How Skydiving Changed My Life

How Skydiving Changed My Life - J.T. Valente

HSCML20157

by J.T. Valente | D-26340 | Mount Holly, New Jersey

When I was 9 years old, I witnessed my first skydive. That was when I knew my dream of flying could become reality. Nine years later, I made plans to jump with a friend who worked for a skydiver. We toasted with a few drinks on the eve of our big event. The next morning he chickened out, and I was left without a connection to the sky. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Tiffany Becker

HSCML20156

by Tiffany Becker | C-40498 | Acworth, Georgia

"I'll never, ever skydive." I said those words out loud at one point in my life, partly because I was genuinely scared and partly because I could sense the pull toward the sky. Later, as a single, 27-year-old woman, I heard my sister say she would skydive, and I caught myself responding that I would jump with her. I seemed to have forgotten about that "never, ever" part and made tandem reservations for the two of us. We spent the day at the hangar waiting out clouds, and when it came time for us to jump, we had the plane to ourselves. I didn't want to witness my sister falling out of the plane, so I volunteered to jump ahead of her. My first thought once I landed was, "Why was I so scared of this? It's amazing!" After we walked back to the hangar, my tandem instructor gave me a brochure about AFF, and that's when I knew I was hooked. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Ted Atkins

HSCML20155

by Ted Atkins | A-73783 | Notts, United Kingdom

“Tell me that again? Your first jump was from 29,000 feet?” Yes. It's a bit of a story... more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Dara Shapiro

HSCML20154

by Dara Shapiro | C-42751 | Plantation, Florida

2014: What a crazy year! I experienced the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Shannon Searls

HSCML20153

by Shannon Searls | D-33131 | Ventura, California

For Owen and me, it was love at first flight! We had each been jumping at Mile-Hi Skydiving Center in Longmont, Colorado, for about one year before we exchanged our first words, some silly comment while we were packing next to each other. The following day we joined a group for a trip into the Rocky Mountains. Owen and I found ourselves in the back of a car for the three-hour trip. I had confessed my lack of tracking skills, and Owen jumped at the opportunity to show me. Little did I know he was starting to work his magic. (OK, I kind of knew!) more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Tom Underwood

HSCML20152

by Tom Underwood | USPA #277811 | Anchorage, Alaska

On May 31, 1998, I died. There were no lights and I didn’t flat line. But one life ended and another began that day. I was sitting in my easy chair watching some innocuous television program when it felt like I had been shot in the gut with a load of molten lead. There were no thoughts, only pain, as I fell from the chair vomiting. The last thing I remember was the emergency room doors closing on my feet. I was put in a coma. My illness was acute necrotizing pancreatitis. At the time it was 95 percent fatal, and my survival was a gift from God. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Shauna Finley

HSCML20151

by Shauna Finley | C-42387 | Wantage, New Jersey

July 22, 2013, was the day that changed my life. A week earlier, a coworker and I had received a briefing that a new drop zone was opening in our patrol area. The owners had invited troopers from our station to come out and make a tandem skydive. The two of us showed up at the brand-new drop zone, Skydive Sussex in New Jersey, on the 22nd to start on our paths to becoming skydivers. From the moment I landed with my tandem instructor, I knew I had found a new passion. My instructor said he knew from the look on my face that I was hooked. He couldn’t have been more right. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Izabella Toledo

HSCML201412

by Izabella Toledo | C-41275 | Sherbrooke, Quebec

This weekend I celebrated four years of skydiving by making my 400th jump! Four years ago my life definitely changed for the better. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Carlyn Burczyk

HSCML201411

by Carlyn Burczyk | A-65295 | Levittown, New York

At the beginning of 2012, my boyfriend, Michael, and I started working at a local drop zone doing photography and video editing, and we both began jumping later that season. That October, Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island, New York. At the time, Michael and I lived in an apartment on the water, and it flooded from the storm. Everything was completely drenched, but most of it was still salvageable. The next day, we returned just in time to see the fire department shoveling through our destroyed belongings. We found out that the corroded outlets had sparked a fire and torched almost everything we owned. Anything that wasn’t burnt in the fire was either melted or completely smoke damaged. We had nothing left. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Jessie Rivadeneyra

HSCML201410

by Jessie Rivadeneyra | B-40524 | Ridge, New York

Your pulse is racing, your heart’s beating so fast it feels like it might jump out of your chest, a cold sweat is beading down your neck, your hands are shaking … it all sounds like how you’d feel after landing from an exciting jump, right? Well, it is, but it’s also how you’d feel after waking up in the middle of the night from an anxiety attack after having a night terror. The feeling of adrenaline rushing through your body can be either a terrifying nightmare or a beautiful experience. When did skydiving change my life? The moment I understood the difference between the two. more »