There’s a saying in skydiving, that’s almost become kind of a joke amongst jumpers, that the key to being a great flyer is more time, more money.
Sadly, this is very, very true. If you have the time to jump as much as possible and the money to invest in coaching and tunnel time, you can become a great skydiver. Of course for most of us, time and money are those precious resources that we just don’t have enough of.
After events like Summerfest where the buzz is about world record attempts and every night you’re seeing video of the progress they are making and you get to be there for the celebration when they finally nail it, you can’t help but want to be that amazing some day so you can be in the middle of that incredible party – to have the pride of knowing you were a part of that and you helped make it happen.
In this community you hear of so many people who “cut away” from the lives that they once knew because they’ve fallen so deeply in love with the sport and want nothing more than to spend the rest of their lives chasing this dream of flight. I think most people who have come into the world of skydiving have at least considered it, if only a fleeting thought.
Then there are those of us who choose to pursue the sport as a weekend warrior of sorts, and consistently struggle to find the balance between wanting to fly, wanting to progress, and wanting to have more outside of the dropzone.
Is there a right way to go about this? As I see it, no. The only right way is the way that’s right for you. Everyone is different. Some people will thrive best by immersing themselves in the sport, finding the best coaches to help them progress and using their savings to pursue this dream. Others, like myself, need a balance. I find that if I spend too much time at the dropzone, in the tunnel, obsessing over skydiving (which, if I’m around it too much it truly does become an obsession for me), I end up frustrated that I don’t have more.
Variety really is the spice of life for me.
But, if I’m completely honest, I do spend part of my days with a bit of envy for those who have taken the risk to find their lives fully immersed in the skydiving community. Those days where I meet jumpers who could teach me a thing or two only to find out they started just last year and have double the jumps I’ve been able to get in my 4 seasons as a skydiver. But, thems the breaks I guess – choosing to have a career, a house, a dog, a bocce team, to be a weekend skydiving warrior – it’s a matter of how you want to live your life. Sure, I want to be an amazing skydiver who gets invited to do things like set records and load organize at events, but at the end of the day, I know I need that balance.
So, as long as you can find the balance that works for you, I believe you’ll find happiness in the sport. Of course, that doesn’t change my desire to have more time and more money to help move my progression along. One day, my skills will get me where I want to go, it just might take a wee bit longer than I’d like.
Love and Blue Skies!