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Nightingale

I don't know if I can do this...

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ok... last weekend, I did my AFF 1.

I'm scheduled for AFF 2 tomorrow...
and for some reason, I'm completely terrified...
I was more than a little nervous before AFF 1, but when I was jumping and when I was under canopy and landing, it was wonderful! I couldn't wait to get back up there, and made my AFF 2 appointment immediately.

for some reason, this week, thinking about it, I've been getting more and more worried... the fears are pretty irrational, I'm most afraid of a double mal, although I know the odds are fairly astronomical.

I love skydiving. There's nothing that compares to it. I'm not real fond of freefall, but I think that's mainly because I know that I don't know what I'm doing yet, but I LOVE canopy stuff. I know if I wuss out and don't go tomorrow, I'll never forgive myself.

How do I get rid of this irrational fear that's taking over my brain??

Has anyone else had a similar experience, especially as a newbie? I'm not sure what I should do.

-N-

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I didn't have it but I had friends who did - force yourself to do it. If it doesn't interfere with you doing what you need to do on the jump and you love the feeling when you actually do it just keep forcing yourself for awhile and you should get more comfortable. If it doesn't start to get more comfortable and your fear is so strong that you are a danger to yourself - like just brainlocking when things don't work perfectly - then you need to rethink whether or not this is for you. It isn't for everyone but from what I've seen there are a lot of people who forced themselves through the fear and are now accomplished skydivers. I have a friend who is a good skydiver but everytime she goes a few weeks between jumps she has to be pushed into jumping again and she is scared to death until she actually exits the plane - then she remembers what it's all about and you can't keep her on the ground until the next lapse...

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then just make yourself do it for awhile - I honestly think as you progress and get more and more confident and more comfortable in your surroundings you'll feel better. As long as you are comfortable in the air and safe then what's a little gut wrenching anxiety in the plane?;)

It just gets better and better all the time. Everytime you think you've done the coolest jump ever, your best swoop, your most amazing whatever in the air an even better one will come along.

Stick with it...

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Nightingale, makes sense, just shows you are a rational human being.

The experience is phenomenally cool, however, there is the danger that we might die...

Then again, were more likely to die on the way to the dropzone (fucking traffic to mine on highway 44 is insane, totally)

Anyway, to make a long story short. I've had the same feeling since day one. It's fear and I've fought to overcome it.

Did Level 6 today, was as usual, a bit freaked on exit. However, after seeing the engines upon exit, and perching myself on "the hill"....

Damn, was the best jump yet. Fear just literally melted away. Did a backloop, tracked off into the distance, checked altimeter, pulled.

If you love it enough, if it makes your rocks float, if it trips your trigger, then don't stop, keep working through it.

It is a very very very personal thing though, and a decision that you have to make on your own.

You gotta admit though, Damn, it's good, sooo good.

:-)

Blue Skies,

May Sam be with you...


jjf
It's a gas, gas, gas...

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Very true although I personally always manage to get hurt on the bad weather days and rarely in the air but it is a good idea not to forget that it is a very unforgiving sport.

Yeah, I'm the one who someone always says "hey, why don't you go climb that" or "jump off that roof and we'll catch you" - yup, I'm getting better though. I break fewer and fewer bones every year. I've actually learned to sneak away sometimes when it looks like things are going to turn really stupid so I wont be tempted to participate.

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Then again, were more likely to die on the way to the dropzone


Don't kid yourself. Skydiving is not safer than driving. You can do everything right skydiving and still die.

If you can't accept that as a fact, I recommend bowling.



OOH Shit, good point, good point.

Didn't mean I wasn't ready to accept it. You are correct. I also didn't mean it was "safer" than driving.

In all actuality, I suppose, after review, I was just BITCHING ABOUT ALL THE ASSHOLES THAT CAN"T DRIVE AND GET IN MY WAY ON THE INTERSTATE!!!

there, that was cathartic.

really though, accepting the danger is a big part of it, however, I do believe that as we improve our skills, we can increase our likeliehood of survival.

you kind of got me on this one. i guess, afterall, i have to admit.

"I could die doing this tomorrow morning at 8 am"

(i've admitted this all the way, just feels weird to think about it in those terms)

now, my thought today as I tracked for the very first time.

