Why I started Skydiving – Lindsey C. Miller
In July of 1997 as I approached my 44th birthday, my wife, as is typical, asked me what I wanted. I told her, probably under the influence of too much wine, that I wanted to jump out of an airplane. To my surprise, I was greeted on my birthday, September 9th 1997, with a gift certificate for a tandem skydive. And in case I was having second thoughts, she even made a reservation for the following Saturday morning.
Saturday arrived and Susan, our two young daughters and I made the drive to Skydive the Ranch, a drop-zone in upstate New York. By then I was definitely having second thoughts. After all, I may have forgotten to mention my fear of heights and flying. However, my daughters were so excited I really couldn’t back out.
I remember everyone I met that day. All of the staff were dedicated to making it a fun experience. One young woman in particular, assured me that ‘skydiving is so safe they even let men do it.’ The actual jump was tremendously exciting and is preserved on video. My kids still like to take it out and watch it from time to time. The youngest even has her own skydiving video now.
Excitement over, that really would have been the end of my skydiving career. Except that a few months later my daughter’s saxophone teacher mentioned he had recently completed his first tandem skydive. He and I started talking about the experience and somehow convinced ourselves to go back to the dropzone and enroll in their freefall course to learn how to solo skydive. In April of 1998 we both started. It took me almost 18 months to earn my skydiving “A” license. Around jump 41, I finally hit my stride!
Since then, I’ve just been having fun. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to about twenty different drop-zones and meet lots of interesting new friends. I’ll jump as long as I can. So, when people ask me why I skydive, I can honestly say it started as a dare but now I’ll jump just because the door is open.
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