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Forced to put dream on hold

 

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SkyHigh04  (Student)

Aug 21, 2008, 7:43 AM
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Forced to put dream on hold Can't Post

I'm at a point right now where I have 6 total jumps, 3 being AFF. However, due to USPA rules about how long you can wait between jumps, I already would now have to start back at AFF 1. Obviously AFF1,2,3 are more expensive than AFF 4 and on and I simply can't afford it. Has anyone else had to put their dream of skydiving on hold due to finances? I'm at a point where I can't even afford to pay my own bills because I lost my most recent job due to the fact that I got a little upset about my only brother who passed away from cancer this year....still trying to figure that one out.

Skydiving is my goal, my dream, and something I want to work hard at and become good at as time goes by. It's just very frustrating when you can't afford it but once you're a licensed skydiver, it's actually not too expensive to jump. I was offered to just come to the DZ on weekends anyways and maybe learn manifest, for less than minimum wage. I'm sorry but my time is better put to doing things like yardwork, fixing up my house, spending time with my family and friends, etc... rather than sit at a DZ from 8:45a.m.-6,7,8 at night having not even made enough to fill my gas tank one time. I feel like I get pressured to make skydiving my total life, and nothing else but that's not reality for me, maybe for others, but not me. I want to maintain a balance between work, life, and my dream/hobby/sport of skydiving.

So right now my gameplan is to just work work work work work and save a little here or there whenever I can so that I can pre-pay for all my AFFs at once. It's going to take a very very long time though but it's worth it for me, I won't give up. Hope to jump with all of you one day, blue skies!


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Aug 21, 2008, 8:07 AM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I was offered to just come to the DZ on weekends anyways and maybe learn manifest, for less than minimum wage. I'm sorry but my time is better put to doing things like yardwork, fixing up my house, spending time with my family and friends, etc... rather than sit at a DZ from 8:45a.m.-6,7,8 at night having not even made enough to fill my gas tank one time.

Those who jump all over opportunities like the one you were offered often find themselves making student jumps for far less money than those who scorn such opportunities. See, once people get to know you, they're usually very willing to help you get in the air.

Good luck with your "dream"...but I doubt you'll get very far in the sport with that attitude.


SkyHigh04  (Student)

Aug 21, 2008, 8:23 AM
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Re: [skybytch] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have a clue as to what "attitude" you're talking about.

I can make more money at Walmart being a greeter PLUS benefits...see what I'm saying? I would love to be at the DZ if I was jumping but an ENTIRE day when I'm not jumping isn't worth it, at least while I'm in student status.

I don't see how wanting to spend time with my family (especially after the hard year we've been through)and friends or doing things like mowing the lawn, staining the deck, and being productive is a bad thing???

Why would I jump on the opportunity to learn manifest?? I can't afford to put any of the money I'd make from it towards jumps because I have bills to pay, that's reality. So therefore I wouldn't be getting any discount. You don't know me so please don't judge me. You obviously misunderstood and I hope I helped clear things up.


(This post was edited by SkyHigh04 on Aug 21, 2008, 8:28 AM)


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Aug 21, 2008, 8:41 AM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I would love to be at the DZ if I was jumping but an ENTIRE day when I'm not jumping isn't worth it

This is where you are wrong. There is no better place to be than at the dz if you want to learn all you can about skydiving. And if skydiving is your dream, why wouldn't you want to learn all you can about it?

Some things aren't about money...


peregrinerose  (D 28983)

Aug 21, 2008, 8:41 AM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Alex,

We do miss seeing you at the DZ.

When you were offered the manifest job, it was to try to give you a bit of a hand up in the sport.... we really try to take care of our own and do what we can to make those dreams reality. That is the place that the offer came from. My former DZOs knew that I was 'between jobs' briefly (as in a week) many years ago, so offered me a job as packer to help finance my skydiving dreams, and I jumped at the chance (and given that at the time it would take me over an hour to pack a sport main, I was also making much less than minimum). I was willing to do whatever it took to be around skydiving and learn the sport, even if on the ground.

