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Ploy

Help convincing my wife that jumping isnt a death wish

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Long time lurker here. I've been out of the sport for financial reasons for about a year now, and over that year I went and got married. Now I'd like to get back into the sport, and although I actually took my wife for a jump on our third date, she's extremely against the idea because she's afraid I'll get hurt. While I understand and greatly appreciate the sentiment, I just can't turn off my love for the sport.

I'd like some advice on how to approach trying to change her mind. If it can't be done, then obviously she's more important to me than jumping, but if anyone's been in a similar scenario, how did you do it? I know I can quote statistics all day, but I'm doubtful that'll be enough because she's a smart cookie, and knows that any risk associated with skydiving is additional risk in an already risky life. I guess I need to come at it from an emotional angle? Help!

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You can get hurt. It took me 10 years but I broke my ankle on a jump with a tandem student back in July 2015.

It was a otherwise OK landing, foot caught in a divot or just stuck for a second, and that was all it took. Weird shit happens.

You can figure out ways to minimize the risk like jumping a big canopy, so maybe you can talk to her about the ways you are going to be as conservative as possible. But convincing her that you won't or can't get hurt would be a bunch of horse puckey.

Good luck! You guys now need to talk through what you should have before you got hitched!
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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Ploy

....... and knows that any risk associated with skydiving is additional risk in an already risky life.



Well, do you have a death wish? :P

You are in a tough spot. Like was already pointed out, you gave away any negotiating leverage you may have had by closing the deal first. So you are starting a brand new negotiation, what can you put on the table? Membership at a golf or tennis club, a yearly dream va-cay that she choses, or as one skydiver mentioned awhile back a Brit....I believe, his wife had her own horse and was into an equestrian discipline...maybe jumping. Having owned horses myself, you could probably make a thousand jumps a year and own four new rigs and she would still have a higher debt service. You are the only one that knows her "wants". So start putting them on the table.

You said "she's a smart cookie"......forget the emotional angle. She will spot it from 10,000 yards away.

Whatever you come to agree on, make sure it's signed, sealed, and delivered (so to speak). Because going to the DZ is for FUN.......not unsettled emotional baggage.

You can do it.:)

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Any activity is risk management. Golf, scuba, rock climbing, riding a motorcycle. Where is she drawing the line? At video games? YOU are responsible for the level of risk WITHIN skydiving that you are going to take. Or withing scuba or drag racing or hiking. You can minimize the risk. But you'll never eliminate it. With the advent of AAD's, and their proper use along with the rest of the gear, it is much safer now. But it always been with very few examples mainly jumper error that causes injury and death.

Should have married a skydiver like me.;)
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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http://www.uspa.org/facts-faqs/safety

If she is smart, then educate her. Present her with pure statistical data and compare to other "normal" activities. Show her how you have a significantly higher probability of injury or death while driving to and from the DZ

*Also Google benefits of having a hobby and take your pick of all the positive reasons why you should follow your dreams

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RopeaDope

... Show her how you have a significantly higher probability of injury or death while driving to and from the DZ...



That simply isn't true. This pops up every so often, and someone once used the "micro mort" idea.
Statistically, the only way driving was anywhere near as dangerous was if you made a commute of 1000 miles to and from the DZ.

Jumping is approximately the same risk as riding a motorcycle to and from the DZ (around a 30 mile each way commute IIRC).

It's a risk. But then again so is going outside.

The OP can make safe choices (bigger canopy & not swooping it, RSL & AAD, small groups, that sort of stuff) and will significantly lower his risk (from a statistical point).

But it's an emotional decision. And facts and logic won't win that one.

Good luck. I made the decision a while back that any woman that made me choose between jumping and her would get a very simple answer.

"Bye."
"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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You are definitely in a tough position. I can't exactly help you in this situation, but you should have told her about your passion for skydiving from the start and have plans on getting into this sport once everything is in order. if you are suppressing your passion for something because of someone else, then something is definitely wrong with you. That is the concept that I would never understand. At parties, I often heard that people wish that they can do certain things, but their love ones said no. I applaud them for compromising, but I could easily see the sadness in their eyes. If you are willing to live your life this way, then this is the price that you have to pay. If you really want to get back into the sport, tell her the truth.

