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    Skydive Spaceland
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  1. I just learned of his death earlier today. When I was an stp/aff student at Spaceland, Dennis and I made 4 jumps together. While I would be nervous or scared out of my mind, there would be Dennis, nearby with that big bushy mustache saying "SMILE"! In an earlier post someone stated that Dennis was always willing to take on problem or basket case students. I was one of those students and Dennis, along with 2 other stp/aff instructors never hesitated and was always willing to jump with me after some others had written me off. He is and will be missed. My deepest condolences to his family and all his friends at SkydiveSpaceland
  2. I have not posted in a LONG time, many months, but this thread was screaming for an answer from me. While I only have 21 jumps to my credit, all of them have been at Spaceland and while I am not qualified to answer some points brought up by certain posts, I will say this, The student program at Spaceland is one of the best anywhere, imho, well planned course and curriculum, excellent instructors. My own personal opinion is to do what others have suggested and make a visit to both Spaceland and Skydive Houston, hangout, ask questions, and then make up your mind. Thats exactly what I did before choosing Spaceland
  3. From a financial point of view, I went downhill when I got involved in jumping. I do not have a "gas hog" but it is about a 60 mile drive to the dz each way. When the car crapped out a few weeks ago that cost some $$$, then comes layoffs and cutbacks at work (with paycuts to follow I imagine) and it made me think that I had better get my priorities in the right order, so as much as I hate it, skydiving right now is taking a backseat. It wont be forever, skydiving even though I am not active right now, has become a large part of my life and I will return, much sooner rather than later if I have anything to say about it
  4. Two things in your post stood out for me, 1. You stated "This is something I HAVE to do and I don't know exactly why". That hits close to home for me. When I first got into skydiving I said I got into it for a couple of reasons, after going thru some difficulties in my student progession (the details of which I won't bore you with ) one reason still stands out and that is "This is something I HAVE TO DO and I really dont know exactly why". I really cannot give a reason for going on beyond that. Maybe I need to prove to myself that I am able to make some really good top to bottom skydives which so far up to this point I have not been able to accomplish. One thing is for sure, I have every intention of succeeding in this sport, no matter how long it might take. The friends and comraderie that I have found in the short time I have been in this sport are unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Beginner or pro, skydivers share a common bond and for the most part look out for each other. You will find this out yourself when you get involved and start jumping. 2. You said at the end of your post that it "gives me butterflies". The thought of jumping again after a long layoff does the same thing to me and like you, "I just want to get it over with". Based on my own inexperience to this point, I would agree with the others here who have said do a tandem first. Some dz's actually require you to do a tandem first (my current home dz has that requirment). I would venture as to say your going to love this sport and if you stay with it you will find that it is going to affect your life in so many beautiful, positive and wonderful ways that you are going to ask yourself "why didn't I get involved sooner", I have asked myself that question more than once. Good Luck and keep us updated!
  5. Scott and I sometimes joked with each other about having the same first name. One of the last times I spoke with Scott, we sat in the loading area and talked of skydiving, I asked him about how he got intrested in it and where he learned. Scott knew of the difficulties I am experiencing in learning to skydive and told me "as long as you have the desire, dont ever give up, keep at it", and as he got up to prepare for the next load, he walked past me and gave me a pat on the back. The place wont be the same without you Scott, you will be missed So, until we all meet again someday................
  6. I am certainly NOT the one to give advice, and I will refrain from doing that. However, on the ground I am very nervous, the ride to altitude even more nervous, but when that door opens I go from being just nervous to outright scared sh*tless , beyond what any words can possibly begin to describe, and that may be part of the reason for the majority of my exits being crappy. As you mention once I am out the door, I seem to be ok, and once under canopy I actually become calm
  7. There are some at the dz where I jump that have asked or wondered why I have not been given that speech. In response to them I would say that their opinion does not count because the ONLY opinions that do matter are that of the dzo and the instructor, so as long as these two individuals do not give up on me then I will not give up on myself.
  8. HA!, Failed level 1, 5 times, level 3, 3 times, level 5, 4 times. I really like the way Monkycndo stated "its not a failure, its deferred success" . Right now , I am taking some time off to get in shape financially and physically and everybody better watch out, because I WILL BE BACK. Stay with it, after all, "its deferred success"
  9. I would be intrested in learning, as was pointed out to me by others, it at least takes care of an A requirement, however I dont want to take the packing class just for the sake of taking care of an A requirement right now. If I could take the class and then use that to earn money for jumps by packing, I would be intrested, most definetly.
