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Why did you...

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Today was a weathered-out day, but many of us hung around the DZ in hopes of blue skies.
We got talking about "why did you/why would you" become a:
Tandem Instructor/Master
AFF I
Pro
Rigger

Lots of answers, some inspiring and others not.
Since I'm working on a couple ratings at the same time, it would be interesting to read what motivated some of y'all to obtain the above ratings.
Any advice for an AFFI candidate?:)

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I became a(n)

Tandem Instructor because I wanted to work as a skydiver and needed multi-ratings. I never really liked the concept of Tandem, and found it made me dispondent that so many "That was the best thing I have EVER done!" people never, ever wanted to do it again. I felt like I was digging a trench that some invisible force was filling in behind me. Lots of work, money, no result. I'm no longer a Tandem instructor.(750 Tandems)

AFF Instructor because I struggled as a student and wanted my students to learn a better way. Considering that some of my former students now mentor me in disiplines unheard of when I started jumping - the reward is massive. I love AFF. Nothing beats seeing that penny drop and watching someone really fly for the 1st time. (2100+ AFF dives)

PRO because I wanted to do demos. I have done capacity 70 000 seat stadiums, and primary school fetes, and just about everything in between. Demo's take too long for me, and rob me of jump numbers. I no longer do demos, but maintain the rating and leave them to the professionals. (93 demo jumps)

I have never wanted to be a rigger. There are no worse jobs in the world than being ground bound, packing and sewing. They can name their price, and I will pay it. My respect for them is huge, their responsibility emense. (I have 20 cutaways - so, Thanks! Again!)

t
It's the year of the Pig.

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I became a TI cause I was getting sick of packing and needing something new.

I continue to do it because I love jumping and introducing people to skydiving. Even if they only do it once, they have a positive outlook on it, and that is important.

Not everyone is going to become a skydiver, but I teach as much as I can, and give these people an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Johnny
--"This ain't no book club, we're all gonna die!"
Mike Rome

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Tonto, are you my South African twin?:P I could not have described better how I feel about jumping tandems...only difference is I still do them because I need the paycheck.

Ditto on the AFF's as well...there is nothing like seeing the light click on for a student...and then see that student progress on to accomplish wonderful things of their own. AFF's, especially "problem students" are one of my favorite jumps to do.

I believe video (specifically still photography) is what I enjoy most right now...which is not surprising as I am currently a photo major. I love the challenges of flying with any person or group and making the product come out looking effortless. It is very rewarding!

PRO I also don't really do much of anymore, but performed for crowds as large as 400K...it was fun but it got old.

Rigging I can't stand really...I only got my ticket so I could keep myself and maybe a friend or two in date. I'd really rather not stay on the ground and pack if I don't have to. When I do pack a reserve, however, I strive to do the best job I possibly can on it!
Miami

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PRO - I love jumping into a FB stadium -- my narcisistic personality I guess

TANDEM - I was getting bored with doing video. It was either wing suit or TM. I took the TM course and it has made my jumps alive again. I love to jump with people who are jumping for the first time.

Advice for AFFI -- get plenty of practice eval dives.

steveOrino

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Tonto, are you my South African twin?:P



No idea! You have no avitar!;)

I have about 500 camera dives, but they were a means to an end, the end being enough free dives to get me to the point I could do AFF. I would sit in on the briefings/debriefs, and then watch the anticipated variables roll in. That awareness helped me a great deal when I did the AFFICC.

t
It's the year of the Pig.

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Tandem Instructor: because it is the safest way (for the student) to experience skydiving. Also, tandem was something new and exciting (back in the mid-1980s) and I was curious. Tandem may have gotten a bit boring after 3,700 jumps, but the up side is that it allows me to avoid a "real" job.

Rigger: the local Master Rigger took forever to repack my reserve and I was curious. In the long run, rigging allowed to remain a professional skydiver, hiding behind a sewing on rainy days, when everyone else was whining about weather.

Static-line/IAD Instructor: because it allowed me to make more jumps per day.

Progressive Freefall Instructor: because it is the best way to teach freefall skills. Also I was a weak student, and always try to find better ways to help my students progress faster than I did (before PFF was invented).

Hand-cam Videographer: because it helps students remember their jumps and share them with friends and family. Also, $70 per jump FINALLY pays what I am worth.

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Tandem: Because I thought it would just be a cool wa to have skydiving pay for itself....turned out I just love doing it. Taking people on their first is just a rush, when they come back is even cooler.

Video: Just starting this journey...I've got a little creative urge in me to try this.

AFF: Going to try for this rating this year, I want to see what it's like to take students past the tandem level.
JJ

"Call me Darth Balls"

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Thanks for all the responses, it helps put things in perspective, or at least provides a few perspectives. Seems like once you hit the three year/500 jump/6 hours of freefall, the possibilities come from every angle, regardless of whether they're the right opportunities or not.

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Thanks for all the responses, it helps put things in perspective, or at least provides a few perspectives. Seems like once you hit the three year/500 jump/6 hours of freefall, the possibilities come from every angle, regardless of whether they're the right opportunities or not.



Unfortunately, yes.:|
----------------------------------------------
You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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I got my coach rating because I love to teach, love to work with newer jumpers, and know first hand the frustration of being a student sitting around all day stuck doing either solos or waiting for a coach.

AFF: Just got that rating 2 months ago. It's something I knew from the start that I wanted, because I had so much respect for the instructors that worked with me... they always made me feel like I'd accomplished something. I wanted to learn how to give that to a first/early jump student too. After Dublin, I considered not continuing with my aspirations to be an instructor, but then decided that whether I pursued the rating or not, people would get hurt. Maybe I could do a tiny little part to make it safer.

Rigger: It's just my nature to love to pull things apart, see how they work, and put them back together. The mechanical end of the sport fascinates me. I'm lucky to have been around people like Dave DeWolf, Greg Beecher, and Bob Mehl who share their interests in rigging, it sort of rubbed off on me B|

On all three counts, I love to be challenged.... to be forced to improve my skills, whether flying or rigging, every day. I love to learn from other riggers and instructors, and I've learned a lot from students too.

Advice for AFFI candidate... make LOTS of practice jumps before the course. I was the world's most retarded AFFI candidate when it came to air skills. But I had 2 evaluators that busted their butts making jumps with me and giving me feedback every weekend. The proudest moment of my life was when Griff told me that I was ready for the course... I knew he would also have been honest if I wasn't ready for it yet. Don't let the psych end get to you... when you screw up (and you probably will), let it go, move on to the next thing, always be looking for the next moment, not concentrating on the last, or you'll just hose yourself. And have fun!

Jen

Do or do not, there is no try -Yoda

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