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Do you want to convince her it's not a death wish, or that you are unlikely to be hurt? The first is easy, because it is true. Skydivers do not deliberately court death, and the chances you will be killed are fairly low.

On the other hand, the chances of any active jumper being hurt at some time in their jumping career are very high. So it's wrong to tell her, or for you to tell yourself otherwise.

You and her need to come to terms with that set of facts. Like all of us have already. Skydiving is a very unforgiving but very rewarding sport. The problem is that all the rewards go to you, and only risk goes to her. Not to even begin to mention the time commitment that jumping takes.

Personally, I would find a way to let her know it's not negotiable. But that doesn't mean I think that is the right answer for you.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Skydiving is not a death wish. Skydiving is a path to loving life in "technicolor" and to an extent so extraordinary the average person can never hope to comprehend.

You can minimize the risk...you can't eliminate it.

The successful marriages I've seen generally fall into three categories:
Skydiver marries skydiver (my wife coaches me skydiving, I coach her flying.)
Skydiver's spouse shares the camaraderie of the DZ family, but chooses to not jump.
Skydiver's spouse supports skydiver's passion; pursues their own passion with skydiver's support in return.

Hope you reach a mutually acceptable understanding with your wife.

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I used motorcycle data. My wife was apprehensive at first, but after talking about fatality statistics, she was just as excited as me when I sold my bike to buy a rig.

The way I see it, on a motorcycle or parachute, you have a chance of equipment malfunctions or operator error getting you hurt, (mitigate by maintaining your equipment and being aware of your situation, ability, ect) but on a motorcycle, everything on or near the road is potentially trying to take you out. Other vehicles, animals, gravel.....fresh grass clippings almost got me one day coming around a corner.

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Thanks a ton for the replies. Without getting too deep into relationship issues and keeping this more as a safety thread, a very long time ago I explicitly asked her, are you ok with being with a skydiver? I told her the stats and the risks, and at the time she understood and was still ok with it. After so much time has passed without me jumping, it seems she's pulling back from that. I get it- it's scary, and like someone said, all the risk is with her while all the enjoyment is with me. Especially unfortunate is that my DZ is ZHills, where some percent of the fatalities in the US has happened over at least the last three years. I watched one, one was someone I knew, and at least two others made the news. (Not at all a knock on ZHills, I know its as safe a place as any)

If I could convince her to take AFF level 1, could that be an effective way to showcase how safety-conscious the community is? I know my mind was made up already when I took it, but did any of you feel better or worse about the risk, reward, or both after your ground school and first jump?

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RopeaDope

I used motorcycle data. My wife was apprehensive at first, but after talking about fatality statistics, she was just as excited as me when I sold my bike to buy a rig.

The way I see it, on a motorcycle or parachute, you have a chance of equipment malfunctions or operator error getting you hurt, (mitigate by maintaining your equipment and being aware of your situation, ability, ect) but on a motorcycle, everything on or near the road is potentially trying to take you out. Other vehicles, animals, gravel.....fresh grass clippings almost got me one day coming around a corner.



Just like getting killed by an absent minded driver on a jump, you can be killed by another jumper.

Canopy collisions, people not being careful about diving on formations, other jumpers equipment maintenance or lack thereof.

No it isn't the same risk as other drivers when you are on a bike, but it is there.
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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Quote

If I could convince her to take AFF level 1, could that be an effective way to showcase how safety-conscious the community is?



Over the years I've come to the conclusion that it is wrong to try to convince anyone to skydive. It's ok to present it as an option and to make it clear that it's available to them. But going any further strikes me as pressuring them. Basically jumping is just something that you have to have a strong desire to do in order to succeed at it. No one can be convinced to have that desire if they don't already.

But definitely do try to let her know that a culture of safety surrounds the best of DZs. And that individual behaviors can do a lot to better the odds. (Too bad you just missed safety day)
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Ploy


If I could convince her to take AFF level 1, could that be an effective way to showcase how safety-conscious the community is?



