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garyhugo

Well Hellllo!!

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Hello everyone! I just registered. I hope 2015 is treating you all well.

Quick intro... A friend asked me to be the Best Man at his wedding last October. Knowing he'd never been in a plane before, I picked a skydiving bachelor party.

I got hooked!

4 tandems later, Ohio Skydiving Center shut down, and AFF begins in Apr/May'15.

I've been reading the Skydiver's Handbook, Survival Guide, & even "Above All Else" (which is awesome!), meeting skydiving friends of friends online, getting advice, watching DVDs & youtube. Basically living vicariously, but learning as I go.

I have four days (hopefully 2 hours) scheduled for the Pigeon Forge wind tunnel mid Apr, with AFF classes starting 2 weeks later.

And yeah, if you hadn't noticed, I'm psyched! =)

My only real concern is my somewhat beaten & achey 40 year old body. I've heard/read numerous times that stretching would be beneficial (which I'm fine with) but I haven't heard much about an appropriate training program to really help limber up a little before the fun begins.

Does anyone have any thoughts?

& Thx.

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I'm in my mid 40's and started skydiving just over a year ago. Most of my aching was in my lower back when I was learning to do a hard arch for stability, particularly when practising it over and over again in ground school!

It is the same in the tunnel (though you probably won't have to arch as hard - they tend to turn the wind right down for beginners).

To practice, put a mat or folded blanket on the floor (nothing too squashy, you just want to protect your hip bones, lol). Lie face down on it, bend your knees up about 90 degrees, put your arms flat on the floor with your upper arms in line with your shoulders and your lower arms turned up 90 degrees but palms still on the floor. Without pulling your elbows back behind your head, try to lift your chest and arms off the floor keeping your upper arms level with your shoulders, and then also lift your thighs up off the floor (really squeeze your butt and upper leg muscles).

The first few times I tried it, it felt almost impossible. With practice and yoga-type stretching, I now get a very bendy arch, particularly in the tunnel and have a tendency to 'sink out' unless I concentrate on keeping my arms forward, at least level with my shoulders, rather than flared back behind my head.

They will show you techniques in the tunnel, but 2 hours in 4 days? Man, that's gonna hurt if you're not used to it, lol. I started off with 10 minutes before my AFF and that was bad enough. Even now, I do 20 minutes in rotations (usually 1 min 40 in, then 3 mins 20 out of the tunnel) and my arms and back let me know about it :P
A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr

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Basic core strengthening and stretching for flexibility is what you want.

Yoga is pretty good for what you are looking for.

It's not all that physical of a sport.
Packing is hard on your hands.

The worst part for me is being squashed into the plane. Really.

My knees and ankles are the worst. And having people sitting on them in the place can be bad.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Just a heads up about the Pigeon Forge tunnel. I haven't been, but I heard it is not like the more modern tunnels. It is supposed to not have wall to wall wind, more like a bubble you can fall off of. Not a problem for just flying neutral to learn stability, but to do turns and flips I would imagine it could be an issue. There is a tunnel not too far away in Raeford NC (Paraclete) that is supposed to be much better. But if the TN tunnel is where you will be I am sure it is better than nothing.

Good luck with whatever you do!

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Welcome! I just started my AFF program so I share your enthusiasm!
I have always been flexible, but my lower back was Still sore like crazy after ground school and the first jump. Practice full body static stretches so your body can handle the new muscles skydiving finds.
Building core strength will help with your arch. ;)

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Hello again! And thanks for all the suggestions. Things have evolved since I last posted. I found a much larger DZ (StartSkydiving in Middletown, OH). It's a bit further away, but the people have been super nice, providing advice despite the number of stupid questions I've been blurting out. :$

I changed from Pigeon Forge to Chicago's iFly for tunnel time too. I have an hour booked at the end of March, with hopes that the AFF jumps will start in April.

Wish me luck! And thanks again.

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James - I'm in Columbus, OH. You?

Thanks to everyone else for their suggestions. I tried Yoga for the first time on Saturday (Picture an elephant taking ballet classes!:D). It was "Hot Yoga" so I was sweating like a pig, and shaking/vibrating trying to hold some of the poses. The room also echo'd a lot, so I couldn't really understand too much. I just kept looking around at what everyone else was doing (which was difficult when I was bent over touching my toes). I found another place that had Yoga Mon & Wed too. I vowed to go to all three every week, but by Tues my body was fried!

I've gone back to my old body-building "cutting" regimen (low carbs, high protein/fat) in hopes of healing faster in future. I'd also like to drop maybe 15lb too to lower the wing load slightly. I'm 6'2" and 179lb, which isn't bad, but a winter of beer, beer and more beer (:S) has made the bottom half of my abs disappear.

Between the running and Yoga, I'm definitely feeling it, but skydiving is supposed to start up in May, so after that it'll hopefully all be FUN-FUN-FUN!! B|

Thanks again for all the suggestions. Much appreciated. Best wishes to you all.

Blue skies! Blue skies!

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