01/11 2010

I’d Rather Be Skydiving: Snowboarding Edition

So this weekend was a beautiful, blue skies, weekend – the first since April that I wasn’t at the dropzone.

That’s right. This weekend, I spent my time enjoying the sun on the slopes. It was my first weekend trying out snowboarding.

Thankfully, there’s no beer rule for this first! :-)

Just like my first AFF skydive, I spent a large amount of time learning from my “instructors” and even more time falling. And, just like my first skydive, the after effects of snowboarding include bruises and significant soreness.

But let me tell you, it was totally worth it. I spent time learning from both my freefly partner and my good friend Nick. And even though I feel like a little slow to pick it up, I feel like I’m getting the hang of it.

Hopefully with a couple more outings I’ll be able to comfortably be making turns and spending more time on my board than on my ass.

It’s definitely not skydiving – the rush is incredibly different – and I certainly don’t see myself turning snowboarding into the skydiving of the winter, if you will, but it’s definitely a fun wintertime sport that I’ll be practicing every now and again.

Hopefully the next blue skies day we see will be a little warmer so I can get back up in the air.

Blue skies!


12/22 2009

I’d Rather be Skydiving: Happy Holidays edition


Holy crap, it’s almost Christmas!

Seems like just yesterday I was giving a recap on the Work Stinks boogie. The cold and snow and holiday cheer shuck up on me.

Between shopping for Christmas gifts, finishing up work at the office (that seems to be exploding at the end of the year) and moving into a new place with my freefly partner ;-) , there’s a lot to be done!

This week I’m headed up to Michigan to visit my family for food and gift exchanging, followed by a weekend of non-stop chores (see the list above). Though I do hope to make it out with a few of the crew from the DZ for some beers and laughs – and jumping, if the weather cooperates.

New Year’s will be spent hosting some of our close friends at the new place. Yay!

Thankfully, yesterday was the winter solstice, so we’re back on the upswing to longer days! Sure, it may be cold, but Safety Day will be here before you know it.

Blue skies and happy holidays!


11/23 2009

Winter vacation: skydiving

Last year, after taking a week-long trip to the Caribbean at the end of the winter, I made a decision that every year I’d take at least one vacation to warmer climates to rejuvinate. Trips of 5+ days are just plain good for the soul.

Naturally, this year my trip will revolve around skydiving – which is also highly beneficial to the soul, if I do say so myself.

bora-bora(Do you think they skydive in Bora Bora?)

The dilemma that keeps rearing it’s ugly head is the where factor. Mid-season this year we had a number of friends who were planning a trip to Eloy for a week around Valentine’s Day. I was pumped! It was skydiving buddies from Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. But recent conversations prove that people are changing their minds at a quick clip.

Between boogies in Puerto Rico, Florida and Arizona throughout the winter, we skydivers are torn on where to end up.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind going to Florida and visiting a few DZs, including Skydive Miami where my career started at the end of my last vacation. But I also know that sticking to a single DZ and/or boogie will be a much more relaxing experience than chasing DZs for a week.

Tandem 1(With instructor Randy on the skydive that changed my life)

As of now, it’s me and my freefly partner making plans. Of course, we’re both pretty bad when it comes to making definititve decisions. It would be great to have other friends come along as well, though if it just ends up being us, I’m sure we’ll have no problem making new freefly friends at a week-long boogie.

So what are y’all planning for winter skydiving? Anyone going to an exciting boogie in warmer climates? We’re open to suggestions.

Blue skies!


11/5 2009

I’d Rather be Skydiving


The last month I’ve been in denial that winter is coming. We’ve had just enough good jumping days to keep me (mildly) satisfied.

But given that I’ve been wearing socks this week – the true indication that summer is over – it’s about time I start preparing myself for some cold weather activities.

Unfortunately, I’m not exactly sure where to begin. Typically, my winters are spent huddled by a space heater somewhere – yeah, I’m a little bit of a freeze baby – and the rest of my free time is spent sweating it out on a yoga mat in a 80+ degree room (something that I intend to continue this year).

Needless to say, I’m seeking out a winter sport to call my own. There are multiple offers on the table to learn how to snowboard, but I wasn’t even that great at skiing when I considered myself a skier so I’m a little leery.

snowboarding-wallpaper(Then again, I can only imagine how bad ass it would be to do something like this!)

