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  1. Haha!! That is amazing! Best description ever of being a beginner in skydiving!
  2. I was just trying to understand the "rythm" of skydiving and the dropzone experience so that I know what I'm going back to next summer if I decide to give the AFF course one more shot. I don't feel like a lost soul seeking counseling from people I don't know. I think everybody here said something very interesting about why and/or how they value skydiving. I find skydiving very intriguing myself. But having encountered these obstacles makes me wonder if this is something for me or not. So that is why I'm asking these questions. I have challenged myself enough regarding my fear of jumping out of airplanes for this season, so whatever happens practically regarding this will happen next summer.
  3. What do you mean by joke? This is no joke at all for me. If you mean the waiting - after we were done with ground school on the AFF early on tuesday we had to wait until saturday before we could start jumping. After this I booked a tandem at the local DZ but it was cancelled because of bad weather (or well the weather was actually good but the TI decided not to come because he thought it would be bad). So to be on the safe side I booked one week on the DZ I was starting the AFF on. I arrived on saturday and we all had to wait until thursday before we could start jumping.
  4. Hello Everybody! Thank you for all your beautiful answers to my questions! It seems like every possible perspective has been covered here, and all of them totally relate to my skydiving and dropzone experience. I feel like I have a much better understanding of the whole skydiving experience and culture because of these answers, combined with how I experienced it. I did an AFF course in the end of May / beginning of June that only resulted in one tandem-jump. Later in the summer (middle of August) I went back and did 3 more tandem-jumps to prepare myself for the possibilty that I might do the AFF course again next summer. It is totally some of the most awesome experiences I've ever had. But the fear I experienced was unimaginable, and so much waiting totally contributed to psyching me out. And it almost did one more time when I went back and did those 3 extra tandems. I was totally unprepared for everything about this course. Never been to a bootcamp like this before, and I had no idea that skydiving was such a bureaucratic and regulated activity with such an intricate social hierarchy and everything. I was getting psyched out by all the waiting and adjusting to this new social structure I was not prepared for suddenly being a part of. But those are only excuses. I thought I was ready for doing the AFF 1 jump, but when I entered the airplane. Holy smokes. I've never been so afraid. It felt like I sat inside of a torture machine dressed up as a stupid clown forced to be dropped of in HELL together with some crazy and unhinged people belonging to a cult which was glorifying ritual craziness. Or something like that. Words cannot describe the horror I felt. So anyways. After having had to join the airplane down again after having totally refused to jump out of the open door. I mean in a calmed and controlled matter. I just refused to go anywhere near the open door and made it absolutely clear that I was not going to jump. So I spoke with one of the teachers in the evening and she could hook me up with a really awesome guy I could do a tandem with. So we did the next day. But even then I had to be forced out of the airplane. Or almost. I tried to pull out of it as we crawled towards the open door. But he just said: "Relax. It is going to be so fine." And I think I was just very glad he didn't buy into my bullshit, because when we sat at the door I was very relived and I was taking part in the exit-procedure, and when we were out of the airplane I was just so glad that I was going to get back to the ground "the right way." So anyways. Being in free-fall and being under the canopy was just something I totally loved, and I was sky-high for the rest of the day. But after this emotional rollercoaster I couldn't get myself to agree to one more tandem, or anything else. But I really thought I would go back again this summer and try some more when I had re-charged again. And I did. So I did 3 more tandems. And my only goal this time was to go consciously and voluntarily through the whole process. And it was a pretty HUGE victory that I could do this 3 times - take part in moving towards the door, and not resist one tiny bit. I really love being in free-fall, and also under canopy. It is just one of the most awesome experiences I can totally imagine. And also the group feeling when one is getting close to altitude and people starts to give each other fist-bumps and smiles because now it will soon happen. There is like electricity in the air. Even the most relaxed and cool people reveal their genuine and authentic joy in this moment. But the horror of being there in the airplane and all the nerves building up. It is just unimaginable. And it is not logical, because as soon as I'm out of the door everything feels awesome. But if I decide to go back next year and start the AFF progress I have to know that I'm totally commited, and I have to be prepared for those feelings in the airplane telling me: "Why the fuck did I get myself into this situation AGAIN!?" But I think I'm ready for jumping out alone (together with two instructors) next time. I just have to mentally prepare myself for those intense feelings in the airplane. So I might have some questions later about how to prepare for this. But I think you guys already gave me the answers in my first thread here - Just decide beforehand and know that when the time comes you might not be able to think rationally about it. And I should probably think much more about the AFF task that I'm going to execute next time, and much less about all the philosophical aspects of this new experience I'm about to have, because now I'm much more familiar with what it involves, and I should just be ready for applying myself to the learning-procedure. Lots of over-thinking here. But yeah. Pretty cool and interesting experience so far the whole thing haha... ;-D So this was my first season of skydiving. Not quite what I had imagined as I was falling in love with skydiving through binging on skydiving on youtube for 3 months before this course, but still, probably the coolest summer I've had so far because of this totally new and wildly interesting experience and culture. Anyways, thanks for all your great answers!!