I understand your scorn of being on the ground at the DZ... I used to have that attitude too when I was still a whuffo and my husband would spend all day at the DZ, even if it was raining, snowing, etc. I never 'got it'. But with time on a DZ, you'll come to understand that you learn far more on the ground than you will in actual freefall time. Every instructor at Kutztown loves to teach. You'll learn about aircraft, gear and gear maintanance, probably a bit about packing, about landing patterns, about problems and how to prevent and fix them.... there's a lot more to skydiving than just a bit of freefall time.

Your goal of striving to maintain a balance between work/skydiving/family/etc is a good one.... I wish I had understood how important that balance is to achieve early on. Took me a couple of years to figure it out, so you're already ahead of me there Smile

Nobody expects you to make skydiving your total life. Being offered a DZ job, even if you only choose to work that job a couple of days a month, was done to help you out, not because anyone wanted you to live/breath/eat/sleep skydiving. Be careful biting a hand that is truly trying to help feed you, skydiving is a small community, a really somewhat warped family in a way.

There are always ways to make your dreams reality. If there's anything I can do to help, let me know.... I'd love to jump with you again!!

Jen


Andrewwhyte  (C 1988)

Aug 21, 2008, 8:42 AM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

Skydiving is expensive. There are basically three types of skydiving students:
1) Those who have established their careers and can afford it.
2) Those who make the sacrifices necessary to get it done. These sacrifices particularly affect time with family and friends.
3) People like you who cannot see how they will get it done.
First you say you lost your job, then you say you have better things to do with your time than do manifest. I suggest you focus on getting your career on track. Once you do the sky will be there. As you have already learned learning to skydive a little bit at a time is more expensive.
Good luck.


collinb  (D 1307)

Aug 21, 2008, 8:43 AM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

working at the dropzone gives you staff rates which often means that you can afford to jump....check it out before you think the offer is worthless, I think that's the attitude being commented on!
Plus any work for money is better than no work I would have thought


Gato  (C License)

Aug 21, 2008, 8:53 AM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

You'd most likely get a discount on your jumps for being an employee.

I've been where you are - don't give up, and don't just resign yourself to the idea that it will take a very very long time. The important thing is to jump when you can, and look at each jump as a SKYDIVE whether you're on student status or not. Every jump counts.

I recommend you find a Static Line DZ to jump at - jumps aren't as expensive, and you'll get some great canopy experience. Nothing wrong with AFF, but I know quite a few people who wouldn't be skydivers if they'd had to pay AFF prices, including me.

It will happen for you if you want it badly enough - try not to let yourself become a victim to your finances. Spend time at a DZ, even if you can't jump; it'll keep your head in it. Packing isn't a bad idea, if you know how, and are good at it - 2 parachutes per hour = $10. There's your over minimum wage pay.

Good luck - keep the faith.


peregrinerose  (D 28983)

Aug 21, 2008, 8:55 AM
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Re: [Gato] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I recommend you find a Static Line DZ to jump at - jumps aren't as expensive, and you'll get some great canopy experience. Nothing wrong with AFF, but I know quite a few people who wouldn't be skydivers if they'd had to pay AFF prices, including me.

It will happen for you if you want it badly enough - try not to let yourself become a victim to your finances. Spend time at a DZ, even if you can't jump; it'll keep your head in it. Packing isn't a bad idea, if you know how, and are good at it - 2 parachutes per hour = $10. There's your over minimum wage pay.

Good luck - keep the faith.

He IS at a DZ that has IAD Smile I don't think any of the dzs in the area use static line any more, everyone switched over to IAD, but same price structure. He is well aware that it's an option.


Gato  (C License)

Aug 21, 2008, 9:32 AM
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Re: [peregrinerose] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

Cool. Smile

I should've researched your DZ before posting; I didn't realize IAD was readily available to him.

Alex, DUDE - Listen to Jen (Peregrinrose!) - she is wise in the ways of the force.


