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Placcypaddy

Am I being selfish

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Placcypaddy

Hi I have done a couple of tandems so far but can’t get it out of my head & am seriously considering doing aff course this spring/summer so here’s the question, am I being selfish to take up a high risk sport like skydiving with a young Family ? :S




Skydiving is one of the most selfish things you can do in life. For several reasons, not just the risk. But so what? Go for it. You deserve it like the rest of us.

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That's really a query for you and your family.

That said there are many people with children who jump actively. I myself have a 5yr old and an 11yr old (my older son did a tandem last year himself).

Of course, it's not cool to spend all you weekends at a dropzone, if you have a wife/kids, but once trained you can spread out the jump time. I get away for the occasional day and intermittently go off for a jumping weekend away (sometimes taking the whole family).
"Pain is the best instructor, but no one wants to attend his classes"

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I have several skydive friends that are young and have families. It can work. Skydiving takes a lot of money and a lot of time. I think the time and money are bigger concerns than risk.

As long as family is put first over skydiving, it can be made to work fairly well. If you really care about your family, make sure you don't allow skydiving to be "first". Student work takes a lot of time when the weather is keeping you from jumping. There is a lot of time spent as a student for several reasons.

I was an "empty nester" when I started jumping, not because of any plan, but mostly just because that is when it got interested in jumping. On at least one case, my son came from out of town to see us and I already had plans to go to the DZ (4 hours away) for the day. He was not happy with me. Now I am a new grandparent. So now I will really have to evaluate my priorities in light of family.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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Well, yes. You are putting your "wants" in front of your family.

You would be putting yourself at risk "for the fun of it". Exactly how much risk had been debated to death, but it's significantly more than driving to the DZ, despite what some people say.

There are things you can do (or "can't do"), choices you can make, various ways to reduce the risk. Have both an AAD and an RSL or MARD. Jump a reasonably large canopy, don't swoop, don't jump with sketchy people or do sketchy jumps. Those will lower the risk significantly.

Do you have life insurance that will cover jumping?

Do you have disability insurance that will cover jumping?

Life is out there, with some restrictions. Disability is a harder and more expensive issue.
But making sure your family will not suffer if something goes wrong is a good idea.

What do they think of the idea? Your spouse & kids. I think they should get some sort of say in the matter.

Not your parents, your spouse's parents, friends, coworkers, ect. They will all think you're nuts.
"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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wolfriverjoe

Do you have life insurance that will cover jumping?

Do you have disability insurance that will cover jumping?



^^^ This. There is risk in everything we do, you cannot avoid it. Being responsible in life is about accepting the risk and learning how to mitigate it. First through training and mindset. Then through being prepared for worst case scenario. If you have no insurance and your family will be out on the streets if you get hurt, then it would be foolish to assume the added risk. If you tend to make poor decisions and take unnecessary risks, then it would be foolish.

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Well, the risk aspect has already been touched on. Insurance, etc.

Then there's money, but if you can control yourself and are already living within your means it's not that big of a deal.

My opinion, and my situation - time is the biggest factor. For me, the DZ is 1.5 hours away. That may not seem like much but that turns into 3 hours of only DRIVING for that day. Then, it's usually an hour wait just to get on a load at my dz. So there's 4 hours of my day gone right there for just one jump. And I don't want to do 1 jump if I go out there, I want to do 10.
But it all depends on you and your family situation. I want to get out there and swoop my comp velo. But I have no business flying that canopy if I can only get in a couple jumps a month, which isn't worth it to me.
If your family's cool with you spending each weekend or a day a week at the dz then go for it. But there are much more important things in life than skydiving. Now that I have a young family I don't know how some people spent every weekend with kids

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Placcypaddy

Hi I have done a couple of tandems so far but can’t get it out of my head & am seriously considering doing aff course this spring/summer so here’s the question, am I being selfish to take up a high risk sport like skydiving with a young Family ? :S



Beware of SIDS... Skydiving Induced Divorce Syndrome!

:P

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wolfriverjoe

Well, yes. You are putting your "wants" in front of your family.

You would be putting yourself at risk "for the fun of it". Exactly how much risk had been debated to death, but it's significantly more than driving to the DZ, despite what some people say.

