How Skydiving Changed My Life

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 »

How Skydiving Changes Our Lives

HSCML20124In 2004, I made my first tandem skydive. Two months earlier, I told my husband and his friends that they were crazy for doing it, but after seeing their reactions, I decided to give it a try. After my first jump with Martin Swords at Gold Coast Skydivers, I was hooked. My progression was very slow, but due to the patience of the local staff and experienced jumpers, I stayed with it. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Jim Fischer


by Jim Fischer | A-62069 | St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Two years ago, my 26-year-old son called me to say he just went skydiving for the first time. We weren’t close, and I couldn’t understand why he would waste his time and limited resources on such a frivolous and dangerous activity. His first jump was a tandem, and he was intent upon taking the AFF course (whatever that was). Despite my apprehensions, he took the class and began jumping on a regular basis. My wife and I were worried about him. We asked him to call us on Sunday afternoons to reassure us he survived another weekend of defying death. And when he called and eased our worried minds, he’d relate his forays into the atmosphere with great joy and enthusiasm. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Larry Hayhurst


by Larry Hayhurst | D-29907 | Forest Hills, Pennsylvania

I started skydiving after age 50. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Ralph Kubicsek


by Ralph Kubicsek | C-37834 | Gainesville, Florida

Skydiving first came into my life in 2001 when I was 22 years old. I was sitting on the couch with my girlfriend at the time and said, “Let’s go jump out of a plane!” It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, and she was game. We drove to a DZ, and I got my first taste of skydiving. I remember being very nervous and excited at the same time. I have always been a bit on the anxious side, even as a kid, and this was really pushing me to the edge of my comfort zone. The entire experience was amazing. It really did feel like a dream, and I remember wanting to go again as soon as my feet hit the ground. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Laura Bonner


by Laura Bonner | Richmond, Virginia

I don’t skydive. As a friend of mine says, I stay on the ground and collect life insurance. And I have my reasons, none of which matter to you junkies out there, but I can admit that skydiving has irrevocably altered the course of my existence in ways that somehow mesh with nostalgic memories from childhood and then push me into the wondrous exploration of the unknown. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Barry Sinex


by Barry Sinex | D-31060 | Duluth, Minnesota

When I was 5 years old, I used to have dreams I could fly. If I ran and dove with enough vigor, I would experience a few minutes of flight. In 1969, we moved to Florida. On weekends I saw parachutes, and I was drawn to them just like a moth to a flame. It wasn't long before I was holding tension on the Para-Commander parachutes while the skydivers flaked their canopies. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Brian Doyne


by Brian Doyne | A-60685 | Fredericksburg, Virginia

To put it simply, skydiving gave me freedom. In February of 2005, I was deployed to Iraq as a member of an explosive ordnance disposal unit. Our job was the neutralization of explosive threats to coalition forces; we’re the guys and girls that stop roadside bombs from hurting folks. It wasn’t always easy, but truth be told, we sure had fun doing it. On February 24, 2005, I was doing a post-blast investigation on a blast site that had injured some American soldiers when three more devices went off. The largest of them was about 20 feet away and had an estimated 20 pounds of explosives in it. Besides hurting like a bunch of words not allowed in print, it did the following: mostly tore both legs off below the knee, screwed up all the tendons and ligaments in both knees, collapsed a lung, blew my left arm off below the elbow, destroyed my left eye, and fractured my skull (and those are just the major injuries). Needless to say, this was a life-altering experience. I’ve stayed positive, though, kept myself active and try to stay in shape, but the truth is—things hurt. All the time. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Shaun Brock


by Shaun Brock | B-34969 | Altus, Oklahoma

I’m active duty in the Air Force, and I have spent the last 12 years as a loadmaster, planning and calculating proper cargo and passenger arrangements on C-17 transport aircraft. Nine of those years, I worked on air drops. But until a little over a year ago, I was 100-percent a whuffo! I have watched countless numbers of parachutists jump out of my aircraft, and I can’t even count the number of times that I asked, either aloud or just in my head, “Why would anyone ever jump out of a perfectly good aircraft?” more »