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David Wang

Parents...

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Funny story, this morning I was watching a video of "two men BASE jumping from a hotel roof" and in the video there was this girl screaming " oh my god oh my god" and my mom heard that and asked me what it was. I told her that it was BASE jumping and it was cool. My mom immediately replied that I would never allowed to do that. Lol. I think I scared her this morning. She also said if I ever BASE jump she would not regard me as her son anymore. Bruh. 

I think parents are more scared after I got injured. I can understand though. But I'm also glad that she never said "if I ever skydive she would not regard me as her son". 

I'm not sure about BASE jumping honestly. I will probably never get into it. But one thing for sure is as soon as I am ready, I will get back in the sky and get my A. Parents can't stop me. ;P And I'm finally going to college this year...sooo... One thing I can do for my parents and also for myself is that I will make sure I heal completely before returning to the sport. It's for my own safety and also for a better and longer skydiving career. 

Just sharing...What are your experiences with scared parents?

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My mother came to watch me make my first jump. She said two things:

Make sure your underwear is clean

I want to be there if you die (I didn't).

Actually, she was very proud that I jumped, and that I kept jumping. My father made a tandem when he was 85, but my mother never did (she died significantly younger, in her 60's). My dad showed the video of his tandem regularly to friends at the seniors' apartments where he lived -- if you're making a bucket list tandem, get the video.

Wendy P.

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42 minutes ago, wmw999 said:

Actually, she was very proud that I jumped,

That was beautiful...your mom watched you jump. I don't think my mom would ever watch me jump. 

42 minutes ago, wmw999 said:

My dad showed the video of his tandem regularly to friends at the seniors' apartments where he lived -- if you're making a bucket list tandem, get the video.

xDxD

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11 hours ago, David Wang said:

Just sharing...What are your experiences with scared parents?

Mom's philosophy from my early years was, "You can die crossing the street; you might as well die doing something you love." 

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My mom was more or less ok with my jumping. 

She wasn't all that interested in coming out to watch. 

The only time my dad came to the DZ (with my mom) was to see a fundraiser event where one of the guys did 100 jumps in one day. He died in 05.

We ran a small, weekend only, club DZ. If we had a busy weekend, sometimes the student rigs would be left unpacked and I'd come up during the week to pack. Mom would come up with me and just hang out and enjoy the peace & quiet of the mostly empty airport. 

I was a pilot a while back, and got re-current and started flying jumpers.
One day, a few of the guys wanted to jump and none of the other pilots were available, so they called me.
I called my mom and invited her up to watch. Since I was going to be flying, not jumping, she decided to come out. 
She had a ball watching. She thought the joy she saw them experiencing and expressing on the jumps was really fun. She thought the language was a bit 'salty', but understood that's how those guys were. 

So, a couple weeks later, she decided to come out and watch me jump. It was a day with high, thin clouds, so the plane & jumpers were silhouetted against them and really easy to see. We had a guy starting to jump camera in our group, so she would see the plane on jump run, us come out of the plane, open, fly our pattern & land, then we'd put the video up on the hangar TV while we packed.
Again. she loved it.
On the ride home, she commented that she didn't get the 'pit of the stomach' fear she was expecting when we were leaving the plane and falling through the sky.

After that, she'd come out quite a bit. She'd sit on the picnic table, watch over my little dog and watch us jump. The rest of the jumpers enjoyed having her out. A lot of the students and their families & friends were often surprised that she was hanging out (You like seeing him jump? You aren't scared?). She really enjoyed watching the tandem students and how they acted/reacted from walking in the hangar, through the training & gearing up to getting on the plane, to coming back after their jump. She got a big kick out of seeing the change in their attitude/emotions from 'before' to 'after'.

After we closed down that DZ (Wolf River Skydivers), I moved to a different place, and she came right along. The jumpers at the other place were just as welcoming and friendly to her as at the old place. 

When that place closed, I moved to a DZ a couple hours from home. Since I often would take a tent and spend the whole weekend, she really wasn't able to come. However, back in 2019, I was heading down with a friend, planning on only the one day. So she came with. Again, the staff & jumpers were very friendly & welcoming. Again, she had a ball. Since it was Mother's Day weekend, the DZ was offering discounted tandems or free observer rides in the Otter to any mom. She declined, since I had explained how the Otter comes down. 
Back when I started, she expressed some interest in doing a tandem. However, her health has declined and she no longer thinks it's a good idea. 

The second DZ near me reopened last year, and she came out this year. The pandemic made it less than ideal, and she only came once. But she still was warmly welcomed and had a good time.


 

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19 hours ago, wolfriverjoe said:

My mom was more or less ok with my jumping. 

She wasn't all that interested in coming out to watch. 

