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IZombieMan

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

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I think I had more than the normal amount of fear until jump 7 of the AFF course. After that, I had the normal amount of fear! Even now I sometimes get worried on the way to altitude, but now, when I open the door, I am eager to get out. Also, like many jumpers, I get a little nervous in the plane after a layoff of a month or two.
"Here's a good specimen of my own wisdom. Something is so, except when it isn't so."

Charles Fort, commenting on the many contradictions of astronomy

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****UPDATE****

The fear was still there when I finished my AFF7 And AFF8. Then I had a much bigger problem... The terror of jumping alone doing my first solo. It wasn't that I wasn't confident in my abilities it was just a comfort thing. Having someone jump out of that scary door with me... I finished my AFF on Sat, I was so tired so I went to bed early. I woke up at 3 am thinking to myself should I do my solo tomorrow? Should I jump out of the plane alone? Maybe I should wait till next weekend... Then I fell asleep again.

I had set my alarm for 6:30am, the alarm went off at 6:30 and I ignored it after I remembered that the girl at Square1 told me that I had to come in early to the store at around 7:30 to rent my rig since it's the weekend and it's pretty busy. I eventually woke up at 7:20am. By the time I brushed my teeth and finished my morning ritual it was past 8am. I walked into Square 1. Pretty much looking for any reason to not rent my rig, but the girl was so quick!! She was like you're here for the rig? I said yes, she immediately grabbed a container and gave it to me and said put this on and let me know how it fit. What were you jumping yesterday? I said I was jumping a 260. She goes okay here you go. In a few mins of me going into the store I had a complete rig in my hands. I left the store, looked up at the sky and was like haha! Yup! I'm doing my solo today.

I geared up, went to the loading area and sat waiting on my plane. Told everyone I was doing a solo and that I was pulling high. They put me last in the group just before the wing suiters. We get on the plane, felt okay at first, but as we started reaching altitude I started getting nervous... there was a lady (from England I think) noticed how unrelaxed I was, so she kept smiling at me every time we made eye contact in a very caring way and I smiled back, It was very nice of her as believe it or not that really did help me relax a little.

Guys opened the door. We're at altitude-people started jumping, watched them go one after another as I touched my three handles, took a deep breath and closed my helmet's visor. It was my turn to jump. I stand at the door focused, trying to spot, I looked and I found the DZ but it looked too far for me and we weren't on top of it anymore. I remembered my instructor telling me to not jump unless you're on top of the DZ or close to it. One of the wing suiters came to the door to help me spot the DZ and he agreed that it was far. I looked at the rest of the wing suiters then pointed up with my finger and waved my finger in a circle asking the pilot to turn the plane. They were all upset about it and rolling their eyes. I did say that I was sorry but I didn't really care that they got butt hurt a little after all its for my safety and I lack experience to know whether I'll make it to the DZ under canopy or not.

The pilot turned around, this time I was right over the DZ; it was time to jump, I stand side ways next to the door and I dove to the side... As soon as my hands, shoulders and head were out of the plane, it was like the winds hugged me and said What up bud? Don't worry everything is alright. I watched the plane get further and further away from me, checked my altitude and I was at 10.5. I had planned to just stably fall, but as I was free falling I was like F. THAT! I'm gonna do some 360s, I did one to the left Checked my Alt., I did one to the right Checked my Alt. and then I decided to do a barrel roll, I did that and it was AWESOME! Checked my Alt I was at around 7G I decided to track, ("track") I tracked for few seconds stopped got stable checked Alt. and waved and pulled at 5G.

Canopy opened and the first thought that came to my mind after F yeah I have a working canopy was... holy shit! I did it... I'm a skydiver! Then I landed my canopy gracefully landing on my feet. The winds were so kind to me during my landing. I took my rig to ProPack and I asked the gentlemen how long before I can come get my rig? He said: You can go ahead and manifest. Sweet! I said. I gave the manifest my solo ticket and I was on the next jump in 30 mins on a sky-van (FUN!) And after that I was on the next jump in 18 mins and I jumped again. Every time I jumped it seemed easier.


As for that fear of the door it was still there, but we became friends and therefore it wasn't as intimidating anymore.



Thanks for reading! Blue Skies!

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I still get a little nervous, especially on the first jump of the day everytime I go. A lot of the fear I had went away when I did my first high solo, it was just so much fun and for the first time I didn't have anything to focus on and could just do whatever I wanted and just have fun. Now I'm more excited then nervous most of the time but I like being a little nervous, one of my instructors always taught me to go into every jump assuming the main will fail so you can be mentally ready for it whenever it happens instead of being too complacent and maybe panicking when it eventually does happen.

Have fun man! I'm only around 40 jumps myself and still relatively newly licensed but it just keeps getting better and better.

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Hey, just wanted to get a feeling from a few people on something similar Im going through at the moment. I did two static line jumps, one 10 years ago, and another 3 years ago, have the voucher for the next re-train and 2 jumps. I never had any fear when the door opened, when it did, i was straight over looking out and down and when it came time to go, i went.

However, my issue now is that while I would love to go and train properly, I have a relatively young family and I cannot shake the feeling that if I start jumping again (& regularly), that I wont be around to see them grow up.

Does anyone else get this at all or am I just being ridiculous ....... any advice welcome......

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fatkid

Hey, just wanted to get a feeling from a few people on something similar Im going through at the moment. I did two static line jumps, one 10 years ago, and another 3 years ago, have the voucher for the next re-train and 2 jumps. I never had any fear when the door opened, when it did, i was straight over looking out and down and when it came time to go, i went.

