an occupation – what would it be?
Currently, my primary source of income is from bartending at the World-Famous East Point Sportz pub in Janesville and occasional freelance graphic work. But as I’ve stated, I now get paid to video and coach skydiving.
My dream occupation would probably be an action film star who does all of his own stunts. I could be anybody, and life would constantly be changing to prepare for the next adventurous role. Or an Art Director. I’m not grown up enough yet though to make that kind of decision.
10. What are your future goals?
My current goals are to get my Pro Rating so I can deliver a game ball (from the sky) to a home game of the semi-pro football team I played with. I plan to become tandem certified. I’ve also considered getting a pilot’s license (first class in July). My long-term plans are to try out some base jumping, maybe some wingsuiting, but also to climb more, ski more and most importantly, to live as much life as I can before I can’t.