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AFF Progress!

 

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malooper  (Student)

Aug 25, 2013, 9:11 PM
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AFF Progress! Can't Post

Soo…I finally got to do my FJC! Definitely felt overwhelmed by the time we were going over malfunctions and a bit nervous to go up on my own but by lunch time we figured I wasn't going to be able to go since the winds were gusting over the 14mph mark. Frown But…since on my second tandem I didn't get to pull the chute and I was feeling a bit nervous flying the canopy solo, we decided another training tandem would be good with all the new information. So up I got to go and I was so surprised at how nervous I was! Even more so then the first time when I was scared. We think it was the overload and the examining I was now under. Unsure

Anyways, I was with the same TI as before, who I found out is the most experienced jumper at the DZ, so that helped calm me a bit. He said that my form was great (which kind of shocked me since my back was hurting from all that arching during the course!) but needed to work on my diveflow sequence. Said I did well on the canopy control and we actually had end cells closure which I noticed and knew what to do to fix but it righted itself out before we needed to. I'm honestly glad we had that because I got to see how I initially reacted to a slow malfunction. He said overall, I'm really calm and that's great. I felt he did most of the control and he said he did need to have a good grip because the winds were up but that I turned when I needed to and had a good sense of orientation.

He said "no more tandems for you. You know everything you need to." His main point at the end of it all was to grow in confidence. And after his experience and critique, I'd say I gained a bit. While I was bummed that I didn't go on my own, I'm really glad that I went one more time so now I know what I need to work on and what my weak points are (as of now!). Thanks all for the advice and forms of encouragement. I really appreciate it and can't wait till the next jump!!! Cool


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Aug 25, 2013, 9:26 PM
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It takes a while to get over being scared. Then you go do a jump and remember how awesome it is.

I found doing 2 or 3 AFF jumps in a day was more productive than doing one and then going away for a few days (or more.) The later jumps on the same day, the nerves don't seem as bad.

Up until I got my A license, there were several days where I talked myself out of going to the DZ, just because I didn't want to deal with the nerves. I did it at least 5 or 6 times. Being nervous is normal. It's how you know you're sane. Even after I felt like I was mostly over my door fear (Which really was only around AFF 4 for me) I still psyched myself out several times when I should have gone to the DZ to do a jump.

It really is amazing how well all that training sticks with you, and it's amazing how quickly you progress. I'd have never called that I'd get through AFF in those few short jumps, or manage all the A license objectives by the end of 25 (Well 33 -- I did a few hop and pops for a beginner canopy course before getting my A) jumps. It's amazing how confident a skydiver you are by the time you graduate AFF. Stick with it, you'll get there.


Trafficdiver  (D License)

Aug 26, 2013, 5:21 AM
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Re: [malooper] AFF Progress! [In reply to] Can't Post

I found my first few AFF jumps to be more frightening than my tandem. I think it's normal.

I now miss being that scared...


malooper  (Student)

Aug 26, 2013, 11:38 AM
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Re: [FlyingRhenquest] AFF Progress! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for sharing and relating!

I definitely think with each jump I'll gain more confidence and learn to deal with the nerves better. Smile


malooper  (Student)

Aug 26, 2013, 11:41 AM
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Yeah, it does make sense because you're on your own and it's a lot of information to know so I wasn't beating myself up over it, just a healthy dose of fear I think. It didn't stop me from going! Wink


PixieUK  (B License)

Aug 26, 2013, 2:59 PM
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Re: [malooper] AFF Progress! [In reply to] Can't Post

malooper wrote:
He said "no more tandems for you. You know everything you need to." His main point at the end of it all was to grow in confidence. And after his experience and critique, I'd say I gained a bit. While I was bummed that I didn't go on my own, I'm really glad that I went one more time so now I know what I need to work on and what my weak points are (as of now!). Thanks all for the advice and forms of encouragement. I really appreciate it and can't wait till the next jump!!! Cool

Well done you, sounds fabulous! At least you got to go up Smile and now you've got more confidence too so fingers crossed for your first AFF!