However, my issue now is that while I would love to go and train properly, I have a relatively young family and I cannot shake the feeling that if I start jumping again (& regularly), that I wont be around to see them grow up.

Does anyone else get this at all or am I just being ridiculous ....... any advice welcome......



"that I wont be around to see them grow up."

We are not promised tomorrow. Skydiving is a bit selfish. Everyone has to decide for themselves if the reward is worth the risk. My kids were grown when I started, so I never had to face that same question. My wife did tell me if I get killed she will be super mad at me.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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It went away completely around 10th jump. But it came back a few times: before first balloon jump (right before leaving the basket over fields) and before the first night jump (while boarding; also because it was very windy then). It wasn't the fear of stepping out per se anyway.

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fatkid

Hey, just wanted to get a feeling from a few people on something similar Im going through at the moment. I did two static line jumps, one 10 years ago, and another 3 years ago, have the voucher for the next re-train and 2 jumps. I never had any fear when the door opened, when it did, i was straight over looking out and down and when it came time to go, i went.

However, my issue now is that while I would love to go and train properly, I have a relatively young family and I cannot shake the feeling that if I start jumping again (& regularly), that I wont be around to see them grow up.

Does anyone else get this at all or am I just being ridiculous ....... any advice welcome......



You could get hit by garbage truck crossing the street and die just as easily. We aren't immortal. If you wanted to eliminate every risk of dying you'd live a very boring life.

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There's a podcast (still active I think) called Jump Twenty-Six geared specifically for the newer skydiver.

Fear was the subject of a long interview with Brian Germain, a well-known canopy instructor. There's some interesting stuff there that you might find helpful.

Very first podcast in the series:

http://jumptwentysix.libsyn.com/

On jump 24 and not so much afraid as still full of thoughts on the ride up along the lines of, "Why the fuck am I doing this again??" Lots of brain lock too when the dive flow has more than two freakin' elements. Ugh. But powering through. Shooting for a little better each jump.

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I have 50 jumps. I used to have the same feeling in the beginning, but now I love getting out of the door almost more than everything else.

It started changing around jump 12 or so and by the time I had my a-license (about 25 jumps) the fear was gone completely (of course, one never knows: it's not like I expect to never feel fear again in the plane--but hasn't been there the last 25 jumps)

Two things helped:

1. After AFF, I took a winter break and did lots of tunnel flying. At some point I had an epiphany: When I get in the tunnel from the door, the air is already moving 120mph and immediately I feel it supporting my body, and I can trust it and lean into it.
Well, the same happens when jumping from a plane, except that the air is coming from the front. So, instead of thinking of stepping out and falling down, I started thinking of stepping right into the air flow from the front of the plane and being immediately held up by that, just like in the tunnel.
The first time I went up again in the air immediately felt completely different, just because of that shift of perspective.

2. I did a canopy course which consisted of 5 hop'n pops from about 5000-6000 feet. We practiced stepping out, getting stable immediately and pulling within a couple seconds of exit. First time I tumbled and took a while to pull, but from the 2nd time on I was able to be stable right out the door and pull while looking at my coach and counting the number of fingers he was showing me while crouching in the door.
That ability to get stable and pull immediately gave me tremendous confidence about getting out the door.

Now, I love nothing more than getting out that door! ;)
Let's see what happens when I jump from a helicopter next week...all dead air...I bet there will be fear :o

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I think it does go away, but as others noted, it's probably different for each person. I'm a completely new jumper (licensed 2 weeks ago), and I stopped being afraid of the door (in fact started craving getting out) around jump 9. However, I'm back home now and there's no DZ near me. I won't be able to jump until early October. As used to it as I got from jumping multiple times a day for 10 days straight during my AFF + A license progression, I am absolutely certain the fear will return when I jump again. I'll have not jumped for almost a month, and I'll be at a different dropzone where nobody knows me. Yep, door fear will rear its irrational head again.

But I think this is good. Honestly I think fear keeps us from complacency and keeps you respecting the sport. It's a survival instinct, so it operates to keep you alert. If ever you get to a point where you can just walk through that door like it ain't no thang, cool! But, maybe that would be a good time to take a really hard course and uplevel your skydiving skills so that you remember how little you actually know and get a humility check. Just to make sure you're not forgetting any basics and getting too confident, which I can imagine starts to happen to most people when they get into the thousands of jumps. Fear's good, if you manage it well!

Also, convince yourself to trust the equipment. It's really good! And, remember that the door is your magical gateway to the great outdoors 2 miles about the Earth. Try to see it that way, and maybe you'll embrace the door. ;)
Joined the sport in September 2017 at Skydive Diani. Lives and work in Rwanda. Write about skydiving on https://wtaff.com.

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What kind of exits are you doing?

I've started doing dives and intentional unstable exits and I find i am a lot LESS fearful than my prior exits that were all hanging. I think it was my fear of messing up my exits (as I had 2 where I slipped and couldn't get a good grip on the strut and it felt awful as I was scared i may hit the wheel or step on release...) that was the root of my fear. Now that I've been doing different exits I find I am not as scared as I was.

Maybe it is partly because I have more jumps in, but I think it is more to do with I feel more confident with the exits than having to struggle to get a good hanging exit. (which I've always felt difficult as a lightweight...)

i_like_ceviche

I think it does go away, but as others noted, it's probably different for each person. I'm a completely new jumper (licensed 2 weeks ago)



..hey congrats on your license! B|

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