  10. When I made that first tandem jump last year, I really believed that would be it. Of course the addiction became part of me and I went into the solo program. IF I had known then that I would have the difficulties I am having right now, I might have done something different, what I do not know Who would have thought, or could have thought that it would be like this?. I will be back in the air jumping again!
  11. When I started this thread, I wanted to do two things, 1, let everyone know at the dz who may not have heard and who read these forums about my choice to temporarily ground myself for reasons I have already stated, and 2, so that maybe I could hear from others who have gone thru the challenges I am still facing in skydiving. I will not be jumping for a while, but that does not mean I am out of skydiving. As Nathan said, I am out at the dz almost every weekend and while I am just hanging out, I also take the opportunity at every chance I have to learn from the experienced instructors and skydivers who have a wealth of good information and advice to offer. The learning curve will never stop as far as I am concerned and I will always continue to try and learn from others. When will I return to jumping?, my goal is to be back in the air, hopefully by October IF the financial part comes together like I hope, and how well I do on the physical fitness program I am starting. There is going to be a party at the dz the day I earn my A license, even if I have to be the one to start it!
  12. The instructors at my dz are the best anywhere, The instructor I have made the most jumps with (11) is also the head of the student training program at the dz. I sustained an injury on a jump in Sept of last year, (with a different instructor who is no longer at the dz), after that injury I had a fear, a paralyzing fear so strong that it totally consumed me, so strong that I swore I would never jump again. This guy took me under his wing, spent large amounts of time with me, a lot of that was his own personal time, and with his patience and understanding, that paralyzing fear began to go away. I started jumping again in April. If it were not for this man, I would probably have never made it back into the air again and when I did start jumping again I was able to make some solid progress. The instructors here are the solution, NOT the problem. Of the instructors I have jumped with, I would jump with everyone of them again. I would jump with ANY instructor here who is willing to jump with me. The problems I am encountering now, imho, have more to do with the fact that I am not the most gifted of skydiving students. I am not being negative or beating myself up, that is the cold hard fact. Another reason is that I am still scared to a degree in the airplane, ESP when that door opens just prior to exiting. Because of the way the instructors have worked with me, the fear I still have is not a paralyzing fear and I will work thru it, and as many experienced skydivers have told me, some fear is good, it keeps you from becoming complacent, and complacency will kill you quicker than anything. As I stated in an earlier post, the prime reason for the temporary layoff is financial, and I am using the down time to prepare myself to be in an even better position when I do start jumping again.
  13. When I met with my instructor several days after the last jump, it was at my request. When I drove out to the dz that morning to meet with him I had arrived at the point where my finances left me no choice other than to take some time off from jumping. The proposal I made to him was to take some time off from jumping because of this, come back in a month or so and try doing 3 or 4 jumps a day, for several days in a row to get rid of the "gremlins", once and for all. We discussed this in a very open and direct manner. The conclusion was that making jumps in this manner would not really help me right now, because of my lack of physical conditioning. I had a lack of body awareness that was hindering me Much as I did not want to admit to it at the time, he had a very good point, which I now agree with. Couple that with the fact I am still scared in the plane, not nervous but downright scared. I do not want to take time off from skydiving (who would?) , but as long as I have no real choice at this point, lets make the best use of the down time and get in better physical and mental shape which will be better than sitting there feeling sorry for myself. The last jump I made?, bad exit, over onto my back, recovered, and followed that up by getting into a sideways spin that kept getting worse, made about 4 revolutions until the instructor was able to get down to me and stabilize me. In all other areas I am doing very good. The ground training, malfunctions, gear checks, etc, I am doing well. My last 6 landings have been unassisted, I fly a good pattern, and have excellent canopy control, and thats from 3 different instructors who have jumped with me. Right now, yes, I am disgusted and mad at myself, but I will not allow that to continue. When I return to jumping, it will be in better physical and mental shape and I intend to "kick ass and take names" To eveyone at the dz, I will still be there on the weekends, hanging out, thanks for the support and encouragement, you are all the greatest!
  14. I did get some tunnel time back in April, when I was trying to overcome the hurdles I experienced back then and it did help. I am looking at possibly doing that again, I will bring it up the next time I speak with my instructor IF he is still talking with me.
  15. That is the goal I am striving for!. I am going to get over this, no matter what I have to do or wherever I have to go, just as long as the desire and willpower stay with me