"If I don't live to see tomorrow, I'm good. This is incredible."

so there you have it.


jack
It's a gas, gas, gas...

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I do believe that as we improve our skills, we can increase our likeliehood of survival.


True, to a point.

But if shit happens to you, it won't matter how many jumps you have or how good you are or that you did everything right.

Skydiving is a risk management sport - but you can never remove every risk involved in throwing yourself at the ground at high rates of speed.

Harsh, yes. But unfortunately it's the truth.

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Once you feel the rush of air again, many of your fears will be alleviated. That's how I got rid of some of the butterflies when I was super-new in the sport. ;)
So I try and I scream and I beg and I sigh
Just to prove I'm alive, and it's alright
'Cause tonight there's a way I'll make light of my treacherous life
Make light!

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agreed with all Lisa...

everybit...

no arguments...

As far as "harsh", hell, life is harsh.

In my honest opinion, I believe we get out, what were willing to put in.

in short, cute little buzz phrases are irritating, however, more than anything, usually cuz they are true, and some sick fuck advertising exec tends to reuse some great zen statement to sell shit....

with that in mind :-)

if your gonna go, go big...

live/die, either way, nothing will change the fact that since I started this, it's what I've done every weekend, and intend to do every weekend here out, unless something like a wedding, funeral, or some other type of thing gets in the way.

which, in review, that can't happen, cuz I can jump before, or after any of those events. the only thing I've found to screw a good skydiving weekend is frickin clouds, storm clouds and lightning, which really piss me off, since up till recently, I've always dug a flat out freaky deaky storm...

by the way, i've spent the last decade working 60+ hours a week, usually 40 at work and an additional 20 + developing skill sets after work.

IT IS SO NICE TO DO SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T HAVE SHIT TO DO WITH WORK, FAMILY, OR ANYTHING OTHER THAN ME!!! IF I KEEP THIS UP A WHILE LONGER I MAY BE NICE AGAIN. HELL, I ALMOST LIKE LIFE AGAIN!!!

Very big grins on this!

cool, so totally cool,

Nite,

jjf
It's a gas, gas, gas...

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Do a search for Michele's posts during her student jumps too. Good stuff.


Wow, thanks, Lisa.

They are easily reached...from the front page, go to the left side bar and then scroll to Columns. My entire AFF from the cutaway to graduation is there...and all the fears catalogued, detailed. Or, you can click Here and it will take you there. Start with "Man, I Owe So Much Beer" (towards the bottom), and read up from there. Sangiro kindly left these up for people to read should they want to.

All I can say, Kris, is if I can get through AFF, and manage my fear, then so can you...I am not as unique as the Drs think I am ;)!

Really. And when you're done, come over to Elsinore tomorrow, and say hi to me and a bunch of Dz.commers. Chicks Rock is rockin'! I only came home because I forgot some medication and I was feeling poorly, but I did get a glorious jump in, including a bit of a surf to a perfect landing...if I can come all that way, then so, my friend, can you.

Rock the house, Kris. You are bigger than, better than, your fear. YOU are in charge, not your fear. To allow it to keep you from the sky means it wins. It is NOT YOU. YOU are you. YOU make the choice, not the fear.

Ciels-
Michele


~Do Angels keep the dreams we seek
While our hearts lie bleeding?~

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I started jumping in 1968. Back then the training was stactic line of course. I wasn't really scared on my first jump...more in a numb like, dream like sequence of events...i guess my feeble brain couldn't handle all the input at that moment. As i progressed through the jumps ..there were times i would actually leave the dz and go hide...id drive down to the store saying i was gonna get a sandwich or something....but the times being what they were...the other jumpers would show up at the store looking for me. They came and found me...hang with me and bring me back to the dz....I guess i was scared for about twenty five jumps....then it all changed...i couldn't wait to get back in the air again....up until that point...i was covinced i was gonna die.....id be in the plane saying to myself..."if i live through this one...ill never jump again"...but i would.
Once again after after i had reached about 300 jumps i remember being in the back of the cessna..i looked out the window and thought "Holy shit!!!..i don't wanna do this!...i was scared!...then the door flew open...the air rushed in...and i couldn't wait to jump.
This all took place 35 years ago..many thousands of jumps ago...i doubt if i have missed a dozen weekends total in 35 years...i love it so.
Yes its dangerous...its up to you and your personal outlook to decide.