SkyHigh04  (Student)

Aug 21, 2008, 9:40 AM
Post #11 of 83 (2413 views)
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Re: [peregrinerose] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate your support Jen, you've been a great instructor. I appreciate the opportunity and have nothing against the DZ or anything. I'm just in a financial bind and it has been a rough year and I'm just trying to get things in order again. I wouldn't mind spending just a few hours at the DZ on the weekend learning how to pack or something, but all day doing manifest is just something I dont have an interest in, nothing personal. I still try to learn as much about skydiving as I can. Hell, the job I just got fired from for being upset over my deceased brother(cold, heartless,and uncalled for I know) was a skydiving parachute sales and service store! I'm anxious to get back up in the air but I want to be smart about how I go about it this time around and also safe because it's not very safe to make AFF jumps so far apart and spread out.

If you know anyone interested in buying a 2000 Honda TRX400EX ATV let me know...I've already sold my favorite Gibson Les Paul blue sparkle just to pay bills and eat. I won't give up on skydiving, it's just not at the top of the priority list right now. I'm trying to find a steady job, pay bills, and balance time with my family and girlfriend. One day at a time....Smile


(This post was edited by SkyHigh04 on Aug 21, 2008, 9:49 AM)


peregrinerose  (D 28983)

Aug 21, 2008, 10:10 AM
Post #12 of 83 (2378 views)
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

I know you don't have anything against the DZ, but that's how your first post came across Wink

Go get a job, even if it's flipping burgers or greeting at walmart. I've never been more than a few days unemployed... there's no reason to be. And I spent 4 months working drive thru at McD's when I couldn't find anything better at the time. Any money is better than none, and a little humility in a low wage job isn't a bad thing to experience for any person.

Hang in there, save the pennies, and I really am looking forward to our next jump together!!!! SmileSmileSmileSmile


taylor.freefall  (A 52570)

Aug 21, 2008, 10:13 AM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

Skyhigh I know what you're saying, I'm in a similar position myself where money is keeping me from jumping. If I lived near my DZ (I'm about 2.5/3hrs away), and I was offered a job, I would probably take it just to be around skydiving and make some new contacts/friends, obviously it wouldn't be worth it as it would cost me more in fuel there and back, but it would be something to do until a better paying job came along.
A couple of weeks ago I moved house, just found out my wife is pregnant and also right now I have no job, plus I need a reserve repack and recurrency jump, so it looks like I won't be jumping for a while, one day I will though. So, for now, it looks like I'll practise my packing techniques (as I'm crap) and go and see what Skydive Taft is like, as I think I might be nearer there than Perris now I've moved house. Oh speaking of which if anyone has jumped at Taft it would be interesting to know if they'd recommend it.


danielcroft  (D 31103)

Aug 21, 2008, 11:41 AM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

It really is amazing how much you learn "sitting around at the DZ" all day. I love watching landings and discussing all aspects of skydiving. It sounds like you're in a tight spot and emotionally a little unbalanced (totally understandable, please don't take that in a negative way) and just need to find a little peace.

I wouldn't want to work in manifest either but I'd probably take it if I didn't have any other work, what else am I doing? Wink

Good luck, hope you get it all sorted out soon.


Broke  (A License)

Aug 21, 2008, 11:55 AM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

Sav your cash and then take a vacation. Live at the DZ for a week and a half, and you will have at least you AFF done if not your A.

Relax the sky will still be there when you are ready. And you can learn a lot just chilling out and BSing with the really old guys who are deciding to not jump because the winds are up.


NickDG  (D 8904)

Aug 21, 2008, 1:15 PM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

>>Skydiving is my goal, my dream, and something I want to work hard at and become good at as time goes by.<<

I looked at your level one video to try and get an idea of how old you are. You seem young yet. I understand the balance idea, but dreams are fleeting and if you don't grab onto them with both hands they tend to slip away.

When ever I was asked by someone young and broke, how they could break into skydiving I'd tell them to go down to the local hardware store and buy a rake. Then show up at the DZ and without asking for a job just start weeding and raking. When someone finally asks who the hell are you? You say, "Hi my name is . . . . and I want to be a skydiver more than anything else in the world."

Back in the early 90s I had three guys doing just that at Perris. Finally DZO Ben Conatser cornered me and said, "Hey, Nick, do me a favor and send the next three guys over to Elsinore!"

But all three worked their way through their student jumps with that rake and one eventually became an Instructor . . .

The beauty of this sport is show you want it bad enough and people will fall all over themselves to help you.