  5. Hi Jerry! Thanks for highlighting these points. I guess it cannot be said often enough. But still.... Hmmm..... You wouldn't just try to quickly shake it off? I mean - maybe it wasn't tangled into a complicated knot at all, maybe just a loose round or two around the foot.
  6. Asking as someone who is very inexperienced: Is there no room for trying to get the bridle off your foot before going to the emergency procedures?
  7. I guess my question is more philosophical about the nature of this activity. This is like spending a huge ratio of the time one spends on this activity on preparing for the activity, but not on the activity itself. In other activities you spend much more time in the activity itself. I was wondering how you guys have justified it to yourself that this is worth it? For instance I love kayaking, and I like to go kayaking for several hours and just totally immerse myself in the experience, and I like to do it often and again and again. But I would never get several hours in free-fall, not even close. What is it about the nature of this experience and how one is organized around it that still makes it worth it even though it is such a short-lived experience, and many times the conditions are not even right for getting access to this short-lived experience?
  8. Not like super-often, but I've been to two dropzones, and it seems like in the total sum of what can disturb ones plans of skydiving, some unforseen thing about the airplane or the pilot is a common one. Probably far from as common as the weather, but next after the weather.
  9. Hello people, There is so much waiting in skydiving because of weather, and often there is something wrong with the airplane as well. Many unforseen things can disturb ones plans about skydiving. Also skydiving is a very short and intense experience. Like you set aside so much time for something that lasts for only such a short period of time. Is this short-lived experience so valuable that that makes up for all the waiting? Seems to me that skydivers are really cool and nice people, so in order to compensate for all this time not spent being in the activity one gathered to engage in, one instead finds a lot of fun and joy in spending time together, partying, or sharing cool and interesting stories about skydiving, or discussing technical stuff about skydiving, etc. But still, when I've been wondering whether I want to get into this or not, I find this a big dilemma, because I like to be really immersed in the activity that I'm focusing on, and not to go around waiting so much. How do you people deal with this?
