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Parents With Young Children

 

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Viper3197

Nov 12, 2012, 8:03 AM
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Parents With Young Children Can't Post

Hello Everyone! This is my first post and I went skydiving for the first time over the weekend. Like many of you I fell in love with it and feel like it's something I want to continue doing.

I'm fortunate enough to have a wife who is supportive of it if I feel it's something I really want to do, however I'm having some internal struggles.

I have a young son at home, 2.5 years old, and I'm the sole provider for my family. While I know the risks are relatively low, the result of something going wrong is extremely high. I'm just not sure it's the right thing to do when considering how important I am to my family. I'm sure that many of you have had a similar struggle at some point and I'm hoping to get your perspective and how you dealt with the situation.

I'm extremely excited to start AFF training, however I'm struggling with making the call to set it up due to my concerns outlined above.

I'm open to hear anybody's thoughts however it's difficult for those without children to understand.

Thanks.


Bertt  (D 99999)

Nov 12, 2012, 8:42 AM
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

There was a cartoon in a comic strip a while back that showed 2 guys having a conversation in a bar:
First Guy - I would skydive, but I have a wife and six kids.
Second Guy - So do I. That's why I skydive.

You'll get different answers from different people on this. Here's my answer. If you're going to skydive, you need to be focused on skydiving. If your doubts about whether you should be there are a distraction, don't skydive.
Note that you can always skydive later in life, but raising a family can't be put off 'til later.


CarpeDiem3  (D License)

Nov 12, 2012, 8:53 AM
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

Lots of people skydive while raising families. You can do both.


Whamie  (No License)

Nov 12, 2012, 9:03 AM
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Re: [Bertt] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
There was a cartoon in a comic strip a while back that showed 2 guys having a conversation in a bar:
First Guy - I would skydive, but I have a wife and six kids.
Second Guy - So do I. That's why I skydive.

You'll get different answers from different people on this. Here's my answer. If you're going to skydive, you need to be focused on skydiving. If your doubts about whether you should be there are a distraction, don't skydive.
Note that you can always skydive later in life, but raising a family can't be put off 'til later.

LOL, Bertt. I'm that 2nd guy that skydives to get away from my GF and her kid :D


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Nov 12, 2012, 9:15 AM
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a risk you have to calculate in. The odds of a serious accident are low but are far higher than for your 'average' sport. If you absolutely, positively cannot risk your family losing you, then skydiving isn't for you. But if they are OK with the risk, it might well be worth it. Only way to find out is to talk to them about it.

(We have a 1 year old now and it's definitely changed how we approach skydiving in terms of canopy sizes, the sort of skydiving we do etc.)


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
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Nov 12, 2012, 11:37 AM
Post #6 of 32 (2665 views)
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you need to have your wife set for a comfortable life before you jump. If you die, do you have plenty of savings set aside to support your wife and child? The experts say 6 months worth is what everyone needs.
Do you have a Will? Power of Attorney? Life Insurance? These are all important things to think about.


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Nov 12, 2012, 11:44 AM
Post #7 of 32 (2653 views)
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Re: [skymama] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think you need to have your wife set for a comfortable life before you jump. If you die, do you have plenty of savings set aside to support your wife and child? The experts say 6 months worth is what everyone needs.

6 months is what you need to survive an injury or job loss after which you'll be earning about the same sort of money which is unlikely to be the case when one member of a couple dies (if you were a dual income couple before you aren't now and with one wage earner the other doesn't have enough recent experience to command top dollar even with the same skill set and salary history).

To support a non-working spouse indefinitely at the same standard of living you need 20-25X your present income of which about 4% can be spent each year without depleting the principal.

Obviously doing the arithmetic for your personal situation and purchasing enough life insurance to yield the required amount would be prudent. Don't forget that kids these days often do not earn enough after graduating from college to support a middle-class lifestyle and you may still be helping yours financially when he's 30.

While deaths are fairly rare skydiving is not safe. Statistically speaking you have a 1 in 50 chance of not living to see a 2 year old's college graduation (assuming you don't get killed in a skydiving related plane crash which is a separate issue).