Naturally, I’m looking to stick with adrenaline sports – they just suit me – but I’m at a little bit of a loss.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have every intention of jumping throughout the winter, though likely not with the same frequency as sunny days, no matter how cold, are few and far between from December-March up in these parts. And of course I’m hoping for a tunnel trip and a week spent in a warmer climate, but that’s just not enough to sustain this junkie.

So tell me, what do you do to get your adrenaline fix in the winter time? What is your winter sport of choice?

Blue skies!


10/6 2009

I’d Rather be Skydiving

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these posts; mainly because I’ve spent all my free time jumping this summer and haven’t done much else. What can I say, I’m a lucky girl!

Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t cooperated much these past couple weekends, what with fall arriving at a much faster clip than I’d prefer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fall. So long as it’s sunny and the weather is jumpable. There’s always a catch, isn’t there?

It’s been difficult going two weekends without skydiving. This weekend some friends and I even headed down to a local dropzone – after hearing that the plane was grounded at our home DZ – without a single jump to show for it. Sad, really.

Luckily, I slipped in a jump last Thursday when the weather was perfect! It was a fun freefly jump with friends Nick and Rick.

We did a three man rolling train, releasing once stable and transitioning into a sit. (Turn up the audio if you want to hear some fun commentary on the ride up.)

Nick is on the bottom with me in the middle and Rick on top (shooting video for us).

This was the only jump of the day as the sun was already setting once we packed up. Still having a hard time getting used to these shorter days.

Blue Skies!


08/10 2009

I'd Rather be Skydiving

The last five days, which were spent in Southern California with my old college crew, was the first of my non-skydiving weekends since I began my adventures in the sky.


As much fun as I had with hiking, beaching and trying to drink like we did in college without ruining my liver, I couldn’t help but look up at the perfect blue skies on occasion, wishing I was playing in them.


The sky is my playground.


Coincidentally, two of my weekend warrior friends happened to be in the area too. However, they were lucky enough to hit up Skydive Elsinore for a fun jump on Sunday – mere hours after my flight departed. Next time guys!


But the five days off were a much needed break from reality and a great reunion with my favorites from college. Luckily, the time off didn’t last long and I was back in the air today with a quick couple jumps at Skydive Tecumseh. More on that later. 


Blue Skies!


06/18 2009

I’d rather be skydiving


This weekend will be the first in over a month where I haven’t thrown myself from a perfectly good airplane. I can’t begin to tell you how much I wish I could squeeze it in, but that just doesn’t look possible.

Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way.

This little truth has inspired me to start a regular column. So welcome, to the first installment of “I’d rather be skydiving.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond thrilled to be heading back home – to small-town Michigan –  for a weekend with my family, but there’s a part of me that’s always craving the free fall, the adrenaline rush, the challenge of a good skydive. I think this is true for all passionate skydivers.

So while I’m spending my weekend celebrating my little cousin’s graduation from high school and spending some quality time with Dad, I hope y’all can get out and enjoy some of the local skydiving events in your area:

  • June 20 – Full ‘A’ License Course. Skydive Nagambie, Australia. The ultimate skydiving holiday! Seven adrenaline filled days of fun and learning will see you walk away with an internationally recognised ‘A’ Lisence. Information courtesey of Dropzone.com.
  • June 20 – Dago Fest. Chicagoland Skydiving Center. Enjoy some Italian Food around the bonfire after a great day of Skydiving! Learn more at SkydiveCSC.
  • June 20-25 – Skydive over Mt. McKinley. Denali Park, Alaska. A high-altitude, high-open (HAHO) tandem skydiving event over Alaska’s Mt McKinley. Jump from over 22,000 ft high. No skydiving experience necessary. Visit Incredible Adventures for more information.

Of course, if you’re curious about the sport and want to make your first jump, what a better weekend to do so? Bring dad along for a tandem jump. It’ll be a Father’s Day he’ll never forget! Visit WhereToJump or the USPA Drop Zone locator to find a DZ near you.

If you’re in Northeast Ohio, I highly recommend Cleveland Parachute Center. Tell them Ashley sent you. They’ll take good care of you.

Blue Skies!