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Namowal

Most Surprising Student Ever

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After reading the "most stupid student" thread, I thought it would be fun to hear if there where any students who started off as a disaster but, over time became very skilled.

And if you nominate yourself, I want details (please)!:P
My blog with the skydiving duck cartoons.

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My first year as an AFF-I. During the first coffee break of a FJC - a student asked me, "is AFF more or less dangerous than tandem"... This said to me she was worried, especially with her tone of voice and mannerisms.

At the next break she said, "I have extreme stress induced epilepsy." I turned my head to the side like a curious dog when you ask him "wanna go outside" - making sure I heard what she said correctly.

Before I could get out a single word, she looked at me and said, "I know this means I could have a seizure, and if that happens in freefall and I don't pull, I could die under a canopy I cannot control..." She listed about every way she could die.

Then she said, "But I will have this for the rest of my life, my medication is dialed in as good as I can get it, and I want to skydive, so I have no choice to accept the risk. I rather accept the risk than say years from now I regret not trying new things."

We pondered all day... She already appeared to be the "nervous nonathletic uncoordinated student" that would do poorly...

We came up with a plan. "Congratulations, we offer you a free video." The 3rd person was another AFFI, who would fly in front of her, and tell us if we needed to pull at any time by watching her face. And, he also was, should the situation become very unstable, able to help stabilize the student at pull time.

We got to altitude. She CRAWLED to the door full of the most nervous "walk" I ever have seen. She is my only student ever that has crawled to the door... But we stayed calm. She had stress induced epilepsy afterall.:S We did a go around telling her to take her time...

She climbed out. Gave a few exit counts. Maybe 10. I thought, "maybe we should have said no." Then we jumped.

AND SHE ROCKED IT. One of the best level 1s ever. The second we left she immediately was comfortable. She stood up her landing near the target. And... Stuck around for the boogie party that night as if she was an expert skydiver making friends with everyone.

Then she disappeared forever....

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Great story, but you've got a lot bigger nuts than me.
Glad it went well, but....
If I told the first 2/3rds or your story to a group of I candidates and asked "would you let her jump or not?" what would the correct response be?
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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