The only time my dad came to the DZ (with my mom) was to see a fundraiser event where one of the guys did 100 jumps in one day. He died in 05.

We ran a small, weekend only, club DZ. If we had a busy weekend, sometimes the student rigs would be left unpacked and I'd come up during the week to pack. Mom would come up with me and just hang out and enjoy the peace & quiet of the mostly empty airport. 

I was a pilot a while back, and got re-current and started flying jumpers.
One day, a few of the guys wanted to jump and none of the other pilots were available, so they called me.
I called my mom and invited her up to watch. Since I was going to be flying, not jumping, she decided to come out. 
She had a ball watching. She thought the joy she saw them experiencing and expressing on the jumps was really fun. She thought the language was a bit 'salty', but understood that's how those guys were. 

So, a couple weeks later, she decided to come out and watch me jump. It was a day with high, thin clouds, so the plane & jumpers were silhouetted against them and really easy to see. We had a guy starting to jump camera in our group, so she would see the plane on jump run, us come out of the plane, open, fly our pattern & land, then we'd put the video up on the hangar TV while we packed.
Again. she loved it.
On the ride home, she commented that she didn't get the 'pit of the stomach' fear she was expecting when we were leaving the plane and falling through the sky.

After that, she'd come out quite a bit. She'd sit on the picnic table, watch over my little dog and watch us jump. The rest of the jumpers enjoyed having her out. A lot of the students and their families & friends were often surprised that she was hanging out (You like seeing him jump? You aren't scared?). She really enjoyed watching the tandem students and how they acted/reacted from walking in the hangar, through the training & gearing up to getting on the plane, to coming back after their jump. She got a big kick out of seeing the change in their attitude/emotions from 'before' to 'after'.

After we closed down that DZ (Wolf River Skydivers), I moved to a different place, and she came right along. The jumpers at the other place were just as welcoming and friendly to her as at the old place. 

When that place closed, I moved to a DZ a couple hours from home. Since I often would take a tent and spend the whole weekend, she really wasn't able to come. However, back in 2019, I was heading down with a friend, planning on only the one day. So she came with. Again, the staff & jumpers were very friendly & welcoming. Again, she had a ball. Since it was Mother's Day weekend, the DZ was offering discounted tandems or free observer rides in the Otter to any mom. She declined, since I had explained how the Otter comes down. 
Back when I started, she expressed some interest in doing a tandem. However, her health has declined and she no longer thinks it's a good idea. 

The second DZ near me reopened last year, and she came out this year. The pandemic made it less than ideal, and she only came once. But she still was warmly welcomed and had a good time.


 

This is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing! 

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(edited)

I bought a motorcycle before I took up skydiving. By the time I started jumping I already knew her attitude, because she said as much when I bought the Harley: “Neither you nor your brother are stupid people. Staying inside trying to be ‘safe’ all the time isn’t living. I trust you both to be smart about anything you take up.”

 

she came out to the DZ when she was in town for visits. She knows I love it, but has no interest in doing it herself. But she does enjoy sitting in the shade and watching jumpers come in!

My father and his wife, OTOH, think I’m insane.

Edited by TriGirl
Added second parent
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I was just talking to my mom about surgery and she said that I made a bad decision to cut away the main and I'm not qualified to skydive because of that. I was so pissed and I didn't know what to say. 

This is utterly ridiculous and unfair. Cutting away the main at that low might be a bad decision but landing a down plane would not be a great decision either. It was a complicated situation and I just made the decision that I felt right. 

I feel so tired just to talk to my mom about skydiving. You guy's stories are awesome! 

 

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When I first started skydiving, my mother sent me an article regarding two people who died bungee jumping, as proof that skydiving was dangerous.

It seems like your mother is just doing or saying whatever she can to stop you from skydiving again.  You can understand her feelings, even if you don't agree with them -- her beloved son was almost killed from doing something she sees as a complete waste of time and money.  And he has decided to go back and do it again after he heals from his injuries!  If she can only think of the right thing to say or do, she can save her son from certain death or serious injury.

In my case, I was 31 when I began skydiving, and financially independent from my mother, and so I simply told her that I was going to do it, and I'm sorry if she disagreed, but it was my life.  Thirteen years later, she still hates that I do it, and will periodically try to talk me out of it.  I just mostly ignore her when she does.

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My mom came out to watch me jump one time when my parents traveled on vacation to visit. She was a bit of a worry wart and didn't support us doing anything more dangerous than reading in bed, but after so many years of my flying and jumping out of planes, she was used to the idea. My father was a career military aviator but vehemently opposed to skydiving. Mom is 17 years gone now, and Dad is 88. I'd still like to get him up on a tandem.