SFBayArea

Aug 27, 2013, 1:12 PM
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Re: [FlyingRhenquest] AFF Progress! [In reply to] Can't Post

FlyingRhenquest wrote:
It takes a while to get over being scared. Then you go do a jump and remember how awesome it is.

I found doing 2 or 3 AFF jumps in a day was more productive than doing one and then going away for a few days (or more.) The later jumps on the same day, the nerves don't seem as bad.

Up until I got my A license, there were several days where I talked myself out of going to the DZ, just because I didn't want to deal with the nerves. I did it at least 5 or 6 times. Being nervous is normal. It's how you know you're sane. Even after I felt like I was mostly over my door fear (Which really was only around AFF 4 for me) I still psyched myself out several times when I should have gone to the DZ to do a jump.

It really is amazing how well all that training sticks with you, and it's amazing how quickly you progress. I'd have never called that I'd get through AFF in those few short jumps, or manage all the A license objectives by the end of 25 (Well 33 -- I did a few hop and pops for a beginner canopy course before getting my A) jumps. It's amazing how confident a skydiver you are by the time you graduate AFF. Stick with it, you'll get there.

Strange, but for me it was the other way around. I did two jumps in one day Cat B and Cat C and on the way for my Cat C jump I was soooo much worked up that I almost thought of landing with the plane. On the other hand, after a week gone by I started missing the freefall feeling and canopy flight and was really eager to do the jump.
After my Cat D2 jump, instructor let me exit airplane all by myself and jump out by myself, to say the least I ended up on my back and was fighting to turn on my belly for about two thousand feet. That exit scared the heck out of me and I thought that will be it, I will not do any more jumps. Well took me three weeks to get around it and next time I was on DZ I told instructor that I want to do the head dive exit all by myself. I did and for the first time I actually enjoyed the jump.
All of this happened about three weeks ago. Since then I have graduated from AFF and now have 14 jumps. I still feel that my heartbeat is escalated when we are ascending in the plane, but nothing comparing to the fears I had 7 jumps before.
So just keep doing your jumps. It will get better. The key is to relax during your exit and freefall. Go to the tunnel to learn how to relax in a 120mls wind, it helped me a lot.


Kalrigan  (B License)

Aug 27, 2013, 5:42 PM
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Re: [malooper] AFF Progress! [In reply to] Can't Post

Nervousness is normal. I'm also quite new to the sport, I'm at 25 jumps only, should be working on my A but goddamn it's hard getting a C2 to jump with me since they're all busy with tandems so I've been doing fun jumps.

Even after I finished my PFF (it's like AFF with small differences here in Canada) I remember days where I would look for excuses not to go to the DZ, or sit in the parking lot of the DZ nervous hoping someone would come out, pull me out of the car, strap a rig on me and throw me out a plane. All that is gone now. I went a week without a jump and started having withdrawal. Eventually you'll get used to the feeling, and the door will become your friend. Hell, now I can't wait for the door to open so we can start getting the hell out.

My last 2 fun jumps were probably the most fun I've had since I started. I don't know how it is in the US, but a C2 is supposed to teach us how to backfly here in Canada, at least where I am. But on my 2nd fun jump today I decided to give it a shot, I recover quick now so figured why not give it a shot and worst case scenario I would stop if I tumble and arch to go back on my belly. Man, backflying for a few thousand feet feels so awesome, checked my ulti every 2-3 seconds to make sure I don't lose altitude awareness. I can only imagine how much more fun this sport will get.

Stick with it. You will miss the nervousness one day, I don't yet, I'm happy about that right now, and I'm pretty sure one day I will again. Probably the first jump next season will make me feel that way again.


(This post was edited by Kalrigan on Aug 27, 2013, 5:46 PM)


Di0  (C 42151)

Aug 27, 2013, 5:54 PM
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Kalrigan wrote:
...sit in the parking lot of the DZ nervous hoping someone would come out, pull me out of the car, strap a rig on me and throw me out a plane...

LOL, one of my instructors almost literally did that to me once, toward the end of my AFF.
I showed up at the DZ not planning to jump, I had to take care of some paperwork. He saw me and he went: "how are you?" - "good" - "are you jumping?" - "no, man, I have to..." - "ok, now go get your rig" -"... but I wasn't planning on... I was... I wasn't only... I was..." - "DUDE. Go get your rig NOW, you're jumping with me". That day I finished my AFF and did my first solo right after that.



