Beyond Skydiving: An Introduction
Once you start skydiving you’ll see that there’s so much more to the sport than just jumping out of planes. It’s these other benefits that are a huge factor (along with the fun of jumping out of planes!), that keeps people in the sport. Before you start jumping we wanted to take a minute to share some information about the other aspects of the sport.
Skydiving attracts a beautiful array of different people from a variety of countries, cultures, and careers all with their own stories to tell. We initially bond over our love and passion for the sport, leading to making friends for life and learning from people you would have never interacted with in your ‘normal’ life. Friendships may start through a mutual interest in jumping, but they evolve way beyond this and reach into all aspects of our lives. This culture has spread beyond the bonfire after jumping and led to the creation of many skydiving communities around the world.
Most of us will have traveled abroad to different dropzones and been welcomed like an old friend by people you have never even met. From my experience, this almost instantaneous acceptance is unique to the skydiving community and makes you feel grateful to get to make many meaningful connections. Plus the other benefits that come from the ability to travel, of experiencing new places and broadening our life experiences.
For many of us, skydiving is a competitive sport. We build teams with the mission to train hard together to compete in competitions. With so many different disciplines the opportunities for progression are endless. Having ambitions and goals within the sport give us drive and purpose, pushing the boundaries of the sport and allowing us to overcome our own personal boundaries too.
Once you have started skydiving, your ability to effectively evaluate risk drastically improves. It allows you to make better-calculated decisions that are not negatively influenced by fear. Skydiving can also be the best drug for increasing our confidence in other aspects of our lives. I lose count of the times I heard from tandem students, “if I can jump out of the plane, I can do anything.” Additionally, many of us see skydiving as a release. Something that we can do to decompress and feel alive and free.
At the moment, only 13% of USPA members are women. Despite the fact there are obvious diversity issues we are working to improve, it is important to emphasize that for the most part, we are a kind, happy, and inclusive bunch of people. Ultimately, whatever your personal reason is for skydiving, this is the stuff that transcends the simple adrenaline rush and leads to benefits that radiate throughout our entire lives.