All weekend I looked forward to getting back in the sky after nearly a month on the ground. I wanted to test out those skills I learned in the tunnel with Mickey. Saturday and Sunday were out due to other obligations – and a need to just relax after a fairly stressful week – so when Monday came I was up before dawn ready to hit the road for The Farm.
Upon arrival the winds appeared to be cooperating, however the uppers were bookin’ a bit. Of course, after the Good Vibes boogie this weekend, people were a bit slow to get up and around, to say the least. By the time load 1 was ready to head up, I decided to stay planted on the ground because of wonky winds.
As I’ve said countless times before, I’m the epitome of a wind pussy. In fact, this was even a discussion on a recent episode of Skydive Radio where Brian Germain discussed small people under small canopies (Episode #171 if you’re interested in hearing more about the topic). It’s something I’ve struggled with since day 1, and I’ve come to appreciate my healthy fear of the wind and keep myself planted on the ground when they get sketchy.
That said, I figured something out about myself this weekend that, deep down I already knew, but will likely help me get off the ground more in the future. When I’ve had a decent amount of time off from jumping, I let my butterflies get the best of me and I find ways to make excuses. Take yesterday for example: yes, the winds were sketchy till about 1pm, but then after that I didn’t like the amount of big, puffy clouds in the sky because of possible turbulence. I was nervous about catching a thermal as I come over the trees to land. There were lots of newbie jumpers in the sky pulling at all different heights, some where pulling at 5,000 and they were out before me. And on and on…
Finally, I shook my head, looked up at the sky, and took the offer to get on that 15 minute call.
Of course, the jump went swimmingly and I was back up in the air on the next load. Sure, thermals were a bit of an issue and there was some turbulence around 2 grand, but these are all things that I know how to deal with, especially that high off the ground. And yes, there were some newbie canopy fliers out, but as long as you’re aware of it and are aware of where they are, and are confident in your own canopy skills and awareness, you can avoid any potential situations – after all, regardless of experience level of the other canopy pilots around you, you should be on the lookout for someone who might take you out.
My point – ask yourself where caution ends and excuses begin. I found that with me, it’s easy to fall into the idea that “the winds are crap so I won’t be jumping today” and mentality changes. Don’t let your mind run your life – just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s true.
We’re skydivers. We know we can do it. Trust your gut and feel confident that the skydive will go as planned. Odds are, it will.