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IZombieMan

Will the fear of stepping out of the plane ever go away?!

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Hello everyone!

I'm a new member of this amazing community/ sport. I've done 7 jumps so far and going this weekend for more. I've had some problems early on before my 1 jump and at landing, after that with every jump I felt like my fear of stepping out of the airplane increased a little. I've asked around in my DZ if people still have that fear once they're about to jump out of the plane and some said it never went away. I guess my question is if it never goes away do you at least feel less fearful than your first 10-30 jumps? and when does it become less scary? The thing is as soon as I jump out of the plane I am completely fine and happy.

I'm all in with skydiving, I've always wanted to skydive since I was 10 or younger but sometimes I question myself. Any advice?



Dan,

Blue Skies!

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It is not uncommon for new jumpers to get more scared once they get a better understanding of what they are doing. However if you manage to get over this fear and continue jumping, and continue to build your skills, you will gain more confidence in your own ability and the fear reduces again.

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for me it was my 10th jump. no fear, excitement.

for most I think 10-30 jumps is where it is at. I think if you get to 200 jumps and are still 'scared', methinks you might want to reconsider what you are doing. This is supposed to be fun, why would you do something that you are afraid of doing?

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Thank you all for replying! The thing is, my fear is not of skydiving my fear is at the door when I'm about to jump out of the plane. Everything else is fun! And every time I jump and land I'm like why was I afraid of the jump? Everything was fine and I landed safely... Then I go up again and face the same fear all over again. [:/]

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I felt much the same through my AFF jumps. Once I was on solo status though, it began to subside and become more fun. On a few of my solo jumps, I tried some 'fun' exits like gainers, front flips, going out on my back etc. I think this helped as well.

Now, just passing 150 jumps, the apprehension is all but gone. Still a little bit of butterflies on the first jump after a week or so off, but MUCH better than in the beginning.

Stick with it!

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I had quite a bit of exit fear for my first 20-35 jumps. I think I started getting better once I was able to control my body flight on the hill. When working with new jumpers now, one of the things I focus on the most is exit stability. Once you minimize "surprises" out the door, you are less likely to be aftraid of it.

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Got to tell you, I went thru the same thing. I think what helped me the most was to get really, REALLY familiar with my gear, take your time packing, understand the safety features like your RSL, AAD etc etc and understand and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE your emergency procedures and when to use them. Become so confident that if/WHEN something does go wrong that YOU are prepared to execute the moves YOU have to save your own life.
As for how many jumps before the apprehension goes away, mine was probably around 50. BUT, I don't think it all ever goes away. Example, my last jump was late September of 2016, I live in Eastern Washington and the DZ closes down for the winter. I haven't had the opportunity to travel to an area where I could jump this winter (Damn life gets in the way a lot). And I won't have the opportunity to jump again until late this month at the earliest. I am not ashamed to tell you the butterfly's are beginning to "stir" again. I believe it to be normal, but I still laugh at myself because of those nagging butterfly's. I have around 150 jumps and the first one this year will be about like the 30th jump I ever did:). Still will be on point until the moment I'm "flying" again.
You are normal:) I think!!!!!

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I was about to quit around my 5th jump: it felt so unnatural to leap into empty space, with nothing to hold on to :S
But after a while you start to trust yourself, your skills and your gear.
Instead of an opening to an alien and scary world, the door became the inviting entrance to fun time B|

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I hated the door through AFF, I was uncomfortable, the whole exit sequence, I sucked at it. Then level 7 AFF, they just let me bomb out the door like superman, it changed everything.

I still had a lot of anxiety and nerves before exit up to about 50 jumps. The second I left the plane though, it all came back to me why I was doing it and what I loved. I had to push through and literally just throw myself out each time.

Even now I sometimes get doubt or fear, especially after a few week layoff or an incident occuring. I always force myself to go one more time. If the fear or doubt isn't gone after that, then I can be done. So far, every time I hit the air I remember why I'm there.

Good luck!

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You described how I feel in better words than I did. Thank you for sharing your experience with me, for whatever reason I get some comfort knowing I'm not the only one who feels that way.

I guess I'll have to continue doing what you had to do, which is push myself and throw myself out of the plane. I noticed that I've been came a little clingy - I have this awesome instructor who puts me at ease with the whole jump, that now I'm hesitant about jumping with a different instructor. We'll see what happens this weekend!

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In early AFF I was afraid of falling out out the plane (seconds before I jumped out, LOL).
This went away once I changed my mindset of passing AFF to enjoying an amazing sport.

I now jump about every weekend (weather permitting) and only get "anxious" if my time between jumps is more than 2 weeks.

