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Rdenig18

AFF and Anxiety

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Hello everyone. I recently started my AFF course. My first day I did 3 jumps and passed all 3. I really enjoyed the canopy rides and the free fall alike. I felt a good bit of nervousness for my first jump and every subsequent jump the fear seemed to lessen, thus increasing my enjoyment. Today however, I woke up early to capture as much of the sun and blue skies as I could. I am about 2 hours away from my DZ and about half way through my drive I realized I had forgotten my logbook, my vape pen, and my hoodie I planned on wearing due to the colder weather. I was in such a rush to get to the drop zone that I forgot all of these things. This really threw me off mentally and exasperated my anxiety to the point that I did not feel right jumping. What I felt was far worse than my first jump, and I sat in my car for 45 minutes trying to discern what i was feeling and why it was so intense today. I did not want to give into these feelings but dissapointingly i did. I decided that I had not prepared properly, and to take today as a lesson. I went home and discussed my decision with some experienced skydivers and they told me I made the right choice. Ive read and listened to alot of information saying to trust your gut, and only jump when you feel right about it. It was hard to not think of my choice today as giving into anxiety. I knew I would be safe, I knew I would be able to do it. Ive spent almost an hour in the tunnel and countless hours studying dive flows of the various jumps, emergency procedures etc. However, today just didn't feel right for some reason, and I listened to that feeling. I think I rushed today too much and paid the price for it.  I'm wondering if anyone has any similar stories, and what they did to better prepare for next time? How did you overcome the nerves? I have such a respect for this sport and those who pursue it, it hurt leaving today. I have a worry that this anxiety is going to come back regardless of how much further I prepare myself. I dont know if things would have been different had I not forgotten so many things. I know how I felt my first few jumps and today was filled with much more nerves than any of those jumps combined. The only difference is the forgotten items and waking up much earlier. Interested to hear others stories. 

-Blue skies 

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What you experienced is not unusual. For one of my student jumps, I think it was jump 5 or 6, I drove to the dropzone, got out of the car, walked into the building through one door, walked past manifest and out the other door, got back in the car and drove home. Just too nervous.

A week or so later I came back and picked up where I left off. In my experience, the 1st few jumps are easy, you just completely trust your instructors, and then as you take on more responsibility for the jump the stress goes up. It took probably until jump 40-50 to be comfortable with the basics. I have almost 500 jumps now, and still get a little bit of nerves when I get to the DZ but I hope that never goes away, it is part of the thrill of jumping. 

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It's normal.

I will disagree to a certain degree with the 'walk away if your gut says no' part. 
What you are doing is dangerous (there's a thread going on this).

If you aren't at least a little bit scared, then you don't understand the risks you are facing.

 

I get that you had made a number of errors in the beginning of your day, and were 'off'. That's different than typical 'pre-jump jitters'. That part is a good reason to sit down. 

 

I learned a while back not to rush when getting ready. I can always scratch off the load and get on the next one.

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On 4/27/2019 at 12:13 PM, Rdenig18 said:

anxiety.

Go up to the search function and type in Anxiety. 120 results about the same sensation. It ain't just you. Harness it, challenge it, but don't let it turn to fear. Good Luck!

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On 4/27/2019 at 12:35 PM, SethInMI said:

What you experienced is not unusual. For one of my student jumps, I think it was jump 5 or 6, I drove to the dropzone, got out of the car, walked into the building through one door, walked past manifest and out the other door, got back in the car and drove home. Just too nervous.

yup. I did exactly the same thing a couple times as a student, except I just drive right on by. Didn't even turn into the parking lot, lol. It's pretty normal.

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On 4/28/2019 at 7:33 PM, BIGUN said:

Go up to the search function and type in Anxiety. 120 results about the same sensation. It ain't just you. Harness it, challenge it, but don't let it turn to fear. Good Luck!

Thank you so much for your reply! I wont let it stop me. I'm going back as soon as this rain let's up to conquer. Cant tell you guys how much the replies mean and help me to overcome. I seriously love the skydiving community. 

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13 hours ago, betzilla said:

yup. I did exactly the same thing a couple times as a student, except I just drive right on by. Didn't even turn into the parking lot, lol. It's pretty normal.

Hahaha it's so comforting knowing I'm not the only one who has felt this way. Cant thank you enough for the reply. Your awesome! 

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On 4/27/2019 at 3:05 PM, wolfriverjoe said:

It's normal.

I will disagree to a certain degree with the 'walk away if your gut says no' part. 
What you are doing is dangerous (there's a thread going on this).

If you aren't at least a little bit scared, then you don't understand the risks you are facing.

 

I get that you had made a number of errors in the beginning of your day, and were 'off'. That's different than typical 'pre-jump jitters'. That part is a good reason to sit down. 

 

I learned a while back not to rush when getting ready. I can always scratch off the load and get on the next one.

Thanks wolf! Your words inspire confidence. I really appreciate the reply, and words of wisdom. Forever grateful. 

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