  10. By the way, if anyone knows how to move this thread into the right section of this forum, please do so :-)
  11. Thanks for all replies! Lots of good advice. I left the course after 9 days. Felt wrong to stick around with only having done one tandem-jump, and I couldn’t find any motivation to do more jumps. I think I was pretty exhausted from all the anxiety before that failed AFF 1 jump, and then the next day I almost aborted the tandem-jump as well, but fortunately I didn’t resist it enough for my instructor to stop the process when we were moving toward the exit. As soon as the free-fall had stabilized it immediately felt really good, and I was just so damn glad we were out of that plane. I was extremly high for the rest of the day, and although that was very pleasant, the total sum of the emotional rollercoaster this whole thing triggered was like very demanding and I think I need some more time to process it all before I can do more jumps. However, I do feel pretty hooked on the whole experience and the skydiving community, and I think I have no other choice but to find a way to make this work. Compared to most of the people on this course I think I’m a pretty sensitive guy, and my highs and lows can be pretty intense when I submit myself to an experience like this, so I think I should probably do a few more tandem-jumps before I start the training to become an independent skydiver again, in order to acclimatize myself to the experience. But thank God I actually found someone there who could take me through a tandem-experience. That guy was a genius! Before we entered the plane he was even coaching me to bring my thoughts and focus towards the fun and exciting aspects of this experience, and to steer away from becoming absorbed in fear. I think I was a bit unlucky with the two guys who were going to do the AFF 1 jump with me. They were pretty distant and didn’t seem to value establishing contact with me. My friend who was also on the course had some really cool instructors who came to him 50 min before the jump and established contact with him. And in the plane one of the guys suddenly took his hand and held it and told him to take a deep breath and relax while smiling to him. But it might not have made any difference. All in all I’m just glad I actually experienced jumping out of an airplane and finding out it was totally awesome, because I was pretty close to decide the whole thing was not for me. But the fact that so many tried to talk me out of doing a tandem when I started to freak out about doing AFF 1 I think was pretty bad. Eventually I gave in to group-pressure and decided to just give it a try, and that didn’t work very well. We had 3 days on the ground were they wouldn’t let new students up in the air because there was too much wind, but experienced jumpers jumped during this time, and I saw many tandem-jumps as well. Had I been more proactive during this waiting-period I would have just made sure to get a tandem instead of sitting around waiting for something I was freaked out about. But now that I’m going to do more tandem-jumps before attempting a course like this again I think that will make all these variables outside of myself less important. The absolutely most important thing that happened was experiencing how the panic that came from losing solid ground under ones feet so quickly turned into a blissful feeling as soon as the free-fall reached full speed. Extremly fascinating how one can accelerate into free-fall stability. And extremly fascinating how ones sense of panic can peak during this acceleration, and then it just suddenly transforms into bliss and peace and an intensly beautiful panoramic view opens up.
  12. Haha! Thank you guys! I did a tandem earlier today! Holy schmokes what an awesome experience that was! That is one of the absolutely coolest experiences I've ever had! But I'm not sure that I need more of those. But I'm intensely glad that I have now experienced jumping out of an airplane first-hand after having invested so much energy into all this. But the building up of tension and release, and that whole emotional rollercoaster of this. Hahahaha. Sooo intense. One full cycle was awesome, and maybe enough. Time will tell :-) The skydiving community is also a really awesome, loving and supporting community. Really glad to have experienced this community from the inside as well. The whole class cheered on me as we went in for landing. Hahaha. I'm the kid in class with special needs hahaha, but that is fine :-)
  13. Hello, My name is Chris and I'm at a two week AFF course where supposedly we are going to do 7 jumps up to level 7, and then 13 level 8 jumps, in order to get the A-license. We were finished with theoretical and practical examination a few days ago, and now we have been waiting for the right weather to start jumping. I had a lot of anxiety (which took me by surprise) when we were ready to jump and was sort of glad the weather failed us until now. I spoke with my instructors and said I didn't feel ready and I suggested maybe I should do a tandem first (I've never jumped before). They were only half-way supportive and assured me that they themselves thought I had all the knowledge and skills I needed to do AFF 1 successfully, but that it was up to me to decide. So I worked on my anxiety for a couple of days, and today I felt ready, and went into the airplane and took off together with two instructors and a lot of other people. As soon as the airplane took off I was just completely horrified. And when the door opened up it could not have felt more wrong. The instructor who joined me on the airplane on the way down said that I could do a tandem if I wanted to later in the day together with him if I wanted to and that he was aware that I had considered that possibilty. He was very pleasant and had a lot of empathy. But now I'm not even sure that I have to motivation to even do a tandem. I've been extremly fascinated by skydiving for the past 3 months, watching everything I could find about it on youtube. I was pretty sure that I would experience a mix of feelings and at times that it would really challenge my sense of fear, but that it should feel this completely impossible took me really by surprise. Any thoughts or advice on this situation would be greatly appriciated. - Chris