(This post was edited by DrewEckhardt on Nov 12, 2012, 11:53 AM)


davelepka  (D 21448)

Nov 12, 2012, 12:16 PM
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

 
One thing to think about is the non-fatal accidents. While deaths and severe injuries are 'rare' in the sport, minor injuries like arm or leg breaks are more common. Are you able to support your family with such an injury? Do you have insurance to cover the medical bills and living expenses during your recovery? Do you have a job that will 'wait' for you if you need a couple weeks or a month off due to injury?

People will always make the argument that you can be injured walking across the street, but that's not what you're talking about. You need to cross the street in order to conduct your life, you don't need to jump in order to conduct your life, so it does represent an additional risk.


nigel99  (D 1)

Nov 12, 2012, 4:20 PM
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

Life insurance that covers skydiving covers your family, you may struggle to get permanent disability cover and that is something else to consider.

While it goes against normal dz.com advice (you'll be told 10+ jumps a month) consider doing 2 jumps a month AFTER getting your A license. It will keep you technically current and allow you to enjoy the sport. Spend the whole day at the dz or weekend if it works for the family. just remember that following this pattern will make you progress well below average, so to keep the risk low stick to very conservative behaviour.


drewcarp

Nov 12, 2012, 4:41 PM
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:

\Statistically speaking you have a 1 in 50 chance of not living to see a 2 year old's college graduation (assuming you don't get killed in a skydiving related plane crash which is a separate issue).

How does the math work on that? Just curious and numbers challenged.

You could cut your risk in half if you fly a big canopy that you don't swoop and even more if you aren't a dumb fuck.

Numbers are only part of the story in aviation safety. Think of it this way...you have approx a 99.9% chance of making it through every year as a skydiver and a 1 in 100,000 chance of living through your next jump. Figuring 30 deaths per year out of 30,000 USPA members. Doesn't change the fact that around 30 skydivers will bet wrong and will be 100% dead come next year.

Numbers are for land lubbers. So much more goes into the equation (bad pun).


DC


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Nov 12, 2012, 4:45 PM
Post #11 of 32 (2482 views)
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

It IS an unnecessary risk. If you're going to do it, you should consider the stuff other posters have mentioned. Also make sure your life insurance covers it if you die while skydiving and that your health insurance covers it if you're injured while skydiving. You should also put some thought into how much of your son's life you'd miss if something happened.

Personally I'm comfortable with the additional risk, but I really don't have any responsibilities at all compared to you.

If you decide against it now, it's not like that has to be the final answer, either. It could change when your son's a bit older.

Or maybe you decide to go for it, start wind tunneling with the family when he's 8 or 9 and jump together when he's old enough. I'm pretty sure skydiving with your kid is instant qualification for being a "cool" parent.


AggieDave  (D License)

Nov 12, 2012, 4:46 PM
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Re: [nigel99] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Life insurance that covers skydiving covers your family, you may struggle to get permanent disability cover and that is something else to consider.

More than one insurance agent smooth laughed me out of his office when I was trying to get disability insurance. Between the job riding a motorcycle and the competitive swooping (actually, they didn't care it was swooping, just that it was skydiving, that I had ratings and I competed).

My wife and I are taking a break from skydiving having started our family almost three years ago and now have two young children. Not because of the danger, but because of the logistics. The closest DZ is a 2 hour drive and it isn't fair to our family to blow out an entire weekend to jump at the tempo that we wanted to. We would rather take a break and come back to the sport with the level of participation we want to have.

In the interim my wife took up triathlons and marathons, I took up photography and powerlifting. Why? The competitions are only a couple of times a year and our training typically takes place in the very wee hours of the morning, before the kids wake up with each of us alternating training days.

How important was skydiving in our lives? We met due to skydiving, I proposed via a skydive and our honeymoon was to the Holiday Boogie in Eloy.


(This post was edited by AggieDave on Nov 12, 2012, 4:51 PM)


Andy9o8  (D License)

Nov 12, 2012, 5:53 PM
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

Even all the financial considerations aside, you need to assess the short- and long-term impact upon your family and child of you dying (or being catastrophically maimed) young, versus the emotional and psychological benefit you derive from skydiving. That is unique for every person, and every family.

Skydivers who raised families while skydiving will always tell you stories of how it worked out fine - for them. Those are the ones who are a bit more likely to post on a site like this when threads like this one periodically come up.

