How Skydiving Changed My Life

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Samantha Hopkins


by Samantha Hopkins | B-36043 | Vernon, Connecticut

I waddled my way to the edge of the plane door with a strange man strapped to my back. I thought to myself, “What did I sign myself up for?” My tandem instructor screamed, “Out! In! Out!” and as quick as that, I was plummeting to the earth at 120 mph. I didn’t know that this moment would be the beginning of an unforgettable journey. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Larry Wiezorek


by Larry Wiezorek | A-61324 | Carbondale, Kansas

I was nearing 50 years old and wondered, “What has life got in store for me? I have enjoyed life; I have enjoyed family and friends. My children are grown and gone. What’s left?” I rode bulls for the first 10 to 15 years of my adult life (I even reached a professional level) and walked the high steel as an ironworker, yet I searched my soul and realized that I had never reached my ultimate dream. But what was my ultimate dream? more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Connie Krusi


by Connie Krusi | D-18905 | New Braunfels, Texas

Ten thousand jumps is a lot of jumps, even in this day of multiple-turbine drop zones, where one is able to make multiple jumps every day of the week. Ten thousand tandems is an even bigger feat, especially when you were initially told you weren’t tall enough or strong enough to be a tandem instructor. For you see, I’m only 5 feet 2 inches tall. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Nancy Fichtelberg


by Nancy Fichtelberg | USPA #247308 | North Brunswick, New Jersey

All of my life I have been afraid of so much: roller coasters, heights and even flying in airplanes! If I was a passenger in a car, I would tell the driver to slow down. I was not much of a daredevil, to say the least. I never had a hobby or had anything that I loved doing. I was the mom of four daughters who meant the world to me, but they were grown and had their lives to live. My husband and I had a home that was becoming empty. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Jorge Bauza


by Jorge Bauza | A-63105 | Denton, Texas

It all started when my son, Kelki, turned 18. As a birthday present, he wanted to make a tandem jump. We went to Xtreme Divers West in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and he made his jump. On his 19th birthday, I asked, “What do you want to do this year?” He replied, "I want you to jump with me!" And that is how I made my first tandem jump. After that jump, Kelki asked for my blessing to become a skydiver. Based on my experience in the school of life, my reply was a blessing and advice to stay safe. So, there he went. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Jake Morse


by Jake “Feather” Morse | C-39588 | Minnetonka, Minnesota

Two years ago, I was willing to try nearly anything to rebalance my mix of work and life. I sought a social hobby that people really got excited about, with a small, close community that calls itself family. I’ve had hobbies and a social life, but the two never really comfortably overlapped. I sought that overlap. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Cody Marsh


by Cody Marsh | B-29614 | San Diego, California

This story begins long before I ever strapped on a parachute for the first time, long before I saw “Point Break” and long before I even knew what a parachute was. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Marcelaine Wininger Lewis


by Marcelaine Wininger Lewis | D-24581 | Houghton, Michigan

In 1999, I met a nice man who was a skydiver. As our friendship shifted to romance, I began flying with him to Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois. Because I am a flight instructor, I quickly became friends with the jump pilots. The constant sound of Twin Otters roaring to life on takeoff, the intoxicating smell of jet exhaust, the blossoming of canopies overhead, Moby and other cool music pulsing in the background electrified me. I was fascinated by the things and people who were flying, but during that first summer, it never occurred to me to jump. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Tyler Farnham


by Tyler Farnham | A-46902 | Cocoa Beach, Florida

April 2009 was the month my life changed forever. I am a seasoned skydiver who has been jumping for 10 years. I was born and raised a surfer, but when I turned 18, a few buddies and I decided to go skydiving thanks to the movie “Point Break.” After that first jump, I was hooked and wanted more. I immediately got certified so I could jump on my own. The feeling skydiving gives me is like nothing else on this planet: I’m flying like a bird, and once I’m on the ground, I get an enormous rush and can’t help but smile. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Jessica Kniffen


by Jessica Kniffen | A-35942 | Phoenix, Arizona

It all started on Christmas Day in 2002 when my mom gave my dad a gift certificate to make a tandem. Curiosity got the best of my mom and me, and in the summer of 2003, we also made a tandem. I made a second in the spring of 2004, and then in May of 2005, I decided I would do one AFF jump in order to say that I had gone skydiving. (I never felt that a tandem was skydiving.) After my first AFF, I was addicted. In August 2005, I earned my A license and before I knew it, I was at the drop zone every opportunity I had. more »