There are things you can do (or "can't do"), choices you can make, various ways to reduce the risk. Have both an AAD and an RSL or MARD. Jump a reasonably large canopy, don't swoop, don't jump with sketchy people or do sketchy jumps. Those will lower the risk significantly.

Do you have life insurance that will cover jumping?

Do you have disability insurance that will cover jumping?

Life is out there, with some restrictions. Disability is a harder and more expensive issue.
But making sure your family will not suffer if something goes wrong is a good idea.

What do they think of the idea? Your spouse & kids. I think they should get some sort of say in the matter.

Not your parents, your spouse's parents, friends, coworkers, ect. They will all think you're nuts.



Well said, and important!
lisa
WSCR 594
FB 1023
CBDB 9

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I think you must do it. My skydive adventures started last summer at 41 years. I did my first tandem 20 years ago and even then I wanted to do AFF, but due to always working in the weekends and shifts there was no real time for it so I let it go.

Then 8 years ago my wife now gave me a tandem as a gift, because she knew how much I liked it. Again I wanted to do AFF, but my oldest girl was then only 5 years and I thought "hmm, this is a risky sport and I have a small child.." So again I didn't do it.

2 years ago my father died of cancer at age 68 and the only thing he ever did was working and saving money. He never really enjoyed life. It shook me and I began to think differently.
So at first I told my wife I wanted a motorcycle but she wasn't into that. So I told her that I wanted to do AFF and start jumping. She knew it was a childhood dream and said I should do it.
The only condition was that I made my will before starting because we aren't married (yet).:P

So although my youngest girl is now only 3 years I started jumping in the summer and I regret not having started sooner. But I started now so I'm happy.
Ofcourse I can't go every weekend because of the kids, wife's work and other obligations but I try to go as often as I can. Here in Belgium most DZ's are only opened in the weekends.

So just do it if you want to! Don't wait or use excuses as I did, you'll regret it later.

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Placcypaddy

Deffo going to do it life is short and never know when time will come

But all this talk of life insurance & wills makes it sound like it’s a certainty your going to die doing it lol



Not really, just something responsible adults with family should be doing regardless of what activity they are engaged in.

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Placcypaddy

Deffo going to do it life is short and never know when time will come

But all this talk of life insurance & wills makes it sound like it’s a certainty your going to die doing it lol



No. Not at all. Most jumpers jump until they are 'done with it' and then move on. There are all sorts of reasons for quitting, everyone has their own limit.

BUT...

Anyone jumping for any length of time knows someone who got killed. And more who got injured.
It certainly isn't "sport death", but there are risks.

To ignore those risks, to think "it can't happen to me" is stupid.
And frighteningly common.
Lots of newer jumpers quit after an injury, a near miss or seeing someone else get injured or killed.
They say something along the lines of "I heard everyone saying you can get hurt or killed doing this, but I didn't really think it could happen to me. I'm done."

You can also get killed driving to or from work in your car. Less likely, but it still happens thousands of times per year.
Having life/health/disability insurance, along with your "affairs in order" is simple preparedness.
"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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Placcypaddy

Deffo going to do it life is short and never know when time will come

But all this talk of life insurance & wills makes it sound like it’s a certainty your going to die doing it lol



Life is a terminal disease....and we all ride that train.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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If your life is full, then you shouldn't start skydiving. Really. It'll change it, and if you have a wife and kids filling it, then probably not for the better.
Understanding the risks takes time and study, and some experience; seems like one of those things where you have to do it to learn it. But read, understand, and know that you don't have to throw your life away to skydive, plenty of people fit it around a real life. It just takes longer to get good, and you are not as likely to get as good, unless you have innate talent and a lot of money.
But it can be a lot of fun, especially if you do the camaraderie part too, and even more if you find a way to integrate that with your family, so that it's not a two-life situation.
I've been jumping awhile. I quit for a little over 10 years when it didnt' fit my life, and then started again. The sky didn't go anywhere. Make it something your wife and kids don't resent for taking you away, and make sure that they have enough fun stuff that is theirs (and not yours) that it doesn't feel like a loss.

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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