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colt2056

What is your response?

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People find out I'm a skydiver and the first thing they say is "your crazy" "your insane" and I never know what to say back. I don't know why it bugs me so much but I feel like those people are so close minded that they just write me off as irrational and irresponsible. Just curious what you guys say when someone says that to you? Something witty?

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I just say that skydiving is not for everyone. Let them think that over, or not. It's worse for women. My ex had a friend ask her "how do you reconcile skydiving with being a mother."
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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How about:
I'm happy.

I found the thing that makes me smile and makes everything else in my life make sense, and I hope you find yours too.

To people who don't want to skydive, I tell them to try new things. Try things you don't think you'll like. Try things you don't think you can do. You just might find your thing that makes you happy... I did (still afraid of heights though, haha).

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Keep in mind that these people don't literally think you are mentally ill. It's just a thing to say, to continue the conversation.

OK so it's a cliche, but so are many things people who don't know each other very well say. You can respond with cliches in return ("yep, totally suicidal I guess" / "nope, people who don't jump are the crazy ones") and change the subject or not, but the important thing is not to worry too much about it.
--
"I'll tell you how all skydivers are judged, . They are judged by the laws of physics." - kkeenan

"You jump out, pull the string and either live or die. What's there to be good at?

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I usually point out that I don't jump because of the risks, but in spite of them. Skydiving is (or should be) all about risk management and reducing the existing risks to levels suitable to your experience and currency. In the beginning your instructors will do that for you, as you progress you'll learn to do this for yourself.

Scratching off a load just before a weather hold / jump limit is announced is a good example of this learning process.

All this loses some in translation though..:)
"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."
~mom

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Joellercoaster

Keep in mind that these people don't literally think you are mentally ill. It's just a thing to say, to continue the conversation.

OK so it's a cliche, but so are many things people who don't know each other very well say. You can respond with cliches in return ("yep, totally suicidal I guess" / "nope, people who don't jump are the crazy ones") and change the subject or not, but the important thing is not to worry too much about it.



this is good, what theyre really saying is more like -

"I don't know anything about skydiving apart from I think it is really risky and i'd be way to scared to do it."

then you can explain how, whilst it does have it's risks, they're really not as high as you'd think and many risks come down to the attitude of the person involved and with that they should try a tandem skydive.

then another one enters the fold, MWUHAHAHAHAHA!.

:P

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I must say most of the times people are amazed when I say I skydive.

They get that respect, as if you were doing something supernatural and get all excited and start asking about how it feels and that they want it too. :P

Then there are some that call me crazy, but I always reply with a smile. I tell the same story to all of them, I don't mind making a good promotional speech about our sport. I mostly tell them that I feel freedom which cannot be achieved on the ground and I wish everybody could find such a great release as I get from skydiving. And finally I always invite them to try :)

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You can choose to address their perspective "you're crazy" or you can attempt to explain your perspective.

My take is something that I discussed on the first date with my (now) wife, who at the time had about 1200 skydives [me = none].

The "Crazy Line" Theory:

Each person has an ingrained line, beyond which is generalized as 'crazy'. For myself as a triathlete, that line was drawn this side of doing a full Ironman distance event. For her, she thought ANY triathlon was 'crazy' (she has now competed in a dozen including World Championships for Duathlon).

Take away is: we all have things we think to be 'crazy', but to others that may seem acceptable, even FUN!! Understanding what they feel acceptable, you can identify something they do that you believe is on the other side of your crazy line (i.e. eating ghost pepper hotwings).

EDIT: *April 2013 Parachutist* has an article by my wife (Beth Victor nee Athanas) that touches on the topic. I will try and find a link. http://parachutistonline.com/feature/all-about-perspective

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For me, it seems like I can't shut up about it, and people can see how much I love it in the way I speak about it. So even when they say I'm crazy, they can see the way my eyes light up as soon as I even mention it. I just always say that it was a life changing experience for me, and I couldn't imagine going back. Then I ask when they'll give it a go. I'm sure my co-workers are beyond sick of hearing me blather on, but I have a big enough butt for all of them to kiss! ;)

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I try to convey to them what I had to understand myself before I jumped. We depend 100% on our gear and our ability to operate it. When was the last time you topped a hill in your car and thought, "If the brakes fail on this steep, winding road I will most likely die." The reason we don't think that is because we trust our equipment, our ability to operate, and we have learned by experience to trust those things.

That might help someone understand that jumping is not a super intense thrill for a licensed jumper but a managed activity that does have some risks. We don't pay much attention to the risks in our lives that we are exposed to everyday, but there are some. We just react to the unfamiliar a bit differently.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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Q: How do you tell you're at a party with a new skydiver?
A: Don't worry, they'll tell you.

Q: How do you know you're at a party with an old skydiver?
A: You don't.

Eventually you learn to stop talking about skydiving because answering the same five questions over and over gets really annoying.

- Dan G

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Dan Nailed it. But don't let that stop your enthusiasm. We ALL went through it and screw it life's short you enjoy it and share it. you have lots of time to be an old fuddy duddy... :)

MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT
Life is Short and we never know how long we are going to have. We must live life to the fullest EVERY DAY. Everything we do should have a greater purpose.

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DanG

Q: How do you tell you're at a party with a new skydiver?
A: Don't worry, they'll tell you.

Q: How do you know you're at a party with an old skydiver?
A: You don't.

Eventually you learn to stop talking about skydiving because answering the same five questions over and over gets really annoying.

Quote

That old saying also applies to Doctors and Lawyers. How do you know there is a lawyer in the room .... he'll tell you ..... ;)

Life is short ... jump often.

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This! I remember being really annoying talking about it the whole time at the beginning. Nobody gave a fuck but I kept talking.

I reply to statements with an "ok". To questions with the answer. Nothing more, nothing less. If they are really interested then I open up and talk more.

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I usually ask them something to the affect of "Do you drive? or Do you ride motorcycle?" Then I ask them where their reserve car or motorcycle is for a 2nd chance?

They probably still think I'm crazy but that ok I like them thinking that way I never wanted to be like everyone else anyways. Its all in ones perception just like your favorite band or style of music you will never convince someone if they don't like it.

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ive been out for awhile(divorced) now remarried to a non jumper and I tell people that give me the CRAZY thing, that I was talked into it just like Bobsled and 6yr on Skeleton(dad did it prior) scuba, etc. I tell them the truth... I was scared to know that a friend talked me into it and I was scared to say NO. DIDN'T EAT SOLID FOOD for the week. then just fell in love with the sport .
IT WOULDNT be fun if the dropzone was crowned like a ski resort. Glad I'm back:) don't get uncurrent.
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I tell them my therapist recommended it as a way to sooth my anxieties and stop choking the shit out of judgmental people. ;)
Every fight is a food fight if you're a cannibal

Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man. - Anthony Burgess

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colt2056

People find out I'm a skydiver and the first thing they say is "your crazy" "your insane" and I never know what to say back. I don't know why it bugs me so much but I feel like those people are so close minded that they just write me off as irrational and irresponsible. Just curious what you guys say when someone says that to you? Something witty?



I usually reply... "You may be right!" and "It's not for everybody."
If they persist on calling me insane the conversation is over. If they're curious we can talk. If they're interested we can really talk.

Jon

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I had an ex-GF who kept nagging me about it;
So I'd just look her in the eye, and exclaim:

"Well, somebody's gotta do it!"

Then the bimbo would earnestly try to convince me that it wasn't really my duty.:D:D:D
"There are only three things of value: younger women, faster airplanes, and bigger crocodiles" - Arthur Jones.

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