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Wait til you get on a 4/8 way team or are leaving 75th on a 100 way. If you think you got fear now, think of screwing it up with all those people and all that money.
U only make 2 jumps: the first one for some weird reason and the last one that you lived through. The rest are just filler.
scr 316

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I'm not sure "fear" was ever the right word for me. But, even after 70+ jumps and an A license, when the door opens, I still take a deep breath, check my handles one last time, look around at everyone else's equipment I can see (without being overly obvious/creepy about it) to see if anything looks funky, remember the plan, remember that I've had good instructors and that I did a thorough gear check before I got on the plane. What motivates the breath and thoughts isn't "fear" but rather a healthy understanding/respect that what I'm about to do is, in addition to being something I can't imagine not doing, something that has the very real potential to kill me (or worse). I'm not entirely certain I ever want to lose the feeling generated by that understanding. Having that feeling and climbing out the door anyway is, for me, part of what I believe sets us apart from Whuffos. We know the risks but, after doing everything we can to minimize them, embrace them as a fair trade for the joy and peace that only jumping provides. If jumping ever becomes something I do without at least a couple butterfly flutters I think the experience would become somehow "less." My $0.02.

Welcome to the Asylum; but at least the patients run the place!
"I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived." Willa Cather

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I had my safety net instructor too, just be cautious or relying on him/her too much as your crutch to get you out there. First and for most you have to trust and rely on YOURSELF. It sounds like you are learning and progressing so don't stall that journey. Every instructor has a unique perspective and way of teaching things. Don't sell yourself short on taking advantage of those experiences.

That being said, nothing wrong with when the nerves are high or you have a specific question/stressor/issue in knowing that you always have your #1 go to. Find a balance and keep pushing, you got this! It's worth it, keep reminding yourself that and get through that door.

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tkhayes

for me it was my 10th jump. no fear, excitement.

for most I think 10-30 jumps is where it is at. I think if you get to 200 jumps and are still 'scared', methinks you might want to reconsider what you are doing. This is supposed to be fun, why would you do something that you are afraid of doing?



It was well over 100 jumps before I stopped being absolutely terrified of the door. Learning to pack helped (there was an unsolved murder - at a boogie so the perpetrator could have been from anywhere -at the time, involving both main and reserve parachutes being sabotaged, which did nothing to help calm my nerves - the relief I used to feel when seeing the canopy opening was amazing).

The fear became a lot less during a skydiving trip involving 6-10 jumps a day over a 2 week period when I was pretty current.

As mentioned, everyone is different.

***********************************************
I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example

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jackwallace

Wait til you get on a 4/8 way team or are leaving 75th on a 100 way.



Whuffos often ask "Do you still get scared?" and that gets at a point I make to them. It's a different kind of fear or apprehension, as it's more about performing well rather than fear of death. Once one gets past the challenge of staying alive, one tends to take on new challenges in skydiving. As they say, 'Oh lord, don't let me be the one, to fuck this up!'.

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My first 3 or so PFF jumps I was not afraid at all, then suddenly I learned more and was really afraid at the door. I also spent many of my early jumps tumbling out the door, so combine fear with performance stress, and I was starting to wonder why I was skydiving at all!

Around 20ish jumps I feel like the fear went away, although performance nerves in the door still happen. I also found that doing those first few solo jumps without the stress of PFF really improved my confidence going forward.

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1400+ jumps and nope. Physically moving around near the door and getting out still gets me. literally .2 seconds after i let go of the plane all the nervousness is gone and im in the moment....
I was that kid jumping out if his tree house with a bed sheet. My dad wouldn't let me use the ladder to try the roof...

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Yeah, it eases up. And I had a lot of fear issue to resolve around AFF3/4.

17 jumps in now, and I am willing to ride next to the damn door and even open it. Our experiences have continually taught us that being next to a ledge is dangerous, but that has no bearing on anything when you are wearing a rig. The trepidation vanishes as soon as you go, so... I just try and focus on what I'm doing during the freefall and canopy.

I highly recommend having a day where you get in 3+ jumps, you'll see how repetition makes the fear vanish.

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Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I feel a lot better knowing I'm not alone and that it is normal to feel this way.

I honestly have no problem during freefall or under canopy maybe a little when about to land the canopy but otherwise I'm having a good time.

@Russell_Jones, That skydiving duck cartoons made me crack up. It's like the whole thing was written about me! lol

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AviationTD

Fear will always be there, but you will get better at dealing with it.



^This. Big time.

I've heard it said "I still get butterflies, but I've taught them to fly in formation." Or something like that.

I also was told a while back, by a very experienced camera flier, that he was still nervous before every jump. He said (more or less) that if the day ever came that he wasn't, then it meant that he wasn't taking the risks seriously and it was time to call it quits.
"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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