There are also skydivers who stopped skydiving once they started having kids, took a long hiatus, and only resumed once their kids were grown or nearly grown. I'm one of them. I loved jumping and hated leaving it, but decided I was not willing to subject my kids to the enhanced risk (which it is) of losing their father while they were still young. I only resumed once they were in their later teens. My story is hardly unique.

Only you can decide best what's right for you.


(This post was edited by Andy9o8 on Nov 12, 2012, 5:55 PM)


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Nov 12, 2012, 6:57 PM
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Re: [drewcarp] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:

\Statistically speaking you have a 1 in 50 chance of not living to see a 2 year old's college graduation (assuming you don't get killed in a skydiving related plane crash which is a separate issue).

How does the math work on that? Just curious and numbers challenged.

USPA membership is required to jump at most drop zones, especially turbine ones where lots of jumps occur so we can assume that its 30,000 member total is a good approximation for the number of skydivers in the US.

Annual US fatalities average about 30, or one skydiver in 1000.

For those small odds repeating the annual skydiving experience makes your career odds about # of years / 1000.

People "should" graduate from college in 4-5 years which is around age 22 and 20 years from now for a 2 year old son.

20 in 1000 is 1 in 50.

In reply to:
You could cut your risk in half if you fly a big canopy that you don't swoop and even more if you aren't a dumb fuck.

1. "Big" is a relative term. These days many (most?) people think it includes canopies loaded at 1.2 pounds per square foot (permitted for skydivers with 200 jumps under Brian Germain's formula). It's still enough to kill you, especially with non-rectangular wings that like to dive when given some control input.

2. The incident reports are filled with "not hook turn type people" that were generally conservative under canopy and just didn't know what to do once they got in an unusual situation.

For example: 1.2 pound/square foot loading, Stiletto 150, 480 jumps, not swooping, dead anyways.

http://www.dropzone.com/...rum.cgi?post=3709212

In reply to:
Numbers are for land lubbers. So much more goes into the equation (bad pun).
DC

The numbers are reasonable evidence suggesting that skydiving is not safe, perhaps to the same degree as riding motorcycles on the street. For some people at some points in their lives that's entirely acceptable. For some it's not. The people between the two points should take appropriate measures to make it safer for them and/or provide for their heirs if it doesn't work out.


(This post was edited by DrewEckhardt on Nov 12, 2012, 7:00 PM)


drewcarp

Nov 12, 2012, 8:29 PM
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

Not that I'm any sort of authority but I agree with every thing you posted.

Still though, if you looking for ways to decrease your risk you can, significantly, in numerous ways. Very few people have screwed themselves in under lightly loaded docile canopies. Stick with a Tri at .7 or something if you want to be safe. You can kill yourself under one but it takes a hell of a lot more effort and most people who can resist the bullshit brigade about being ready to downsize aren't likely to be pushing their limits under it. You have to admit a Stiletto 150 is not even close to in the same league, even at 1.2.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Nov 12, 2012, 8:30 PM
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Annual US fatalities average about 30, or one skydiver in 1000.
That's the same estimate I use. I've got close to 40 years in, hope to make it another 15-20 years. I told one of my coworkers there was only like a 5% chance I'd get killed skydiving. He thought I was crazy to consider that okay. Laugh

Maybe he was right.Crazy


Krip  (Student)

Nov 12, 2012, 9:11 PM
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Re: [skymama] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think you need to have your wife set for a comfortable life before you jump. If you die, do you have plenty of savings set aside to support your wife and child? The experts say 6 months worth is what everyone needs.
Do you have a Will? Power of Attorney? Life Insurance? These are all important things to think about.

Hi Moms

I'm not a expert in anything except spellingWink

But the six month emergency fund your thinking about is in case a person loses their job.

A responsible jumper in my opinion that has responsibilities that their concerned about need a lot more than that.

They need lots of health, disability, and death insurance, and that doesn't even begin to cover the emotional loss someone will inflict on their loved ones.

If you can't afford all the direct costs of jumping and the indirect costs right now, don't worry be happy.

The sky's not going anywhere and sometime in the future you might be able to afford the real cost of jumping.

The incident reports don't have any stats on the people that have been permantly maimed, or severly injured some have incurred 7$ figure hospital bills and if they are able to eventually return to work they will need extensive rehab, and job retraining.

A 6 month emergency fund isn't going to come close to paying for those costs.

