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Quansetmoto

A new jumper in need of perspective

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Hello all, 

I am a new skydiver in search of perspective. First ill give them some backstory:

 

I did a tandem four years ago, and after doing it I kinda wanted to be a skydiver. Life happened, a separation divorce ect, and the dream faded. Then in early 2020 I was deployed with the U.S Army to Newyork in response to covid as a nurse. I saw a lot of death there and a lot of pain. Humans treated like dogs by a completely overwhelmed hospital system. I was there for three months and it made an impression on me.  I felt like I finally understood how precious life was after talking to so many family members, wife's, and girlfriends. Always the same conversation "I can't tell you if he or she will make it, things don't look good ect, ect." I landed a job at a prison as a contract nurse working covid. Again humans treated like animals. Again fear, pain, death and an overwhelmed system. It was at this time I decided to go for my A License. I was working nights, very tired. I went through groundschool not understanding alot of what was being said. I knew I needed to feel alive. I drove to the dz after work one AM. First jump IAD, chute opened I landed life was great. They asked me if I wanted to go again I said hell yes. I should have said no. My mind was racing; adrenaline and sleep deprivation I was an idiot. Second jump the winds where higher, with some occasional gusts (my dz has a waiver to 20 MPH). Chute opened winds increased, because I did not study correctly I did not realize that I need to select an alternative landing pattern well away from the original point.  I followed the radio commands exactly with no corrections on my part I flew past the green right over a quanset hut (apox 50 yards from the green). I turned into my final hoping to get over the building (following the commands). I hit the building at its apex and slid down. I did not cutaway, I had no time too think. I was uninjured by the grace of God. I left the dz shaken. I came back 2 weeks latter, well rested but terrified. I jumped again and landed correctly. The release was a blur I dearched so I failed the jump. I felt just doing it again and landing was a victory, it was so hard to let go. Fast forward 6 months and I have started an AFF program, I went through ground school again, studied the SIM for hours upon hours and watched dozens of Friday freaking videos to learn EPS. 3 jumps in I am letting go of the plane on my own regaining my stability within 5-10 seconds. I can arch I am having trouble remembering to keep my legs straight, the first two jumps I had perfect altitude awareness. The 3rd jump I was focusing on the handsignals and bending my legs. I looked on to my altimeter at 6k then I lost altitude awareness from 6k to ? (I honestly don't know why). I saw the finger pointing and immediately went to pull. I had trouble finding the damn handle and my instructor pulled for me. I arched the chute deployed. Line twists, I checked altitude and corrected by 3k. Flew it in landed great. I walked in for the debrief angry at myself. I asked my instructors if I was a salvageable student they all said yes. They said I need to relax to be calmer less htperfoccused (I recieted every detail on minute detail from putting the parachute on in the hanger to doing the PLF). I want to be a skydiver but I want to be a good one, I want to be a credit to my instructors, have them be happy to see me, and most importantly to prove to myself I can do this. I have since scheduled tunnel time and am practicing all I can: listening to books on skydiving, visualization, arching against walls, and on top of a chest. 

Sorry for the book I need to say this to somebody. Any advice is appreciated 

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Not quite sure what your question is.

You're having some difficulties.
You're overthinking it a little bit.

Tunnel time will help.


But, mostly you need to listen to your instructors. 

Don't be so focused on the destination that you forget to enjoy the journey.
^_^

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Fear is extremely normal. Or at least I hope so, because I spent a number of jumps wanting desperately to go back down. I’m on low bandwidth right now, so can’t watch the videos, but it’s  COMPLETELY normal. 
If it makes skydiving not fun for too long, it’s fine to quit. 
In my case, after my first freefall, I was OK. It might be that it just takes a really good jump, where you remember it well. 
Wendy P. 

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my advice would be that it is much easier to read when you use paragraphs.  also, it's wives not wife's, since that denotes possession i think it's called, like belonging to the wife.  you may think this is just being smartassed, but that is how much your fuckups matter.  it took me 22 years to get my a due to life getting in the way, and me not learning what my feet were doing, because no instructors used video that long ago due to huge cameras.  bottom line is keep it up, and keep your feet and knees together when you land preparing for a plf, don't slide in.  our manifest person has a broken back from sliding in when she should've done a plf.  welcome to the sky.

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(edited)

I didn't see you mention anything about skydiving being fun.  If it's not fun, don't bother. There are other ways to feel alive that don't cost nearly as much. 

If it is fun, make fun your number two priority in skydiving (number one would be walking back to the packing area after every jump). 

Remove the word "fail" from your vocabulary.  Skydiving is only pass/fail if you die. Sometimes students lose altitude awareness.  That's why instructors jump with you and why the rig you used has an AAD.  Sometimes experienced jumpers lose altitude awareness.  That's why they have AADs on their rigs.  You didn't "fail" that jump, you just didn't demonstrate all of the required skills on that jump.  Did you walk back to the packing area? Did you learn something? Did you have fun at any point during the jump?  Then it was a successful skydive.  

Relaxing is a key to improving your overall performance. So how do you relax?  By remembering to have fun! Had a student once who was stuck on Cat D (single instructor release jumps). As soon as she was released she would tense up and spin.  Five jumps in a row this happened, all with the same instructor. She was ready to quit. We were chatting about it and I asked her why she was skydiving.  She said because it was fun. So the hubby and I took her up and did a 2 instructor linked exit. Once she had done practice pulls I let go, flew in front of her and started smiling and sticking my tongue out - having fun.  She smiled and giggled - and relaxed; hubby let go and she flew stable until pull time.  Went on to finish her student jumps with no repeats.  

Have you smiled in freefall

Edited by skybytch

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Fear is completely normal, you body is going through all kinds of new sensations and experiences. It

Do you best not to over think things. Trust what your instructors say and listen to them. Stop trying to over-analyze things. Also, RELAX and breath :-) It may be difficult at first, but keep working on it. And the more you do it, the easier skydiving will be. This is not a competition and you don't have to be perfect, especially when you are first starting.

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