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Aren't family dynamics a wonderful thing?

 

When I made my first jump (SL out of DC3 and my first airplane ride) I came home all hyped up, like most first jumpers, and wanting to tell them how wonderful it was, they just told me to pipe down.  They were watching TV.

 

Don't ever discount the care and love your family has for you.  Not all have that.

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2 hours ago, David Wang said:

However things I can do for my parents (for me as well) are: heal completely before jumping again, being hyper aware of safety and staying safe in the sky. 

Discuss openly about risks and the steps you take to manage them. I find it helps sometimes with people who do not know about skydiving and have the "you're insane / have a deahwish" knee-jerk reaction. When you counter with well-thought arguments, people eventually tend to get interested despite themselves and ask more questions. Downside is, you have to do this again with every new person, which takes a lot of time.

I'm blessed with very supportive parents. Talking about risk management, precautions etc. helps them stay supportive. Well, except that my mom does not want to hear about CReW. :p

When I told them I was going to take the FJC they just smiled, looked at each other and told me that that was exactly something they'd expect me to do. I'd get the idea, and I'd go do it. Funny thing is, approximately half the people I knew at the time agreed with my parents point of view, the other half reacted exactly opposite.

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On 1/25/2021 at 12:00 PM, David Wang said:

I can definitely understand her feelings, but HATE what she is doing! I will jump (target date: Summer 2022) whether she likes it or not.

When I was 16 I wanted a motorcycle really bad. Mom said no. Her dad broke his leg on one so they were dangerous, no motorcycles for me. I tried to get one when I was 18 and she said no again.  WTF? I was 18!?!  I earned the money for it!?! I was going to get it whether she liked it or not!

I didn't get that bike, for you see, I still lived with them. They still paid most of my bills.  I was pissed, but that's just how it was. I respected my parents so I didn't go against her wishes and buy it.

I did get one four months after I moved into my own place though. At that point, it didn't matter whether she liked it or not. I was supporting myself and I could make my own decisions.

If you'll be out supporting yourself by next summer, that's awesome.  Get back in the air, get your license, buy gear, become a world champion swooper. At that point, she has no say regarding what you do or don't do.   

If your parents are still paying any of your bills then, you might consider waiting until you have assumed full responsibility for your life prior to jumping again.  It's just the respectful thing to do. 

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(edited)
On 1/25/2021 at 3:03 PM, Baksteen said:

Discuss openly about risks and the steps you take to manage them. I find it helps sometimes with people who do not know about skydiving and have the "you're insane / have a deahwish" knee-jerk reaction.

Thank you for sharing your story and advice! I think discussing about risks with my parents won't really work because I've already got hurt once lol. My mom already thinks that it's a dangerous sport....and I know it's not a safe sport..lol. But my definition of "dangerous" may be different from her. 

 

On 1/27/2021 at 6:11 AM, skybytch said:

If you'll be out supporting yourself by next summer, that's awesome.

I will be at college by then, and I'm planning to get back in the sky in college. I will pay *most* of my tuition. *most* but not *all*. My parents will help pay a small percentage of tuition. 

Thanks for sharing!!

Edited by David Wang

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David - One thing that you might try :

 
Take your folks out on a day that you aren't jumping (which is all the time right now). Show them how much care is taken with everything. Maybe have them sit in on a tandem training class, watch some rigs being packed, talk to the fun jumpers, that sort of thing.
Let them see how the whole process works without any of the distraction worrying about you.

Many fears are based on ignorance and preconceived notions. 

Maybe if they can see that it really isn't a bunch of reckless yahoos, they might have a bit less fear of it.

That was one of the things that really impressed my mom. When she was first coming up to hang out while I packed the left over student gear, when she came out to watch the other guys jump, and finally came when I was jumping. She saw the way we carefully packed, how we planned out each jump, how the tandem students were treated, even the professionalism with which the pilots approached the whole process
She said several times that the care and thoroughness she could clearly see made her feel a lot more comfortable about the whole thing. 

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On 1/30/2021 at 9:50 AM, wolfriverjoe said:

David - One thing that you might try :

 
Take your folks out on a day that you aren't jumping (which is all the time right now). Show them how much care is taken with everything. Maybe have them sit in on a tandem training class, watch some rigs being packed, talk to the fun jumpers, that sort of thing.
Let them see how the whole process works without any of the distraction worrying about you.

Many fears are based on ignorance and preconceived notions. 

Maybe if they can see that it really isn't a bunch of reckless yahoos, they might have a bit less fear of it.

That was one of the things that really impressed my mom. When she was first coming up to hang out while I packed the left over student gear, when she came out to watch the other guys jump, and finally came when I was jumping. She saw the way we carefully packed, how we planned out each jump, how the tandem students were treated, even the professionalism with which the pilots approached the whole process
She said several times that the care and thoroughness she could clearly see made her feel a lot more comfortable about the whole thing. 

