Instructors and Fear: New Safety First Video

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Thank you for sharing, I enjoy your perspective on fear and the flow state.

Thank you. I am fascinated by the degree to which emotion effects our experiences, and our ability to control how we feel. Emotion changes everything.
Instructional Videos:www.AdventureWisdom.com
Keynote Speaking:www.TranscendingFEAR.com
Canopies and Courses:www.BIGAIRSPORTZ.com

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Hey Mr Germain,
I am a new skydiver (just finished Level 4) and have to say that I actually read two of your books (Transcending Fear and The Parachute and its Pilot) prior to my AFF FJC. The reason is that despite REALLY wanting to do this, I had a huuuuge door monster problem. Huge. To the point that I backed up my AFF course twice, and when we didn't jump on the FJC day I had a hard time going back. So I did some visualization (I do this for auto racing as well), spent a little time at the wind tunnel, talked to people, and learned as much as possible. I focused on breathing and relaxing.

The next thing I did was sheepishly admit to my instructors (two delightful women Jacqueline and Meghan, if you're out there THANK YOU!) that I had the fear. Jacqueline did my FJC and Meghan I had just met. Both talked me through the dive and had me practice a full jump flow starting with walk to the truck.... all right in the room.

When we got in the plane, they were ALL smiles. They were relaxed. Other people were smiling and enjoying the ride. The door opened for some clear and pulls... Holy crap was I scared! I remember Meghan saying "OK, take a deep breath, and shake out the fear. Now walk me through your dive again, step by step". The door closed and we got to 14k. Terror set in, and they sensed it. "Are you ready to skydive?" and I reluctantly said "YES!". Jacqueline walked to the door and Meghan said "Just remember your training, breathe, and smile. You're going to do GREAT".

At the door, I was getting settled and once more I was told "No need to rush, I want you to take a deep breath, relax, then look at the prop and start your dive flow. Its going to be awesome!"

And then... deep breath, relaxation, and out we went.

And everything happened as was explained. I still remember both my instructors reminding me to SMILE. I kept telling myself on the way down "X,000feet... breathe, arch, RELAX... smile!" In a split second my mind went from terror to euphoria.

If it were not for my instructors being so calm, relaxed, reassuring... I don't know if I could have ever done it. I've had 2 more AFF instructors since, and all of them carried with them that same smiling, confident attitude. I left the plane without a harness hold on my last jump, and my instructor was SO confident that I felt alive at the door, not scared. And the flow gets better every time I'm more relaxed.

Every jump since has been anticipation and joy. The psychology is truly amazing. Learning to dull your physiologic response, to learn how to mitigate the adrenaline and dopamine flush, and use breathing to slow the sensory overload. One of the gifts was that the instructors didn't just "throw me out a door", they made me WANT to go out that door. My experience thus far with instructors is that they are part therapist and part skydive expert. What they do for skittish students like me... is amazing. Their ability to influence MY mind through their actions has changed the game for the better.

And thank you for the book. What you have written has probably changed the way I live and think as much as jumping. I learned to see the world a bit differently. To breathe, to relax, to BE. As an ER doc, I get frazzled at work sometimes... and I recount your teachings.

So, sorry for getting long winded, but wanted to say thanks to you for your contribution to both the sport and psychology; and wanted to openly thank my instructors for silencing my door monster and turning it into a welcoming entrance to the sky.
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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