How Skydiving Changed My Life

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Chad Hall


by Chad Hall | D-33207 | Baytown, Texas

Just over a year and a half ago I wandered into Skydive Spaceland in Rosharon, Texas, with my family and some friends to do a tandem jump. My son, William, had just turned 18 a couple of months before, so I gave him a tandem skydive as a present. That jump was incredible! We were both in love with freefall, so I asked the manager, Jason Hyder, if I could do my second tandem and also my first solo on that same day. He said, "If you go pay for it, I will make it happen." I promptly returned to manifest and paid for the second tandem, ground school and first solo. I also gave my son a second tandem. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Giesel Widmer


by Giesel Widmer | B-39171 | Austin, Texas

There are things in this life that will move you, things that will captivate you, things that will fit so perfectly into your world that you find it hard remembering a life without them. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Mike Horan


by Mike Horan | D-881 | Carrabelle, Florida

A short leave from the U.S. Marine Corps in mid-September 1964 had me traveling to East Moriches, New York, home of the Long Island Skydivers. That Sunday morning I wandered around the drop zone looking for a sign of activity. The day was cloudy, windy and starting to mist … no day for skydiving. I then noticed a young man crawling out of his bed—a red, white and blue canopy—in the hangar. I asked him if he was a jumper or a pilot, and he said, “Yeah, I suppose so. I need some food,” and we climbed into his car. He said his name was Jim. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Adam Cutler


by Adam Cutler | B-38978 | Cape Elizabeth, Maine

When I was little, I was that rare kid who knew what he wanted to do with his life: more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Eric Penningroth


by Eric Penningroth | A-66009 | San Antonio, Texas

About two-and-a-half years ago, I decided to follow in my sister’s footsteps and make a tandem jump for my 50th birthday. She had done it several years earlier in Guam, and the pictures just looked awesome. So on the day before I turned 50, I went up in a Twin Otter and jumped. It was absolutely exhilarating! I purchased a coupon for another jump, which I used a year later toward payment to obtain my license. I had decided skydiving was a rush that I could enjoy more than once. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Kevin Bukstein


by Kevin Bukstein | B-38806 | Madison, Wisconsin

I was three jumps away from getting my A license when I had to leave for college. Seven years later (and many failed promises to get myself licensed), I finally returned to my home DZ, AtmosphAir Skydiving Center in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. When I started skydiving in 2005, I was by no means a featherweight skydiver. Due to my heavyset appearance, I was affectionately nicknamed “Cannonball.” And during my seven-year hiatus from skydiving, I had packed even more weight onto my already stocky 5-foot-7-inch frame. I was pushing 260 pounds when I passed the certification jump for my A license. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Wendy Helton


by Wendy Helton | B-38074 | Mount Pleasant, North Carolina

The year 2011 found me struggling with the effects of my recent divorce. I was floundering like a fish out of water, just gasping for that last breath of air. Sadly, there were moments when I wondered if life was even worth still living. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Roland Steadham


by Roland Steadham | C-39315 | Miami, Florida

When I did my first jump at Skydive Utah in Erda nearly four years ago, little did I know it would do much more than change my life; it saved my life! For 33 years, I was a successful TV meteorologist working in large markets like Miami, San Diego and Salt Lake City. But as things go, the economy took a big chunk out of advertising and TV budgets. The end result: I was let go. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Melissa Tsouhnikas


by Melissa Tsouhnikas | C-39407 | Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Skydiving didn't just change my life, it took over my life, even if everyone didn't get it. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Westy Copeland


by Westy Copeland | A-62615 | Minneapolis, Minnesota

After nearly 20 years of marriage, one gets a bit blasé about stuff. Routines grind on, kids take all your time (and money), and work makes a husband and wife pass like ships in the night. The mirror shows you a body that’s getting older and a face that’s toughened from years of stress. And then one day, your husband suggests trying a tandem skydive. more »