Forums: General: Introductions and Greets:
Female amputee in Austin, TX area-done 2 tandems in 4 months and I want more!!

 


jessicamarie

Aug 17, 2012, 10:31 PM
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Female amputee in Austin, TX area-done 2 tandems in 4 months and I want more!! Can't Post

Hello all!

I've been hanging around these forums since just before my first tandem skydive in April of this year. Before my first jump, I was seeking information about amputees who skydive.

After my first jump, I created an account because I just had this feeling it would not be my last. I obsessed about making my next jump until I was finally able to make it happen last weekend.

Free fall was so much less scary the second time and after I landed, I thought, "I want to do this for the rest of my life! I will figure out a way! Whatever it takes."

I've been in touch with a guy in Colorado who has one arm and jumps solo. I lost my left arm at 16 to cancer. My husband and I are taking a vacation to Colorado at the end of this month where, among many other activities, we plan to jump at his home DZ and allow him to show me some ways he's figured out how to steer and land with only one arm.

I LOVE that there is a section for disabled skydivers. From reading posts/threads in that section, I have seen that people missing arms do jump solo. There was even mention of someone who had only ever jumped with one arm.

I fantasize about going for my A license and I'm sure I would do that at the same place where I did my 2 tandems and that is Skydive Temple in Salado, TX. I'm looking forward to gaining some insights from my new friend in a little over a week! i.e. rig modifications, adaptive ways of operating gear designed with two-handed jumpers in mind, etc.

I've also really enjoyed reading the women's section. It doesn't take too long to see there aren't a whole lot of women (or amputees for that matter) in this sport so it's great to see forums dedicated to both!


dthames  (B 37674)

Aug 18, 2012, 7:05 PM
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Re: [jessicamarie] Female amputee in Austin, TX area-done 2 tandems in 4 months and I want more!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to the forum and the sky. I hope you get your wish. Keep after it.

I have a friend in another hobby where we do much works with our hands. He lost his arm between the shoulder and the elbow when he was about 18. He can do the work that the rest of us do with both hands. It is amazing how he has adapted.

If you can get the right people to help you figure out all the tools you need for one arm jumping, I am sure you will make it happen. I know such things often drive people harder than normal.


kenthediver  (A License)

Aug 19, 2012, 2:25 AM
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Re: [jessicamarie] Female amputee in Austin, TX area-done 2 tandems in 4 months and I want more!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Jessicemarie - greetings from England. Go for it! The biggest limitation is your imagination - if you can concieve of doing something, then normally you will achieve it! Enjoy the sky - and the friends it will bring you.
Ken


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
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Aug 20, 2012, 10:09 AM
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Re: [jessicamarie] Female amputee in Austin, TX area-done 2 tandems in 4 months and I want more!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to the forums! Smile I'm glad the site has encouraged you to pursue skydiving. You'll have to keep us updated on your progress to reaching your goals. Have fun in CO!


Premier faulknerwn  (D 17441)
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Aug 22, 2012, 8:08 PM
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Re: [jessicamarie] Female amputee in Austin, TX area-done 2 tandems in 4 months and I want more!! [In reply to] Can't Post

We would love to help you. Definitely talk to the Colorado guy and get any advice from him that you can. Also a brand new wind tunnel should be opening in Austin in December/January so that will be awesome I'm helping you learn how to fly somewhat asymmetrically.

I remember you - is it your left arm that you are missing? In which case you can do a normal main deployment and will just have to change the reserve procedures.

Our dzos brother-in-law lost an arm in vietnam and did thousands of jumps afterwards.

But the wind tunnel about to open will be an awesome help to you in learning to fly. If you can't wait till this winter, hit the wind tunnel in Denver while you are in Colorado. It will help you start figuring out how to balance and fly.

Look forward to jumping with you!

Wendy


jessicamarie

Aug 22, 2012, 9:52 PM
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Re: [faulknerwn] Female amputee in Austin, TX area-done 2 tandems in 4 months and I want more!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Wendy!! I remember you, too! My Dad really liked loved his pics and videos!! He was sorry he didn't get the chance to tell you in person but I know y'all were super busy and I'm sure you were already on the next ride up!

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We would love to help you.

This is music to my ears!! I love your DZ! Obiviously, I guess, right? Wink

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Definitely talk to the Colorado guy and get any advice from him that you can.

For sure. What I know for now is that he uses a carabiner to attach the toggles after the parachute opens so he can steer and flare. He just has to remember that it's reversed; pulling to the left turns right and pulling to the right turns left. I think he might be using an SOS rig, too. I'll find out for sure next week! (haha, I think I'm using the right lingo based on what I have been reading.)

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Also a brand new wind tunnel should be opening in Austin in December/January so that will be awesome I'm helping you learn how to fly somewhat asymmetrically.

Awesome! This was advice Tommy (Colorado skydiving guy) gave me a few months ago whereupon I later discovered that there weren't any in Texas. And isn't one of the companies that manufactures those based in Austin? 'Bout time. Tongue

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I remember you - is it your left arm that you are missing? In which case you can do a normal main deployment and will just have to change the reserve procedures.

Yes, it is my left arm. Weird, I was just reading last night about parachute rigs (this is my obsessive personality at work here) and remember reading that the ripcord to deploy the reserve is on the left side. That answered that question.

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Our dzos brother-in-law lost an arm in vietnam and did thousands of jumps afterwards.

Yeah, I remember calling back in April to ask if my amputation would be an issue. Mark then informed me that his brother was an amputee and had done 7000+ jumps. I think he was involved with Pieces of Eight...are they around anymore?

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But the wind tunnel about to open will be an awesome help to you in learning to fly. If you can't wait till this winter, hit the wind tunnel in Denver while you are in Colorado. It will help you start figuring out how to balance and fly.

We won't be anywhere near Denver on our vacation but that's okay. I would need to save up some money for AFF tuition anyway.

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Look forward to jumping with you!

Thanks! You, too!

Wendy


jessicamarie

Aug 22, 2012, 9:55 PM
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Re: [jessicamarie] Female amputee in Austin, TX area-done 2 tandems in 4 months and I want more!! [In reply to] Can't Post

And of course thank you to Skymama, kenthediver and dthames for all of your warm welcomes!! It's still a little surreal to me that I'm actually taking steps toward becoming a full skydiver but I'm a fan of trusting my gut and this just feels so right; like it's exactly where I need to be. Smile


airbornesoon

Aug 23, 2012, 9:24 AM
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Re: [jessicamarie] Female amputee in Austin, TX area-done 2 tandems in 4 months and I want more!! [In reply to] Can't Post

thats awesome.. dont let anything stop you from doing something that you love.. something for you to look into but im sure you can figure a way to make it work.. the military has extension straps on handles so you can fly with your feet. for flaring you would always release them and grab the handles.. but im sure there is some way that a master rigger or someone could add a break line to a canopy that only required you one hand to pull down on to flare the chute.. just my idea. :)

fair winds and blue skies
AIRBORNE


(This post was edited by airbornesoon on Aug 23, 2012, 9:25 AM)



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