“And once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes skyward. For there you have been and there you long to return…” Leonardo Da Vinci
I heard this quote shortly before my first skydive, way back in 199–something. And then I made my first jump. And I had to admit I agreed with Da Vinci 100%. Da Vinci sketched a design of a parachute back in 1495, and near the same time I made my first jump, a Londoner built a parachute based on Da Vinci’s design and – wait for it – actually used it. In the words of the English skydiver himself,
“”It took one of the greatest minds who ever lived to design it, but it took 500 years to find a man with a brain small enough to actually go and fly it.”
The full article can be found here: http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/safety/detail_page.cgi?ID=150
People have different reactions to skydiving, usually narrowed down to two categories: Extreme love or extreme hate. Or as someone I know says, “There are skydivers and there are wuffos. Wuffos are the ones who stand on the ground, point at the skydivers, and say, ‘Wuffo you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?’ ” I prefer to think of skydiving as both an adrenaline rush and a survival skill. After all, you never know when you’re going to be in an airplane thousands of feet up in the air and have to find an escape route from the crazed serial killer flying it. Or for any other reason when you may find the best escape route to be out the door.
To address those of us who call ourselves skydivers (and by that I mean anyone who has voluntarily jumped out of a perfectly good airplane more than once), the best reason I can conceive that the sport is so addictive is the pure adrenaline rush. Well, for ME, the addiction is adrenaline. Skydiving initiates a TON of adrenaline in me. Oh, sure, I’ve gotten adrenaline rushes from more places than a nylon canopy, and I think this adrenaline addiction explains my M.O. After a near-fatal car crash in 199–something, I decided to do everything possible to ensure that I always felt ALIVE. So I did everything I’d always wanted to do, including skydiving, waterskiing, whitewater rafting, and many more such activities. I do draw the line at race car driving, however. Something about staring a gift horse in the mouth, tempting Fate, bad Karma….fill in the blank.
Unfortunately, I haven’t jumped in years, mainly because I ran out of money. I’ve filled the need for adrenaline with other sports since then, but feel a strong desire to step out of an open door into empty space and survive again. I’ve been told since I’ve done that once, I can do anything.