God, I love my instructors. :)

I can only wish to other people to find some as good as mine.


(This post was edited by Di0 on Aug 27, 2013, 5:55 PM)


Kalrigan  (B License)

Aug 27, 2013, 8:39 PM
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Di0 wrote:
Kalrigan wrote:
...sit in the parking lot of the DZ nervous hoping someone would come out, pull me out of the car, strap a rig on me and throw me out a plane...

LOL, one of my instructors almost literally did that to me once, toward the end of my AFF.
I showed up at the DZ not planning to jump, I had to take care of some paperwork. He saw me and he went: "how are you?" - "good" - "are you jumping?" - "no, man, I have to..." - "ok, now go get your rig" -"... but I wasn't planning on... I was... I wasn't only... I was..." - "DUDE. Go get your rig NOW, you're jumping with me". That day I finished my AFF and did my first solo right after that.



God, I love my instructors. :)

I can only wish to other people to find some as good as mine.

Haha your story is pretty funny. Luckily I had great instructors as well, definitely made me jumping out of a plane a lot easier than I have imagined.


malooper  (Student)

Aug 28, 2013, 6:54 AM
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SFBayArea wrote:
So just keep doing your jumps. It will get better. The key is to relax during your exit and freefall. Go to the tunnel to learn how to relax in a 120mls wind, it helped me a lot.

Thanks! I sometimes wonder how I would take a scare like that but better not to over think on it! Way to push through a scare!

We'll see how I'll handle the exit and freefall on my own when I finally do the AFF1 jump. I don't think my body will be as relaxed when I'm not strapped to an experienced diver!


malooper  (Student)

Aug 28, 2013, 7:02 AM
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Re: [Kalrigan] AFF Progress! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks! I know lots of people are saying that about the nervousness but I don't know if I'll ever not have it. I'm a cautious person by nature so I think there will always be a little piece of me that says "ehhh, is this really a smart thing to do?" But I suppose the voice will just get smaller and smaller and it won't make me nervous per-say.

I can totally see myself sitting in the parking lot waiting too as the next jumps come up. Laugh

I hope you can get C2's to jump with you and get your A!


(This post was edited by malooper on Aug 28, 2013, 7:25 AM)


Kalrigan  (B License)

Aug 28, 2013, 7:20 AM
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Thanks man. I took vacation time off starting Sept 6th until the 23, so I hope I'll be able to get one of them to jump with me so I can get my A already, long overdue.

Either way, stick with it. It will get easier, mentally that is. The less you stress about your jumps, the more fun you will have and fun is the most important reason to be in this sport, for me at least.


DrDom  (Student)

Aug 30, 2013, 4:28 PM
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malooper wrote:
Thanks! I know lots of people are saying that about the nervousness but I don't know if I'll ever not have it. I'm a cautious person by nature so I think there will always be a little piece of me that says "ehhh, is this really a smart thing to do?" But I suppose the voice will just get smaller and smaller and it won't make me nervous per-say.

I can totally see myself sitting in the parking lot waiting too as the next jumps come up. Laugh

I hope you can get C2's to jump with you and get your A!

I used to be careless... nay... reckless! Then I got a job, house, married. Now i'm 35 and about to start doing this.

It doesnt have to be risky. Know your limits, be patient, dont start swooping and freeflying or putting on wingsuits unless youre ready for it.

As for door anxiety... I have it. I'm hoping to overcome it. I have been in the tunnel a lot and it gives me confidence to know I can at least hopefully be stable. Canopy doesnt worry me... you get 2 chances at it ;)

One of the folks gave me good advice when i told them I was worried about injury: "There are bold parachutists, there are old parachutists, but there are NO old bold parachutists". If you want to be one of the FOGs then you should take it slow and live within your envelope

let me know how you get over door anxiety ;)


malooper  (Student)

Sep 1, 2013, 7:14 AM
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For anyone interested….I passed AFF1 with almost flying colors! Laugh I realize not everyone shares in my major enthusiasm so I'll contain myself and won't post the details but yay!! Hoping to get level 2 done tomorrow, holiday traffic permitting!


malooper  (Student)

Sep 1, 2013, 7:27 AM
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DrDom wrote:
Canopy doesnt worry me... you get 2 chances at it ;)

One of the folks gave me good advice when i told them I was worried about injury: "There are bold parachutists, there are old parachutists, but there are NO old bold parachutists". If you want to be one of the FOGs then you should take it slow and live within your envelope

let me know how you get over door anxiety ;)

Love that quote!