NickD Smile


peregrinerose  (D 28983)

Aug 21, 2008, 1:20 PM
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Re: [NickDG] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

He doesn't even need to invest in a rake, he was already offered a job at the DZ that he turned down Wink


NickDG  (D 8904)

Aug 21, 2008, 1:38 PM
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Re: [peregrinerose] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I got that. Smile I was just trying to show him how far some will go to pursue their version of the dream.

And you're only young once . . .

Take the manifest job and sleep in your car in the parking lot. By this time next year you'll have a trailer, a year later you'll be a packer and renting an apartment near the DZ and shacking up with some young chickie jumper. A year after that you'll be an Instructor and be back in the trailer again. And after that who knows? You might become a pilot, or a rigger, or you might start a restaurant on the DZ, you might even wind up running the whole show . . .

And oh yeah, you can find all the balance/family/money stuff you want right here inside the skydiving community.

NickD Smile


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Aug 21, 2008, 2:28 PM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Hell, the job I just got fired from for being upset over my deceased brother(cold, heartless,and uncalled for I know) was a skydiving parachute sales and service store! I'm anxious to get back up in the air but I want to be smart about how I go about it this time around and also safe because it's not very safe to make AFF jumps so far apart and spread out.

it's also not so safe to be skydiving when you're still grieving. The ground is far less forgiving than a bad boss.


SkyHigh04  (Student)

Aug 21, 2008, 2:36 PM
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Re: [NickDG] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually I was just having a really bad day that day. I have good days and bad days, but I'm not always upset.
I've considered selling my car and using some of the money towards paying for all my AFF jumps and the rest to buy another vehicle. It all depends how far you want to go. I could go try and rob a bank too but I'm not that obsessed with skydiving lol. I'm not in any rush really. If I get my A license by the end of this year or sometime next year, eventually I'll get there, I know it. My girlfriend is in the process of moving in with me so that is going to help me somewhat on bills but trust me, I WILL find a way to skydive, come hell or high water! The person who posted about the emotional instability hit the nail on the head too, and I'm working on that.


(This post was edited by SkyHigh04 on Aug 21, 2008, 2:38 PM)


JCulver  (A 55781)

Aug 22, 2008, 5:10 AM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

I was in a similar situation as you. I was just out of high school when I made my first jump. My best friend from grade school once held the record for the youngest solo skydiver....at that time. (Don't know what it is now) He had done 15 tandems and solo'd on his 15th birthday. His father owned the DZ...that's always nice. I wanted so badly to participate in this activity with him...but I had to wait until I was 18.

By that time, I was into girls pretty good and as a senior in high school, I was more worried about what I was going to do with my life. I picked a college and started after graduation. My parents were never the kind to give anything to me. They showed/taught me what hard work was and how to achieve those goals. They didn't really have a whole lot to give either. I was on my own for school.

I saved money and was able to make 45 jumps in 3 years. It helped that my friend was now a Tandem Instructor by this time and gave me the jumps at cost. But, I bought some gear thru hard work....waiting tables at some shitty restaurant at night while going to class during the day.

Graduation day was here and the 'real world' was now upon me. My student loan repayments were going to start in 6 months and I needed to concentrate on getting my life together. Sold my gear, started a decent job that was going to lead to my career path.

I found a woman who loved me as much as I loved her. We wanted to build our lives together and start a family. After 11 years together, we have a wonderful home, a beautiful baby girl (10 months old) and after a 9 year lay off from skydiving, I am JUST NOW at the point in my life where it is both financially/emotionally possible for me to start jumping again. I just made my first jump 3 weeks ago for the first time in 9 years.

Let me tell you something, there is no shame in putting this on hold. Get your life together. Family is the most important thing one can have. They will always be there for you when skydiving isn't.


ASTKU  (D License)

Aug 22, 2008, 11:18 AM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

Well I say screw family....JUST JUMP.....Sell Everything you own and JUMP JUMP JUMP

Haha I actually had to save money and not jump for 3 months. IT SUCKED. I spent weekends watching people land and complaining about not jumping. Being walking distance to the airport didn't help. I HEARD EVERY LOADS JUMP RUN! Didn't end up getting that dealers license So back to blowing my money!

