Why I Skydive
Nearly impossible to explain
This post was originally published on August 5, 2015 on www.radha-nath.com. On February 3, 2017 it was migrated to Medium.
If you’re not a skydiver you’re probably thinking “Who in their right mind would jump out of a perfectly good airplane?!”. And trust me…we get asked that a ton. But it’s not just about getting your butt out of that plane, it’s also the lifestyle and community that inevitably come with the sport. Skydiving has greatly influenced the way I view and handle my life.
That may sound silly, but here’s why:
Never Stop Learning
Skydiving is a sport that never ends, there’s always something to learn. Exit, Freefall, Canopy, Landing Patterns. It’s more than just falling towards earth, it’s being aware of your body and how to fly it. It’s understanding how to pilot your canopy so you actually enjoy the flight. Overall the sport involves a good amount of physics and aerodynamics, it’s hard to explain the variety and depth of skills you can acquire over time. But you’ll never stop learning because you’ll never want to stop learning. The more you know, the more fun you have in the sky!
Letting Go of Inhibitions
Skydivers may jump out of planes, but we are far from fearless. I get nerves every single time I ride up to altitude and my thoughts fill with ‘what if this’ or ‘what if that’. But when the door opens and the light turns green, there’s no time for ‘what if’. Anything that you could possibly be worrying about fades as soon as you let go of that plane. You’re not thinking about what you’ve got to do tomorrow or how stressful last week was…all you can do is be completely present in the moment.
Carefree, but not Careless
At the DZ there’s tons of laughter to go around but when it comes down to it, we’re serious about safety. Skydiving is a sport where you’ll meet people who are just as carefree as they are cautious, and for obvious reasons. It’s a good trait to know the balance between when to be serious and when to joke around. In the end it’s taught me to live carefree enough to really enjoy life, but careful enough to live it at all.
The Skydive Palatka Family
The typical skydiver stereotype is crazy, fearless, extroverted, dangerous etc. etc. (you get what I’m saying). Well I’ll be the first to tell you that not all skydivers fit that bill. As with any community, there are all sorts of skydivers with different backgrounds, ages, careers, and personalities.
I’ve met so many of these amazing personalities at the Skydive Palatka. Between earning the name “wrecking ball”, being high-fived till my hands are raw, sharing stories during weather holds, popping my shoulder back into place, and catching fire flies on the airport fields…I have to say Skydive Palatka has pretty much become my second family. There’s something about these weirdos that I just can’t shake.
To wrap things up…
While I’ve done my best to put in writing exactly why I skydive, there’s no amount of words that describes the feeling of sharing the sky with friends. I never thought I’d make it to 100 jumps…and even so, I still feel like a rookie just freshly A-Licensed with still so much to learn.
I want to say a HUGE thank you to all the wonderful people I’ve met. Thanks for jumping with me, helping me grow, and being a part of my life. I’m looking forward to many more jumps and shenanigans to come!
Blue skies. (: