Are skydivers crazy?
Skydivers – Most people say we are crazy. Some say we’ve got a death wish. Psychologists say people with an inclination to take high risks are a essential part of the continuation of our species.
We are people from all walks of life. Pupils, blue-collar employees, engineers, doctors, nurses, you name it. What we have in common is an infinity for a risky game, skydiving. Some also participate in other sports like scuba diving, kayaking, rock climbing, skiing. There is a sense of camaraderie among us. A sense that we understand a larger truth that is overlooked by most people.
Mentally it is an incredibly refreshing break from”society”. Skydiving is a super stress reliever. When you are skydiving, you focus on that skydive and nothing else. This keeps away all the distractions of life. No room for stray thoughts or worries here.
And yes, the adrenaline is no doubt a part of it. Our human bodies are designed to make adrenaline as a survival mechanism and it is being considered more and more as a necessary part of the human experience and overall health. Something any skydiver could have already told you a long time ago.
Stepping out the door of a flying plane has other advantages too. It makes you mentally tough. It takes a good deal of mind control to go against what you’ve been educated about danger since a kid, get a hold of your ideas, and realize that yes, it’s okay to step out that door. You acquire an increased awareness of all that is around you. You build a confidence in yourself and a fast response as events happen around you. The feeling of accomplishment is extraordinary. Knowing you met with your fear, took control, and pushed to take that step flows over into other parts of your life. I organized the outing. Everyone had a blast but I was the only person who did more than 1 jump. Later, in speaking with one of the guys in the group he said to me I know that whatever I face in life, I could remember that I went up in that airplane and did a skydive. If I can summon the courage to do that, I could do anything. It was great.
Okay, so enough of this psychobabble mumbo jumbo. What is the sensation? When you step out the door of a flying airplane you are in freefall until the parachute is deployed. Stick your arm out the window of a car doing 60 mph then imagine your whole body out there going twice as fast – then you begin to get a little of the notion of what skydiving feels like.
No one I’ve ever talked to has been able to put into words the feeling of skydiving. Even asking first time jumpers – is there any way to describe what you did – just elicits a wide-eyed, grinning, no way.
Freefall is such a stupendous sense of independence. You are flying through the air, able to move your body in 3D. You can fly forward, back-up, move sideways, speed up how quickly you’re falling and slow down how fast you are falling. Yes, you are continually falling. But during that time you are definitely flying your body. You can do flips and twists. You can stand on your feet or stand on your head. There are absolutely no limits as to which direction you can move your body.
And let there be no doubt – there is not a plane around that can provide you the exact same view. What an awesome sight to see 360 degrees around you – the sky, the horizon, the unbelievable beauty of the world, right there for you to see with no obstructions. To feel you are a part of the sky.
The parachute flies like a glider; reacting to the pilot’s input and clipping you through the skies. It can be flown slowly and smoothly or fast and wild. But either way, with pilot input, it might bring you safely and gently to landing on the ground. Who will ever know the beauty, the freedom, the rush but somebody that has been there?