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kdashofy

Quick addiction

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Pretty sure I've just made an expensive mistake. First AFF jump this weekend at Kapowsin in WA. Didn't think we would be able to get up and just before giving up and leaving we were called up. With two uber experienced jumpers (Andy and John with something like 25k jumps between the two of them) I was first out of the plane - for about 90% of the ride up I thought there was ZERO chance that I'd actually get my self to jump...thank the good lord I didn't hesitate. I'm hooked. That is one crazy high. Very professional jump zone and instructors. Hoping for success through the rest of my program! And hoping that my bank account is prepared for the beating it is about to take :-)

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kdashofy

Pretty sure I've just made an expensive mistake. First AFF jump this weekend at Kapowsin in WA. Didn't think we would be able to get up and just before giving up and leaving we were called up. With two uber experienced jumpers (Andy and John with something like 25k jumps between the two of them) I was first out of the plane - for about 90% of the ride up I thought there was ZERO chance that I'd actually get my self to jump...thank the good lord I didn't hesitate. I'm hooked. That is one crazy high. Very professional jump zone and instructors. Hoping for success through the rest of my program! And hoping that my bank account is prepared for the beating it is about to take :-)

I spent 20k the first year. In 1998. Buy some good used gear. Rentals will kill you. Money wise and possibly otherwise. ;)
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

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You couldn't ask for two of the more respected instructors in skydiving.

Glad you're hooked. There's lots more elation to come with each new rung on the ladder.
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

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On a serious note - I will be making my next jumps on Wednesday - I have been drilling down my exit and other procedures - but I swear the nerves seem impossible once I get to the door. How many jumps until this subsides? It's more adreline than fear I'm sure...but still makes it difficult to stay focused on the tasks at hand...any good mental exercises to make this better? Instructors said I'm doing fine...minor adjustments on legs...but it's going to progress quickly from here - pressure is on and I'm a perfectionist!

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kdashofy

On a serious note - I will be making my next jumps on Wednesday - I have been drilling down my exit and other procedures - but I swear the nerves seem impossible once I get to the door. How many jumps until this subsides? It's more adreline than fear I'm sure...but still makes it difficult to stay focused on the tasks at hand...any good mental exercises to make this better? Instructors said I'm doing fine...minor adjustments on legs...but it's going to progress quickly from here - pressure is on and I'm a perfectionist!



Depends on you. By AFF level 4 I was already not thoroughly terrified getting out the door. I realized the worst possible thing I could imagine was somehow falling out of the plane early, and that I was wearing a parachute and was planning to do that, anyway. I was still pretty anxious for about 60 more skydives and talked myself out of going to the dropzone a few times on perfectly nice jump days because I just couldn't deal with it that day. I'd always be back a couple days later to do another jump.

I've had several instructors tell me, and am now realizing for myself, that the nerves never completely go away. It's just that their magnitude is now significantly lower than it used to be. I DID feel like an AFF student all over again on my first wingsuit jump at 200 jumps, and for several wingsuit jumps thereafter. They started being normal skydives once I started doing multiple wingsuit jumps in a day. Now that I'm comfortable with the gear, I'm as relaxed as I am on any other skydive.
I'm trying to teach myself how to set things on fire with my mind. Hey... is it hot in here?

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For me I was nervous for each of about the first 10 jumps. After that it was only for the first jump of the day until about my 40th/50th, and after that it was gone completely except if I have a longer pause between jumps (more than a few weeks) whereby it's only for the first jump of the day again.

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kdashofy

On a serious note - I will be making my next jumps on Wednesday - I have been drilling down my exit and other procedures - but I swear the nerves seem impossible once I get to the door. How many jumps until this subsides? It's more adreline than fear I'm sure...but still makes it difficult to stay focused on the tasks at hand...any good mental exercises to make this better? Instructors said I'm doing fine...minor adjustments on legs...but it's going to progress quickly from here - pressure is on and I'm a perfectionist!



Hard to say when the nerves will chill as everyone is different. Some pointers...

Make as many jumps in a day/weekend (or days off) that you can short of getting performance-robbing fatigue. For most people anxiety levels drop with repetitive jumps and confidence increases. Success breeds success.

Drill your emergency procedures into your brain until you are absolutely confident that you will perform like a textbook. Anxiety comes from uncertainty and often emergency procedures are the worst for that.

