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Posts posted by rocky-dives

  1. Everyone is making valid points and this is precisely the type of discussion I have in my own head. It's funny to see the same echoed here.

    But, in the end, I know that I enjoyed my tandems enough for me to save up the money for AFF. I know a part of me loves this sport. It's my tendency to over-think things (very guilty of this :$) that has got me doubting myself.

    So, for now at least, I will see about getting a packing course done and meeting people at the DZ so that I can get more of a feel for things.
    I'm also certain that I'll be doing AFF. If I find it brings me the same joy, then I hope to pursue the sport further. If it turns out I'm not cut out for it, I'll walk away with a handful of wonderful memories and hopefully some new friends.

    Maybe I'll take up meditation and practice breathing exercises while I wait to start the course! ;):D

  2. fanya

    I'm glad you are getting PRK instead of LASIK, good choice.

    I had mine done in Sept, the first three days were the most miserable experience of my life, plan on doing nothing but sitting in the darkest room you can possibly find and laying with a towel over your eyes, ideally you will have someone to wait on you hand and foot, the next week after that was aggravating (don't plan on using a computer for more than an hour or two) and it got better from there. I drove during the night of day 5 but I wouldn't recommend that, it was quite scary. Night vision was back to acceptable standards after 2.5 weeks to the point I made a base jump before I even had my 3 week follow up ;) I was back in the air 4 weeks to the day doing tandems again. I used eye drops for two or three months and haven't used them since. Best money ever spent.

    Good luck with AFF, have confidence in yourself but always respect the sport.

    It was from reading related threads on here that I figured out Lasik would be the poorer option and PRK would be better suited to my general lifestyle (with or without jumping, I play a lot of sport). Thankfully, my ophthalmologist agreed with me! :)Thank you so much for this description of the healing process; it's not something you get to hear about firsthand very often, so I really appreciate it.

  3. Wow! I can't believe the number of people who responded and the amazing advice I've been given! Thank you all so much.

    I'm feeling a lot better now and am really pumped about doing the course. I would sign up today (I've already saved up the money) if not for the fact that if I do it before surgery, I would need recurrency training. [:/]

    Also, I genuinely hadn't considered that I could hang out at the DZ and do something practical like taking a packing course! That sounds brilliant and I'll head out there this weekend to see if it can be arranged.

    Thanks again to everyone who replied and the great advice you've given me; I'll be sure to soak all this in.

  4. I was just wondering how you know if you’re cut out for this sport? Is there any way you can tell if you’re going to be decent at it?
    I am planning on doing AFF in Dec, as I’m getting PRK eye surgery and will need to be fully recovered before I sign up for the course. But the lag time now is causing me to over-think my suitability for the sport and I’m literally starting to develop a serious case of self-doubt that I’ve never had before.

    Though I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, I’ll give you some context. My first tandem (last year) was incredible. I had a great rapport with the TM and didn’t experience any nervousness throughout.
    The second tandem (this past May) was both good and bad. I loved it just as much as my first, but I had moments of nervousness on exit.
    Also due to being on hold all day (strong winds) before the jump, I was tired by the time we went up; consequently my TM and I didn’t quite gel (though he was amazing, there just wasn’t an instant rapport), and my cameraman seemed bored (nice, but he just looked fed up, perhaps from being on hold as well), so the ride up was a lot less exciting for me.
    I think all those bits added to my nervousness on exit, given that during my first jump everyone was happy and pumped up and that filled me with confidence.
    Anyway, 2nd jump went well, I was more body aware, I arched, I really enjoyed the freefall (as well as the silence of being under canopy), and best of all, I read the altimeter on the TM’s hand and braced myself for the opening.

    That experience of reading the altimeter is the thing that now fills me with fear. During and after the jump, I was really proud of being alert enough to read the altimeter and for preparing myself for the opening.
    However, my video shows a look of fear on my face in the 5 seconds prior to the opening. You can literally see me go from a huge smile when reading the altimeter to a very serious (and scared?) look while he pulls. I don’t know why I looked scared in those few seconds; I have no recollection of being afraid.

    However, now I’m thinking if I was afraid on a tandem, how do I know that I won’t mess up on my AFF?
    I don’t want to be that dunce that hurts someone else by screwing up.
    I’ve been involved in a lot of extreme sports (aggressive skating, rock climbing, competitive weight lifting) but none of those sports require quite the same focus as skydiving. I honestly don’t know whether I’d be able to think quickly enough during a malfunction to do what’s required. It’s only a few seconds to make a life or death decision.

    The thing is, I really loved both jumps. I genuinely loved them. I’m just not sure now if I should to do the occasional tandem when money permits, or if I should go full steam ahead and pursue it as a sport. Everything in my gut tells me to go for AFF because I will be so happy, but there’s a little uncertainty in the back of my mind that reminds me that I could kill myself and others if I’m not on the ball.

