At our very core, who are skydivers?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Many people who don’t jump have a funny, stereotype impression of skydivers. Some think we are a subculture of young, adrenalin junkies with a disregard for life who enjoy pushing the limits on every jump. Many of the movies that involve skydiving have not only backed that impression up, but have taken it a step further by making us into the likes of bank robbers and drug smugglers.

But one thing I’ve always loved about skydivers is that in reality we are the most diverse group of individuals you could ever find assembled in one place.  Any given day on the drop zone, certainly at Skydive Perris, you will see skydivers from 18 to 80, from as many as 30 different countries (during big events), from every ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and occupation.  We are teachers, students, Generals, Privates, doctors, waiters, fireman, gardeners, policeman, secretaries, mechanics, construction workers, models, actors, journalists and entrepreneurs of all types. You name it, we’ve got em!

But no matter the back ground, or financial status, when we walk on to the drop zone none of that matters. Everyone is equal.

The only thing I can think of which could possibly unite such an odd collection of individuals must be that skydivers share some kind of rare genetic disorder which makes us think that we are closer to being birds than we actually are.

There is one other thing that defines each and every one of us whether we’ve made one jump or thousands.  We are all people who had a dream and dared to follow it through. Many people have dreams but far fewer have the courage to see them to fruition.  Skydivers aren’t just dreamers. We are dreamers who backed it up with action.  Action that was hard for us to take.

Most people who have made a jump dreamt about skydiving for years before they got up the courage to actually make it to the drop zone and do a first jump. Continuing after that is even more difficult. After each jump as new skydivers are working through the student progression towards their “A” License they experience feelings of exhilaration and freedom that are unmatched.  Nothing else compares. They can’t wait for their next skydive.

But once they return home to their real world the excitement often subsides and common sense starts to take over. They start thinking of every reason to never to jump again. And there are many. For starters it’s dangerous and scary as hell, not to mention expensive, terribly inconvenient and time consuming. There are so many other things they could be doing with their time. Despite all that, their dream of flight is so strong that they find a way to make it happen.

Pursuing and achieving any dream proves to us that we don’t have to accept the status quo. That it’s actually possible to go after the things we want in life. I have seen many people who discovered this through skydiving then have the confidence and courage to pursue other dreams they had in business or relationships which were completely unrelated to skydiving.

I have two wonderful children and I couldn’t care less if they ever skydive. But I hope they find something to pursue in life that they are passionate about, something that keeps them up at night, that they can’t live without, something that will connect them with others who share that same passion. It doesn’t matter what it is, I just want them to have something they love like I love skydiving and people to share it with they love like I do skydivers.



About Dan

Author, Speaker, Coach and World Champion Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld will show you how to create champions and build winning teams.

19 thoughts on “At our very core, who are skydivers?”

  1. I am the gardener, who has dreamt for years (of who you spoke)and am now about to take the first stage of my aff course. Could not be more exited/apprehensive but just can’t wait. Thanks for your blog, makes very interesting reading. I too will be keeping a copy of this. Thanks.

  2. I love this blog! After my 1st tandem, I could not wait for my next skydive so I started the AFF course. I’ve had a slight setback but I can’t wait until I get the all clear to go back. People at work tell me to stop skydiving because it’s dangerous, etc and ask what is it about skydiving that I see appealing. I tell them it’s hard to explain unless they try it themselves. I can’t just stop now.

    Thanks again Dan for this enlightening blog!

  3. So true Dan. I often comment on how diverse the sky diving population are, and how we have all followed our dreams.

  4. One thing I’ve always noticed Dan, from the US to Australia, skydivers are an impressive bunch. If you look around they are 98% high achievers in their chosen field. We’re all able to focus and dedicate our skills to our work and our passion and every skydiver I know has achieved some incredible success either on the DZ or at work. Cooooool kids.
    I love this article because the ‘skyfamily’ is 50% why I jump. Look forward to meeting you one day :)

  5. Thanks for article. My husband has been skydiving for 7 years and I did my first tandem just last month, and loved it! I am now planning to take AFF in the Spring and excited but do admit that part of me is nervous too. One of the things I enjoy are the people in this sport – such diversity mixed with a love for life and connecting with each other. There’s several reasons it took me ’til now to fall in love with this sport and look forward to hanging out at the DZ (Skydive the Farm) … But very thankful that I am now at this place. It’s really been good for our family connections too – our 11-yr old daughter is looking forward to her first jump one day… But for now content to help me capture some really cool pics as we watch the skydivers land.

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