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Michele,

I really needed to read your articles. After finishing my AFF 2 on Friday (in less than stellar form), I was second guessing everything that happened, and about my continuing.

Your articles really helped me. The shaking and nerves are normal - I don't have to feel like a wimp about that part.

Thanks so much for writing them.

Jennifer
Arianna Frances

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I just finished AFF 2 - and the nerves were there BIG TIME. And more so than 1. But after talking with lots of people you'll come to find that its perfectly normal. The hardest part is exiting the plane - after that, its just, well 'free'.

Get out there and do it - it gets better :)
Jennifer
Arianna Frances

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Mate, I've just finished AFF and am bricking it when I think about doing my consols. However I think conquering your fear and getting out the plane actually adds to the sense of achievment. I not sure that if I was totally confident with no fear that I'd get as much out of it.

"This isn't an iron lung, people. You can actually disconnect and not die." -Dave

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for some reason, this week, thinking about it, I've been getting more and more worried... the fears are pretty irrational, I'm most afraid of a double mal, although I know the odds are fairly astronomical.



Something that might help is understanding that the parachute wants to open. If you had seen some of my early pack jobs you would have thought I had a death wish. I had a guy walk up to me and ask "are you really going to jump that pack job." I said yes. It opened :P

Then I went to alabama at a dz that will remain nameless. The skydivers there were having a speed packing contest. Four of them threw in $5 and the fastest packer got the money if he jumped it and it opened. The stuff I saw them doing was unbelievable. They did this on at least 3 loads and it always opened. I learned how forgiving both God and canopies can be. I do not suggest it was the smart way to pack but i did learn something. Your canopy wants to open and fly. Perpare for the worst and hope for the best Go have fun and pass level 2

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Don't kid yourself. Skydiving is not safer than driving. You can do everything right skydiving and still die.



It's obvious that you haven't lived in Florida over a winter, when all the snowbirds are down....you'll feel differently in 6 months. ;)

Only half kidding....

Mike

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It's obvious that you haven't lived in Florida over a winter, when all the snowbirds are down....


Heh. The town I moved out of to come here gets plenty of snowbirds. Not to mention the ones that live there year round. I can tell you lots of stories about blue hairs and their lack of driving skills.

Driving where there's lots of blue hairs is a risk management sport. ;)

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I started jumping courtesy of the Airborne School at Ft Benning. We practised every aspect of our jumps over and over and over and over... exits.. canopy.. PLFS... by the freakin hundreds it seemed. My first 5 jumps I was near the head of the stick and I think I would rather have died rather than to freeze in the door and or not jump. Starting skydiving was a breeze compared to that. I made several hundred jumps after that.. and only once in a while did a thought of real fear creep in. Even after having 5 cutaways on the old gear.. I always managed to get back up and jump again. Sure I thought about the circumstances about those previous jumps but everything went ok.

Then I quit...life changed.. I had other priorities and did not jump for 22 years.

This last March 16 I made my first jump again since 1981.. It was exciting.. all new training on the totally different gear... but I ran it over and over in my head.. sure I was apprehensive..I got out on the strut in a freakin ice storm which hurt... but as I let go and counted and did a very succesful PCRP ( it was a static line class and first jump course at my DZ.. no AFF) I waved the ripcord handle at my instructor. ALL the fear was gone I was back in the sky. Next step was to land. ok I flared a bit to late and did a butt slide.. I think I was more worried about my landing than anything else. I am a lot older and heavier than I was 28 years ago on my first jump. since then I have about 150 jumps.. most just a lot of fun....with nothing more serious than some landings under less than ideal conditions.

Use your training... run thru your training..repitition... get to the point where you have muscle memory of your emergency procedures so you can deal with all the eventualities... all the different things that can go wrong... prepare yourself mentally to deal with all of those things.

With this.. you will have more confidence and with time... you will relax and begin to have real fun in the sky. Dont sweat the fear factor... OWN IT.....learn to overcome it.. embrace it and learn its part of the exileration. No fears are irrational.... at least to me.. they are rational things that need to be faced and overcome. now... get out there and go jump.. and do the emergency drills... feel them.. practice them... practice the things your instructor wants you to do on the dive.. do it over and over.....you will be fine.

Jeanne

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