    Is what I’m experiencing now normal? I’ve read threads here about general fear on exiting the plane, but did any of you experience self-doubt with regards to whether you’re smart enough and quick enough to handle a bad situation?

    Sorry this post has turned out much longer than I meant it to. :$

  5. skymama

    I'm glad to hear your second tandem went well. Don't be concerned about getting nervous, I STILL get nervous. We're jumping out of airplanes, for goodness sake! Also, no big deal about fumbling with the seatbelt, those things are a chore sometimes. And as far as not standing up for your TI, it's not your place as a passenger. He's a big boy, I'm sure he can handle criticism himself.

    When are you going back for AFF? ;)

    Awww! Thanks for the reassurance. It means a lot.

    AFF will have to wait until I get Lasik surgery on my eyes. If all goes well, I should have the doctor's all-clear to do the course and have enough money saved up by mid-August.


    All of what you're feeling is 100% normal. The door monster only scares for the first 10-20 jumps or so. Soon you will want to be at that moment, going out the door, more than anywhere else.

    As for the whuffo telling your instructor He was wrong, you should just just laugh at them, and realize how funny it is. :D

    I'm getting such a warm welcome here! I really appreciate it, so thank you!

    And I had to Google "whuffo", can you tell I'm a noob? :P

  6. Thanks for the warm welcome, skymama! :)
    I did just that and managed to steer the canopy a bit, but the TI had to help me as I wasn't strong enough on my own. :$

    As for how it went, I can only say that the second tandem was amazing!
    I was much more aware this time around, so that was awesome. I arched and reminded myself to arch throughout the free fall, and this time I really took in the view as well.

    But what I was really stoked about- and this surprised even me- was that I was reading the altimeter with the TI!! I didn't intend to but found it came naturally. He had his arm under mine with his hand lower than my head, so just a quick glance down allowed me to read the altitude!
    When I saw it read 6, I braced myself for him to open the 'chute at 5! My video shows me going from a gigantic grin to a straight face as I waited for him to pull! :D

    I'm proud of myself for having been that aware and am taking it as an indication that I may just be ready for AFF!

    There were a couple of moments that I wasn't so proud of and wish I had handled differently. I did get really nervous at two points. Initially, I had trouble putting on my seat belt on the plane [:/], which was the first time I realised I might not be as calm as I think. The real nervousness hit me as we made our way towards the open door and I felt the cold wind hit me. I wasn't at all nervous during my last tandem, so I was truly embarrassed that I got butterflies at that stage. I even asked the TI if he was sure I was strapped in properly! I can't believe I did that.
    The other moment that I regret wasn't my fault at all but it has stuck with me. After we landed and walked back into the building for the TI to remove my harness, another guy who was doing his first tandem that day (he was slotted for the last load of the day) came up to us and said the TI landed wrong!!! The TI smiled and walked away (which was so mature of him) but I stood there speechless and shocked.
    I should have immediately told the guy that the TI knows what he's doing and that the fact that I'm safe and sound is proof of his expertise, but instead I just stood there dumbfounded. I really wish I'd stuck up for the instructor.

    Is this too much of a detailed post? LOL! I'm just giddy and I can't stop thinking about each aspect of the jump. Hope nobody minds.

  7. Hey everyone!

    I'm a total newb but have already fallen in love with the sport. I'm hoping to progress and learn from everyone, and perhaps one day after I've learned the ropes, return the favour to others in the community. B|

    I did my first tandem a year ago for my 29th birthday, and I have literally been smiling at the memory ever since.
    I'm doing my second tandem tomorrow morning, and hopefully will sign up for AFF in a couple of months' time- after I get Lasik surgery and am clear to go back to normal activities.

    My TM on my first jump was incredible! I was relaxed the whole way up and upon exit, but looking back at the video I found that I lifted my knees and was kicking, which caused us to flip a few times after exiting. :S I don't know why but I just completely forgot everything she told me prior to exiting.

    The TM was amazing, I cannot stress that enough. She got us stable really fast and never complained to me that I didn't have the right position- in fact she told me I did great and encouraged me to jump again.
    She was really sweet and patient under canopy and answered all my questions about the sport and the job. She really made my first jump special, in spite of the fact that I goofed! :$

    So, this is also a HUGE shoutout to all the TMs out there who tolerate us noobs and show us a good time even if we do mess up your exits. :$

    Hope to get to know all you guys better. I'll post again after my tandem tomorrow. :D

    Feel free to give me any tips on the upcoming tandem- I'm all ears! Or just pop in and say Hi because I'd love to get to know you all :)