You know…the door anxiety thing. I don't know if I really experience it. I'm sure I do, but I think it starts way before then so I can't discern the difference. I meant to ask my instructors yesterday if they noticed hesitance or things like that at the door. I remember the very first jump, a tandem, and approaching the door, thinking "oh my gosh!! whoa!! Am I going to do this?" but since…mentally, I'm fine. My body, however, if yesterday was an indication, is feeling something else because that was one thing they said I could work on. While my head was up and out of the door, my hips were still in the inside a bit!

Have a blast and keep us posted on your progress!


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Sep 1, 2013, 10:50 AM
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malooper wrote:
Love that quote!

You know…the door anxiety thing. I don't know if I really experience it. I'm sure I do, but I think it starts way before then so I can't discern the difference. I meant to ask my instructors yesterday if they noticed hesitance or things like that at the door. I remember the very first jump, a tandem, and approaching the door, thinking "oh my gosh!! whoa!! Am I going to do this?" but since…mentally, I'm fine. My body, however, if yesterday was an indication, is feeling something else because that was one thing they said I could work on. While my head was up and out of the door, my hips were still in the inside a bit!

Have a blast and keep us posted on your progress!

At that point it's just anxiety. Once you get through the "Anxiety on the entire flight" phase, then you'll start to notice the door anxiety! Heh heh heh.

Around AFF 4 or so I didn't have any trouble climbing out (That was 7 or 8 jumps in for me, though.) I was still pretty uncomfortable sitting next to do the door until around the mid 50s or so. This spring I was sitting on the floor next to the open door and noticed my knees creeping away from it. This morning I was pretty comfortable sitting on the back seat of the plane in the first-out spot. Other than it being freaking cold for the first jump of the morning!


chemist  (A License)

Sep 1, 2013, 1:00 PM
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malooper wrote:
Thanks! I know lots of people are saying that about the nervousness but I don't know if I'll ever not have it. I'm a cautious person by nature so I think there will always be a little piece of me that says "ehhh, is this really a smart thing to do?" But I suppose the voice will just get smaller and smaller and it won't make me nervous per-say.

I can totally see myself sitting in the parking lot waiting too as the next jumps come up. Laugh

I hope you can get C2's to jump with you and get your A!

The voices never go away : ) On the flight up you think this is so so stupid, so stupid stupid stupid. Then you fall out and start thinking YES YES YES!!!!


malooper  (Student)

Sep 3, 2013, 10:03 AM
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Re: [FlyingRhenquest] AFF Progress! [In reply to] Can't Post

FlyingRhenquest wrote:
At that point it's just anxiety. Once you get through the "Anxiety on the entire flight" phase, then you'll start to notice the door anxiety! Heh heh heh.

I think so too which I'm not looking forward to! But I passed level 2 and 3 and the door is still looking fine! Now it's a different exit so we'll see! One of the guys who got his A license recently was poking fun at me because I was writing out the steps of the dive and he said "I've never seen someone like this before a jump." I'm just rehearsing it over and over and the best way that I learn is to write it out! We're all different. I'm surprised (and super thankful) that I'm so anxious before but I'm relaxed during the freefall. I get uptight when I'm anxious but it hasn't translated in freefall or canopy flight so that's encouraging to me!


malooper  (Student)

Sep 3, 2013, 10:05 AM
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chemist wrote:
The voices never go away : ) On the flight up you think this is so so stupid, so stupid stupid stupid. Then you fall out and start thinking YES YES YES!!!!