Thanks for the advice! I will definitely bring my parents to the DZ. Actually I'm planning to attend Celebration of Life with my parents... Idk...will that be a good way to introduce the sport to my parents??

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1 hour ago, David Wang said:

Thanks for the advice! I will definitely bring my parents to the DZ. Actually I'm planning to attend Celebration of Life with my parents... Idk...will that be a good way to introduce the sport to my parents??

Everyone's parents are different.  But I would not take my mother to the DZ when it was honoring someone who died skydiving.  That just reminds them that you could die skydiving.

For that matter, I'm not sure that showing them how much care everyone takes would help either, because they already have tangible evidence that despite all that care, you still almost died.

But I don't think it could hurt to talk to them about what they're worried about, and try to really listen and understand.  Because, the thing is, they're right.  Skydiving is dangerous.  You could die, or get seriously injured from it.  Some former jumpers are quadriplegics now.  That's just the reality.  I don't think it helps your case to minimize this -- it makes them think that you are willfully ignoring the risks.  Remember, though you are now an adult, in their minds, it wasn't so long ago that they had to physically stop you from touching the hot stove because you just didn't understand why you couldn't.  It's hard for parents to transition into the space where their judgment regarding their kids' well-being is not superior to the kids' own judgment.

Instead, perhaps explain to them what you love about the sport, and why you love it enough that you are willing to take these risks.  Additionally (if you haven't already), explain what went wrong on your jump, and what you're doing to minimize the risk of it happening again.  They may never approve, but perhaps through communication you both can at least get a better measure of understanding of the other.

And, if you take them to a DZ, I'd do it on a regular day, not during a boogie, not during a competition, and definitely not during an ashdive or celebration of life (unless the jumper died of something unrelated to skydiving).

My $0.02.

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On 1/23/2021 at 6:53 AM, oldwomanc6 said:

Aren't family dynamics a wonderful thing?

[...]

Don't ever discount the care and love your family has for you.  Not all have that.

Amen to that!!!

No one knows better than you the "best" way to manage your particular situation, but still some valuable insights nonetheless...

It's nice that your family cares.  

If your mother's approval is important to you (and it sounds like it is), the best thing you can do for a start is try to understand her point of view.  I'm not saying you have to agree with her but at least do your best to understand how and why she feels the way she does.

Then try to help her see things from your perspective.  Again, she doesn't have to *agree* with you...  Understanding each other is a good start.  :)

Good luck!

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On 1/27/2021 at 3:11 PM, skybytch said:

If you'll be out supporting yourself by next summer, that's awesome.  Get back in the air, get your license, buy gear, become a world champion swooper. At that point, she has no say regarding what you do or don't do.   

If your parents are still paying any of your bills then, you might consider waiting until you have assumed full responsibility for your life prior to jumping again.  It's just the respectful thing to do. 

Hehe...  "My house my rules" makes far more sense once you become autonomous, start owning shit, pay your own bills, et cetera!!!

And all those people who say "you will understand when you have children" are probably quite right...

Much of the exaggerated perception of the "extreme" nature of skydiving has been driven by sensationalism in movies or on the news...  Taking rare examples and making them out to be far more common or worse than they really are.  That said, the sport is not risk-free, no matter how much people try to convince themselves otherwise...  So every incident "proves" that it is dangerous...  And it IS dangerous...  And you absolutely can get injured badly and even die. 

So it's quite a leap for even the most intelligent person to understand that yes it is dangerous, but it's also "not as bad as they think"

Add to that the fact you have been injured...  Well, your mom who cares about you is perfectly rational in feeling concern that you want to get back into the sport...  The sky is not going anywhere.  Nothing wrong with holding off a bit as well...  I've also waited a bit on some things because my loved ones did not approve.  If my family didn't deserve that kind of consideration I might have acted differently as well.  Only you know that. 

I've plowed ahead in some cases despite EVERYONE telling me I was wrong.  For some things I am glad I didn't listen...  For others I wish I had!!  Hahaha!

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26 minutes ago, Nataly said:

I've plowed ahead in some cases despite EVERYONE telling me I was wrong.  For some things I am glad I didn't listen...  For others I wish I had!!  Hahaha!

I've heard it said that good decisions come from experience, and experience often comes from bad decisions. The key is to learn from others' decisions, not just your own.

Wendy P.

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12 minutes ago, wmw999 said:

I've heard it said that good decisions come from experience, and experience often comes from bad decisions. The key is to learn from others' decisions, not just your own.

Wendy P.

YES!!!

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