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Diripio

The fear!

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Hi all,
I’ve got 20 jumps under my belt, all done in a week on AFF. My first 2 jumps I was a bit apprehensive but buzzing too much to let it affect me. Jump 3 I was sat in the plane trying not to crap myself as by this point I was starting to understand it more and knew what was coming.
I completed AFF (UK) but the last 5 jumps, the fear started building more and more. By the end of jump 20 I am now more apprehensive than on jump 1.
What’s going on? Surely this is meant to get easier, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to loose it completely as that’s part of the fun also getting comfortable incites complacency. I’m not a stranger to dangerous situations ( served in the army on multiple tours) but I haven’t jumped in over a year. Been to the DZ but not even made it out of the car. I’m my mind I’m cursing myself for being weak, remind myself of the reassuring statistics on accidents, and use all the tricks I know to calm myself down but I’m really struggling.
Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Pete.
1st time poster, long time reader.

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I'm on jump 27 and I was feeling exactly the same up until very recently. I was absolutely fine until the door opened and I was getting in the door. Some jumps I almost thought I wasn't going to be able to get out. Every jump I'd done was a 'normal' fwd exit as AFF and I hated it. The second I was out, I was absolutely fine, even when completely unstable. It was just the exit that put the fear of God in me. Anyway, at the weekend I started FS1 training and my coach asked me to exit from outside the plane, jumping off backwards.

For some reason, all fear of exiting completely disappeared. Holding onto the bar above the door made me made me feel more secure getting into position, not looking at the ground helped massively and the exit was so much more refined, stable and controlled.

Have you tried different types of exit? It's certainly helped me out hugely.

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Diripio

Hi all,
I’ve got 20 jumps under my belt, all done in a week on AFF. My first 2 jumps I was a bit apprehensive but buzzing too much to let it affect me. Jump 3 I was sat in the plane trying not to crap myself as by this point I was starting to understand it more and knew what was coming.
I completed AFF (UK) but the last 5 jumps, the fear started building more and more. By the end of jump 20 I am now more apprehensive than on jump 1.
What’s going on? Surely this is meant to get easier, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to loose it completely as that’s part of the fun also getting comfortable incites complacency. I’m not a stranger to dangerous situations ( served in the army on multiple tours) but I haven’t jumped in over a year. Been to the DZ but not even made it out of the car. I’m my mind I’m cursing myself for being weak, remind myself of the reassuring statistics on accidents, and use all the tricks I know to calm myself down but I’m really struggling.
Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Pete.
1st time poster, long time reader.



For many years; I've called this, "Hitting the Wall." It happened with many and pushing past it can be difficult. My own S/O hit her wall at about 30 skydives. The wall can be defined as being at that point where your sensory perception all begin to hone into all the things that "can" go wrong. It's like all the little bts of information you've learned become this huge bowl of holy shit, WTF am I doing?

At this point; I usually recommend that you speak with your instructors about doing at least 10 "all-about-me" dives. Solos. No pressure, no stress of adding more complexities into dives for awhile. Hop N pops made fun, solo exits from altitude, maybe two of you just going out and doing a copy cat dive, etc.

Bring the fun back into it. My S/O did this (as have many others) and she pushed past it, went on to get ~700 skydives the next two years and was invited to the women's big way camps.
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

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Not unusual. That is really too bad. I grew up learning to not back down but at the same time there are a lot of things that I would not sign up to do. I remember a time that I was 2 hours into the 4 hour drive to the DZ and thought, "Why I am I doing this....actually?" But I kept driving.

Just my 2 cents, but because you let it stop you already, it is easy to let that roadblock continue to be there. I have seen others with that problem that didn't ever resolve it.

If you look at the net results, they say you don't want to jump bad enough. I know that might not seem true, but if you woke up in the plane and it was on fire, I bet you would want to jump enough that you would do it. Maybe your leg being on fire would be required, but at some point the balance would shift.

I am sorry that I have no magic solution but if you get to the root of the problem, the chances of success are better. I also think of it like this, I must trust the equipment and the operator before I feel like the risk is worth it. If you can figure out what the trust issue is, maybe you can focus on zeroing in on what you need to do.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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Hey Pete,

I can relate to you exactly!