Up until the very first "funny-story-shit-there-I-was" at the bonfire, the same night.
I'm standing on the edge
With a vision in my head
My body screams release me
My dreams they must be fed... You're in flight.

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Rather than AFF 1, you could try taking her to a safety day. Maybe my wife goes along with it because I'm one of those "got an answer for everything" guys.

"At least I'm not on a motorcycle"
"At least I'm not jumping with 120 pounds of combat gear anymore"
"At least I'm not going to Iraq or Afghanistan again"
"But honey, it's mostly the BASE jumpers and swoopers that get hurt"
"I can die from a freak accident, car wreck, heart attack, stray bullet while hunting, or any number of ways and it WILL happen eventually, so don't you want me to enjoy life while I can"

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One thing to consider about skydiving is that it's generally time-consuming, and it can take over your social life. If she's not a skydiver, she might see your having done without it as not that hard for you, and she might not want to give up on sharing as much of your life as she is now (she won't if you start skydiving).

That's something about your life and relationship that only you can work on. And I completely agree that you don't want to talk someone into skydiving. The downsides outweigh and outnumber the upsides. On the other hand, taking her to safety day, or a Wounded Warriors event, or a PIA symposium are all perfectly valid. They leave her as a comfortable spectator of something that has a potential for interesting her (as long as you don't overdo how long you stay).

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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WV177RG

Skydiving is not a death wish. Skydiving is a path to loving life in "technicolor" and to an extent so extraordinary the average person can never hope to comprehend.




I'd just like to point out that this is a bunch of self-righteous horsepoop. Skydiving is just a sport. It's no better, worse or more or less fulfilling than any other passion.

I've done skydiving and loved it. I've also done many other things and loved them and been equally rewarded by them over the years.

Skydivers are not special, unique snowflakes... ;)


For the OP:
You're in a tough situation, but the question is simple.

Unless your wife relents, which do you love more - skydiving or her?
If you pressure her to change her mind against her will how is that any different from her pressuring you to stop jumping? Either way you'll end up with some resentment in the relationship somewhere... and that usually ends badly.

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RopeaDope


"But honey, it's mostly the BASE jumpers and swoopers that get hurt"



judging by the last few pages of our incident threads: and wingsuiters... and bigway guys... and students... and people with gopros... and tandems ... and skydivers sitting in a plane...
I'm standing on the edge
With a vision in my head
My body screams release me
My dreams they must be fed... You're in flight.

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You/me/we have a very small chance of changing anyone's mind about anything. I doubt you will ever make her think that it is "safe". But you might help her to understand it is a risk worth taking, for you. Maybe not for her. She might not think it is risk that she wants to take. But what does she want for you?

When you walk out of the house, get in the car, climb a ladder, etc, you take additional risks. We all agree (by our actions) that the reward is worth the risk or we avoid the activity.

My wife is super supportive of what makes me happy. That might not be unselfish, because she enjoys a happy husband as much as I enjoy being happy. But she has said over and over, if I get killed she will be really mad. It is on her mind but she is okay with it.

Helen Keller (blind and deaf) made a statement about risks.
"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

For her everything was a risk, but it was better than sitting on the couch all day.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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Ploy


I'd like some advice on how to approach trying to change her mind.



The best cure for this is to take her to a busy dropzone for a few weekends as an observer. You don't need to jump, just let her meet the great people there, watch the landings etc. The likely outcome is she sees about a hundred loads go up and 2000 skydives go off without a hitch then explain that she's seen a lifetime of skydives conducted safely. When she actually sees it happen repeatedly and safely by all sorts of people it might change her perception.

Mere words will probably not work.

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Ploy



I'd like some advice on how to approach trying to change her mind.




Never a good plan to try to change anyone's mind. A fool's errand to try to change a spouse's mind.;)
"Here's a good specimen of my own wisdom. Something is so, except when it isn't so."

Charles Fort, commenting on the many contradictions of astronomy

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Di0

***
"But honey, it's mostly the BASE jumpers and swoopers that get hurt"



judging by the last few pages of our incident threads: and wingsuiters... and bigway guys... and students... and people with gopros... and tandems ... and skydivers sitting in a plane...

Yeah but you don't mention that part. An omission isn't really a lie:)

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