Haha, that's exactly how it goes! Laugh


Trafficdiver  (D License)

Sep 3, 2013, 5:53 PM
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malooper wrote:
chemist wrote:
The voices never go away : ) On the flight up you think this is so so stupid, so stupid stupid stupid. Then you fall out and start thinking YES YES YES!!!!

Haha, that's exactly how it goes! Laugh

The voices do go away...at least the ones saying this is stupid...they are replaced by ones that say, don't funnel this and embarrass yourself.


DrDom  (Student)

Sep 6, 2013, 2:48 AM
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My AFF is next week and if all goes well I'll get out the door. Strangely I get very calm on the way up (I LOVE flying) but the door is separation from that which is known (i know how to fly a plane) to unknown (I'm new to flying my body).

I'm tunnel-ready with almost an hour of belly time and rock solid stability... but I think the further I get from my tandem the more ominous the door seems.


PixieUK  (B License)

Sep 6, 2013, 3:43 AM
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DrDom wrote:
My AFF is next week and if all goes well I'll get out the door. Strangely I get very calm on the way up but the door is separation from that which is known

Yep, I can do calm in the plane but opening that sodding door turns me to jelly! Up until that point, it's almost "just another plane ride" but once they open the door...... I've got churning in my stomach now just thinking about it, lol.

In my grand total of 7 jumps, I have discovered that "he who hesitates is lost" is totally applicable to me Laugh So long as I move quickly to the door and just GO, I'm ok, it's when I give myself time to absorb what I'm about to do that it freaks me out. The second I'm out (and hence committed!), I'm absolutely fine.

I still have that moment of disorientation until my brain 'un-fries' and I can start processing where I am and what is happening - one of the other students at my dz showed me the sheet of (optional) lessons for consol jumps and I cracked up at the one that said "turn 180 to follow the path of the plane". Plane? What plane? The second I'm out of the door, I completely forget how I got up there Laugh


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Sep 6, 2013, 6:32 AM
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PixieUK wrote:
Yep, I can do calm in the plane but opening that sodding door turns me to jelly! Up until that point, it's almost "just another plane ride" but once they open the door...... I've got churning in my stomach now just thinking about it, lol.
Laugh

What's the worst possible thing that could happen there? You have a parachute and you were planning on jumping out anyway. It's probably safer than the door to your house in the morning when you leave for work! It's... just a door, man! At some point you will come to realize this, then stepping through the door will no longer be scary.

I like to tell the AFF students at the DZ, when they introduced me to the door mock-up they told me getting out of the door at 10000 feet was no different than getting out of the door mock-up. I didn't believe them at the time. This year I found myself repeating those very words to a friend of mine. The only difference is in your mind. Going through the door in your mind is the hard part. Once you do that, going through the door in the airplane is easy.

Of course, I'm pretty sure they've made the door on the king air about a foot wider since I was a student. That helps a lot too... Wink


PixieUK  (B License)

Sep 6, 2013, 7:09 AM
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FlyingRhenquest wrote:
PixieUK wrote:
Yep, I can do calm in the plane but opening that sodding door turns me to jelly! Up until that point, it's almost "just another plane ride" but once they open the door...... I've got churning in my stomach now just thinking about it, lol.
Laugh

What's the worst possible thing that could happen there? You have a parachute and you were planning on jumping out anyway.

From my perspective, logic has nothing to do with it, this is pure instinct. I have exactly the same reaction at the climbing wall when practising falls of a few metres (lead climbing) when reaching for a clip with slack rope. And I'm literally only going to drop 2-3m, at most 5-6m if my partner has given me some extra slack rope. I have to jump off the wall without thinking about it, if I pause, I cannot physically force myself to let go. The adrenaline rush is exactly the same feeling. And I get the same thing on roller coasters too.

I don't know if some people are 'wired differently' which makes the experience different - I know I've read on these forums about people sitting in the carpark too terrified to go and jump at all, and I don't experience that. If I did, I doubt I would continue. And the same goes if I was frightened of landings so spent most of the way down worrying about the last 10 seconds.

I'm not an adrenaline junkie, it's fabulous when I'm making my body go where I want in freefall and when I'm flying under canopy but if someone told me tomorrow, "that's it, you can't jump again for x reason", I could easily walk away.


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