Jumping is fun if your family can afford it.Wink


vanessa.potts  (B License)

Nov 12, 2012, 11:13 PM
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

My dad also was the sole source of income to my family and jumped. From 6 on I grew up on my local DZ. It helped me become best friends with my dad. When I was 12 he had his first accident and was off of work for 6 months. It was extremely hard but we managed. This year, at 18 he had a second accident that sadly he passed away from.
As a family we knew what the sport could bring, the joy and the hardship. You should consider how much you love the sport and your family. If you can't ever imagine having an accident than you probably shouldn't jump. If you get into the sport, just know what can happen.
That being said, this is a truly rewarding sport that I could never give up Smile


potatoman  (Student)

Nov 13, 2012, 2:23 AM
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

I jumped before my kids were born, though I stoped for a couple of years, and started again at the age of 1 (of my son). He is 5 now.

I was and still is the sole provider, and here is what I did.
1. Good medical aid.
2. Life cover, sufficient so that it would provide my current salary with yearly increase and study money for my son.
3. I was doing contract work, and was able to get a no work no pay type insurance, in case of medical issue etc. This was super expensive....

Now, that is to cover for the event of something going wrong.

The next thing, is your wife/family going to enjoy spending that much time at a dz? Once or twice is good, but it becomes a balancing act. One weekend family, the other skydive, and mostly this is a weekend thing, not half an hour, like a jog around the block.
Now, my wife nearly turned alco, since she got so bored on the dz during the day. took her wine with. She is now banned from the dz just putting more strain down on where I want to be.

Anyways, that is what I did.


BigBUG  (D License)

Nov 13, 2012, 3:00 AM
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

Quite a difficult question and decision...
I am sorry for my limited English so maybe I could not express my thoughts properly.

Me and my wife, we have same dilemma. We have two children (3 and 1.5 years), we are both skydivers. She has a big incident in the past which ended with broken spine (T5 to T7), two surgeries and metal implant installation and removal. The incident happened before first pregnancy. Now she recovered, but still have periodical pains.

I never quit skydiving, but seriously (I mean seriously) reconsider my safety margins. Actually I changed them completely and now I could be consider as a chicken :) but I am happy with this.

My wife is eager to get back to the sky, for now I managed to use windtunnel as a substitute, but the problem is still here. Once children grow older, she will be in the sky again, even against my will.

I try to do everything to have her changed her mind, but I will never say a direct word against her wishes - I do not have rights for it while I am still jumping myself. Our wishes, thoughts and feelings is what makes us what we are. If our beloved ones loves us - that's because we are what we are. Remove skydiving (or any other part of our lives that is so significant) - and you'll get a different person. And I am not sure that this new person will be loved as you were, and will be capable to love the person who changed his/hers life that way and removed something so big out of it.

Just my thoughts.
Be careful, be wise, be thoughtful.
But do not quit or you both could regret it.


dthames  (B 37674)

Nov 13, 2012, 4:00 AM
Post #21 of 32 (2233 views)
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it is great to put your family before yourself. A fair number of new jumpers are empty nest adults.


prada

Nov 13, 2012, 5:01 AM
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Quote:
Annual US fatalities average about 30, or one skydiver in 1000.


you only have 30000 jumps/year in the US? I would believe it is quite a lot more, no?

thanks for info
ingo


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Nov 13, 2012, 6:19 AM
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.google.com/...YzSRsS6g&cad=rja

Edit: Hmm last link didn't work so well for some reason. This one seems to. USPA skydiving safety table.


(This post was edited by FlyingRhenquest on Nov 13, 2012, 12:18 PM)


lasharp  (D 23561)

Nov 13, 2012, 7:33 AM
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Re: [Viper3197] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's an article Parachutist printed a few years ago: http://parachutistonline.com/...the-kids-are-alright
In it, a number of accomplished skydivers talk about parenthood and jumping and how they've dealt with some of the issues involved.


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Nov 13, 2012, 10:42 AM
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Re: [prada] Parents With Young Children [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Annual US fatalities average about 30, or one skydiver in 1000.


you only have 30000 jumps/year in the US? I would believe it is quite a lot more, no?

thanks for info
ingo

30,000 active skydivers.

Many more jumps.

Looking at the rate of fatalities relative to total jumps is less appropriate than relative to the number of jumpers because

1) The jump total includes tandems which are atypically safe

2) It doesn't fit currency into the equation which is significant.


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