BlueSkies
-Adam


Lastchance  (B 28828)

Aug 23, 2008, 1:15 PM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

When I first started in this sport, I would drive 2 1/2 hrs to just spend the day at the DZ before I even finished my AFF. These were days when it was to windy for me to do my jumps or for whatever reason. The point being is that I just wanted to be as close to the sport as I could, if I was making jumps or not. I would have jumped at the chance to manifest and learn all I could. I couldn't get enough. Take every opportunity you can.


chrismgtis  (B 32561)

Aug 23, 2008, 3:02 PM
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Re: Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

When it comes down to it, the reality of it all is that there are more important things than skydiving. And by getting your life in order, concentrating on the important things in your life... once you do that you will eventually be able to afford to jump. Don't neglect important things in your life for skydiving right now, like finding a job, getting a career, going to college... those sorts of things. Those are most important.

I was at the DZ every single week for probably a year when I first started. Then in the last 9 months I had to slow down drastically. And it does suck. But I lost my job and no longer have a career until I can get another job. I also had a son in April. It really bites, but I just can't be at the DZ much anymore right now. It's something you have to deal with and realize that without having your life in order, you just can't be a current skydiver.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Aug 25, 2008, 1:28 PM
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Re: [SkyHigh04] Forced to put dream on hold [In reply to] Can't Post

>I can make more money at Walmart being a greeter PLUS benefits...
>see what I'm saying? I would love to be at the DZ if I was jumping but an
>ENTIRE day when I'm not jumping isn't worth it, at least while I'm in
>student status.

A little story about my beginnings in skydiving.

I started at a tiny static line DZ. Did the first few jumps, but didn't have a lot of money at that point to do more than that. (Just got out of college, lots of loans to repay, not making much etc.)

So I started hanging around the DZ. I could have made $20 an hour debugging spreadsheets for a local tax attorney, but I wanted to jump, not debug spreadsheets. I'd spend most of the day there, hoping to jump, but more often than not having to wait because of finances, weather, aircraft problems etc.

After a while I started learning to dress students. I had done a lot of that anyway; seemed like I'd get dressed 3 times for every jump I made, what with the clouds and the winds and whatnot. I was still making peanuts.

Then I learned to pack, and I'd pack student rigs when we were jumping. I don't know how much I made, exactly; the pay per rig varied with number of pack jobs you did, who was supervising you and whether or not you were a rigger. But at the end of a weekend I'd make _maybe_ two jumps, pack 10 rigs or so - and end up with $10 for beer. It always seemed to work out that way.

Then I saved up a little money and went to a bigger DZ for some AFF. I did levels four and seven and graduated, then returned to the tiny DZ where I was still a static line student. (Strange, I know.) Finished the course finally and was a "real" graduate.

During that time I must have spent a few hundred hours at the DZ, watching the wind blow and the clouds roll in. I watched a Cessna 182 crash that killed a friend of mine and paralyzed another. I watched a CRW wrap that resolved without incident. I helped out with an MTV commercial and did ground crew for a few demos. I watched a Caravan on floats take off with skydivers clinging to the floats. I saw students land in trees, in powerlines, in marshes and under round reserves. I hunted cutaway mains. All in all I did about two years of that.

Time passed, and I paid off some loans and got a better paying job. Started jumping more and eventually moved to San Diego.

Now I teach at Perris. If a student really wanted to, they could do the course in two weekends, easy. Saturday - FJC, levels 1 and 2. Sunday - level 3 and some tunnel time. Next Saturday - level 4 and 5. Sunday - levels 6, 7 and 8. And they'd be off student status without once having to climb a tree to get a main out or watch 50 students jump while they waited in a cruddy plastic chair.

When you have no money, that sounds like a really cool and efficient way to learn. But in the end, I learned a lot more going the "economy" route than the two-weekends-and-graduate students do today.

So what I'm saying is - if you want to jump, go to the DZ and jump, manifest, learn to pack and dress students. You'll get there eventually, and there are huge benefits to going the slow route and learning about skydiving "from the inside" so to speak. If you want to work at Wal-Mart, work at Wal-Mart; I hear they have good benefits too.


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