After my 8th AFF jump (February of 2017), I hit a wall that I could/did not imagine would be there. I went back to this DZ numerous times and could never somehow get to manifest. This ate at me continuously and impacted literally all aspects of my life for about 15 months.

This is what I did. On May 27, 2018, I went to what is now my home DZ and met with the AFF manager to get my first re-currency jump, which was very difficult to do. BUT, he then assigned me a phenomenal and inspirational coach to get me through the AFF jumps I needed to requalify and then I continued with a number of "coached jumps" with this same coach. I chose the extra coached jumps to get me confident in knowing/bettering my exits, adjusting my fall rate, and overall just getting me to a stage where I knew I was safe for myself and other skydivers. I am sure that if you can get a few more jumps completed confidently, you will overcome this and the "joy" of this sport will truly come to light.

I am now addicted to skydiving and every weekend I am jumping.
Please don't let this apprehension set you back. Looking back, was it "fear" or a more of a "misunderstanding" of my perception of skydiving, I don't know, but I do believe your "understanding" will improve as you proceed. Find a good coach and you'll get through this and your only apprehension will be when you haven't jumped in a few days . . I hope this helps a bit - don't hesitate to comment. Be well!!

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"For many years; I've called this, "Hitting the Wall." It happened with many and pushing past it can be difficult. My own S/O hit her wall at about 30 skydives. The wall can be defined as being at that point where your sensory perception all begin to hone into all the things that "can" go wrong. It's like all the little bts of information you've learned become this huge bowl of holy shit, WTF am I doing? "

I had it from jump 1. My first jump, which was also my first time in a plane, I was so terrified that I couldn't speak. Fortunately they trained us for hours so I just did what the JM told me to do. The exit is a blur from "go" until I was hanging under canopy. I looked around, saw the plane flying off, said "this is great" then finally pulled my dummy ripcord. I never had any fear once I left the aircraft but up until nearly a hundred jumps it was bad. On my first DC3 jump, I had a little over 50 then, I had a hard time standing up in the plane because my stomach hurt. But once I was out I was fine. I think the stress is your mind trying to talk you out of it but once you step out it knows it's not going to happen and relaxes.
I eventually reached the point that unless I've had a really long layoff I don't really get butterflies, but it took awhile. Just keep on jumping.

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This is just an idea, and I don't know what sort of aircraft you're jumping but is there a way to make it so that the climb to altitude is short? I think a few hop and pops where you get to altitude quickly, get out alone and just enjoy the sky might help.
And it definitely can't hurt.

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Bob_Church

This is just an idea, and I don't know what sort of aircraft you're jumping but is there a way to make it so that the climb to altitude is short? I think a few hop and pops where you get to altitude quickly, get out alone and just enjoy the sky might help.
And it definitely can't hurt.



I've chased a few numbers and have come to LOVE HOP AND POPS!

Some advice, look at ALL the positive numbers/stats instead of the bad ones... Millions of (uneventful) skydives occur every year. The vast majority of accidents that happen were avoidable(ie, human error).

Change the mindset of "what if's" can go wrong to: what do I need to do to make this RIGHT!

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I crapped myself every time the door opened for over 100 jumps. As I would be climbing to altitude I would be in a constant struggle with my demons and nausea and would be literally shitting myself, I actually thought I had on one occasion when I was sitting next to the pilot in a porter...luckily after getting down and checking it was all clear. I had to force myself to manifest and would very often only jump a couple of times in a day even though conditions were great...I was using all sorts of excuses not to go. I am still not that happiest whilst in the plane and continually force myself to try new stuff, like opening the door or climbing onto a camera step on an unfamiliar aircraft, but am beginning to get more comfortable. The fear is a good thing but you have to battle through and let it fuel you, not overwhelm you. If you keep at it and work through it I'm sure it'll become manageable. I am still a baby at this and only have just over 200 jumps but I feel what you are going through and can sympathize. The only way I can think of is to experience it more and force yourself out of your comfort zone...try different exits, try the camera step, get your FS1and jump with others as if they're going...you're going. Best of luck, stay frosty and blue skies.

Al

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