Knowledge is confidence power. Spend as much time as you can at the drop zone and spend it productively. Seek out learning opportunities about everything you can. The more you know and the better you understand the mechanics of things the more real-world logic you can apply to the process. That understanding will add to your confidence level and your performance. Start with your gear. Truly understanding not just how it works but why it works that way will go a long way. Also, download the Skydiver's Information Manual - http://www.uspa.org/Portals/0/Downloads/Man_SIM_2014.pdf - and read it front to back. Start with the things that apply to you, especially A license requirements and the rules that apply to A license holders. Also read and learn the section called "Basic Safety Requirements". These are the "never cross" rules of our sport in the U.S. The importance of understanding the things that govern our sport can not be overstated and knowing that stuff will help you be a "complete" skydiver.

Most important, ask your instructors for advice. They know you best and should be able to give you the best guidance in controlling your nerves in the moment.

Don't let your nerves make you nervous. It's obviously normal to feel the emotions you are feeling at this point. Focus on getting the mechanics right and you will be safe. Losing the anxiety will come in time.

When you feel the anxiety coming, smile. Smile BIG and look out at the sky. Think about how incredible everything becomes outside that plane. Let stress become joy.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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As Chuck Akers correctly and aptly put it:

Quote

Don't let your nerves make you nervous. It's obviously normal to feel the emotions you are feeling at this point. Focus on getting the mechanics right and you will be safe. Losing the anxiety will come in time.



I think if you observe around your DZ and read a lot of posts here on the subject, I think you'll probably conclude that you're in a large crowd on this subject. So welcome, you're normal.

Now it sounds like you're going to see your license to completion and keep jumping! Hooray!
On the other hand, there are many reasons people get into training and then walk away. Some of those reasons make sense and some leave others scratching their heads but hey...we all have to make our choices and respect the choices of others. I would hope that in the unlikely event you have to walk away, it is not because you're normal.

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FlyingRhenquest

I've had several instructors tell me, and am now realizing for myself, that the nerves never completely go away. It's just that their magnitude is now significantly lower than it used to be. I DID feel like an AFF student all over again on my first wingsuit jump at 200 jumps, and for several wingsuit jumps thereafter. They started being normal skydives once I started doing multiple wingsuit jumps in a day. Now that I'm comfortable with the gear, I'm as relaxed as I am on any other skydive.



I find that intensive jumping in general is more relaxed and relaxing than just a few jumps with enough pause between to get a break. Getting into the progress mindset, where you work on a particular thing and just pack for the next load as fast as you can, works wonders. Especially if you can see the results and the progress you're making. Whereas I sometimes need to push myself to jump on slow days because I will otherwise give in to this "maybe I don't need it that bad" feeling.
"Skydivers are highly emotional people. They get all excited about their magical black box full of mysterious life saving forces."

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Made two jumps today - level 2 and 3. Work with same jump coaches John and Andy as well as Andy's wife. First jump today I was almost frozen - but pulled off a great exit and solid performance. I was ready to rock on the next one. Nerves were 1/8th of the first. Leaving the plane is absolute ecstasy...and I'm convinced that drop zones are just opium dens for adrenaline junkies.

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kdashofy

Made two jumps today - level 2 and 3. Work with same jump coaches John and Andy as well as Andy's wife. First jump today I was almost frozen - but pulled off a great exit and solid performance. I was ready to rock on the next one. Nerves were 1/8th of the first. Leaving the plane is absolute ecstasy...and I'm convinced that drop zones are just opium dens for adrenaline junkies.



We would like you to say horrible things about your instructor John. Im assuming it's John Mitchell, he sucks as an instructor:D:D:D:D:D:D



More on point, nerves effect everyone differently, for some it's the nervous anticipation that allows them to perform well in stressful situations, for others it can be paralysing and everything in between.

Personally other than initial door fear on jump one, I had no real fears at all on any of my AFF jumps.
On jump 50 however, I near shat myself and was almost terrified. people in the plane noticed and were concerned for me.
I jumped and have been doing so since, but on that day at that time I was scared shitless. and even 1700 jumps later I still get a little nervous if I'm at a new DZ, or havent jumped in awhile, or even when I am attemping a bigger than normal or more complex jump than is ussual.

It's a normal reaction to putting your life at risk.

If I ever lose it, I'll consider giving skydiving away, as for me at least, that would be complacency, and complacency in this game can get you dead.
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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