Apr 11, 2001, 5:13 AM
Post #1 of 5
relaxed but stiff?
i have been thinking about all the talk about being relaxed while jumping and while you hol dyour arch...well i tried being totally relaxed on one of the jumps and my hands and legs kinda collasped and went everywhere! =P~
so i guess what is meant by being relaxed is putting enough force into keeping your upper body and legs in position but not putting too much pressure/stress on them!!
well any comments on this would be welcome to clear up my idea on this subject.
Its a weird thing to try to explain. Next time you are in your car and are bombing down the highway...stick your arm out the window and stiffen up your arm and try to hold it in the exact same place...do you notice how it buffets in the wind? Now, play with your arm and move it around "relaxed"-play with the wind a bit and feel the difference. The only thing that we are doing up there is deflecting wind...its actually simple physics if you think about it and the smallest moves of our arms and legs can cause amazing moves to happen in the air.
Point being:If you are stiff, you will potatochip just like your arm did while you were in your car, but if you relax and "feel" the wind and play with it...you will become stable. It may not make sense now, but it will. Its a hard thing to explain. Its can be a vicious circle:the more you try to get your brain to force you to relax, usually the opposite happens and you start to waffle around and then you freak and it just seems to get worse. The opposite seems to be true, for me anyways, the more I forget about holding that arch and all the physical stuff that I need to do to get from point A to point B in a formation...the better off I am. I stop worrying about the little things and start living in the moment and enjoying what is going on. My body knows how to do this stuff, I practice it on the ground and in my mind, the best way for me to have a great skydive is to have fun and forget about all the little pieces that have to be put together in order to get the entire picture. Does that make any sense? Another example is driving a standard:if you actually thought about every single move (push in the clutch, step on the gas, shift, etc) while you are driving...you would probably stall the car or get in an accident. After a while it just becomes secondary and you dont think about it anymore...now you can eat a sandwich, talk on your cellphone, drink a coffee and be flying down the highway at the same time. I know that is very longwinded...sorry!
Very very good explanation Sky! I am just now 'getting it' and 'feeling' what it's like to be relaxed but in control at the same time. It's wonderful, but I don't know that I could ever tell anyone how to do it. The car idea is very good. It definately was a mind thing for me...the more I thought/worried about it, the worse it was. When I started having fun with it, it just happened! I guess it's like learning to flare...you learn your 'sweet spot' and it's all good from then on!
It is really tough to explain on a thread, but as cliche as it sounds...skydiving is a zen sport. Practice with dirt diving & visualization on the ground. If you get your muscles to remember things...it becomes automatic, so when you are up in the air and you have to from point A to point B...you dont have to think, you are totally relaxed and letting your muscles do their thing in the air.
Take a deep breath, give a big smile out the door and....Ohhhhhhmmmmmmm. Everything falls into place. The best piece of advice that I have every gotten (Jack Jefferies from Arizona Airspeed) is "If it's hard...you are doing it wrong."
Once you get the feeling and things fall into place, you will think to yourself "that wasnt that hard, why the hell couldnt I get that 20 jumps ago?". It happens to all of us, so relax and dont think about it. Prepare on the ground so you dont have to think in the air...let it fly!!! Let me know how you make out.