How Skydiving Changed My Life

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Jason Christensen

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by Jason Christensen | A-61244 | Carver, Minnesota

With a simple “three, two, one,” I was out the door and the adrenaline in my veins rushed as quickly as the cool wind. I had bungee jumped off the Grand Canyon and record-high cliffs in Québec, and I had motorcycled for years, but none of those experiences came close to my first skydive. Most people said I was absolutely insane to actually want to jump out of a plane. They might be right, but they don’t know what they’re missing. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Annie Curry

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by Annie Curry | A-65625 | Athens, Georgia

The first time I jumped out of a plane, it was a tandem and I was participating in a fundraiser called Jump, Fly, Be Different! for the nonprofit organization Extra Special People. My son has Down Syndrome and attends summer camp at ESP. The organization held the fundraiser to raise money to send kids with disabilities to camp. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - James Hilliard

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by James Hilliard | B-35434 | Lincoln, Nebraska

In 2007, at the age of 23, I moved to a new city to be closer to family and finish college. Before moving, I hadn't given much thought to how I would support myself in this new location. Pilot certificates filled my wallet, and I already had a couple years of experience working as a flight instructor. Therefore, I knew my best chances for finding work would be as a pilot. Internet searches led me to the local drop zone. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Gary Holden

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by Gary Holden | D-31444 | Cincinnati, Ohio

This adventure all started around my 60th birthday, in March 2009, while talking with my co-worker, Abby, who has the same birthday as I do (though I’m 30 years older). We were trying to come up with something special to do. I mentioned that I would like to jump out of an airplane before I got too old to do it. Abby said that she had always wanted to do it, too, and we made a pact: I would do it if she would. So in June, we made our first tandem skydives. I was hooked! Then we made two more, one in July and one in August. In September, we started the AFF program at Start Skydiving in Middletown, Ohio, but ran out of good weather before the end of the season and had to finish the following year. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Alana Wilson

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by Alana Wilson | USPA #266048 | Minnesota City, Minnesota

I'm here to tell you that life begins after 40 … or should I say, “after skydiving”? I never knew how fulfilling or empowering skydiving would be for me until I went for my first tandem skydive. After raising my two daughters on my own and realizing I was truly going to have an empty nest, I decided it was time to go out and do the things I always wanted to do but didn’t because I had to think of my family first. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Samantha Hopkins

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 »