For thousands of sport skydivers around the world, it is definitely not “next Tuesday” yet. Since it’s remarkably common for someone to head out to the dropzone to make a very first tandem skydive and never really leave the premises (spiritually, at least), we decided to give you a heads-up. Here’s why that skydiving adrenaline rush so often turns into a lifelong passion.
Folks might refer to sport skydivers as “adrenaline junkies,” but that’s nowhere near the full story. Adrenaline has some fantastic side effects, of course: Your body hyper-oxygenates, elevating you to a place of awareness, clarity and presence that you simply can’t match in any other context. Endorphins and serotonin start coursing through you like a dam of happy breaking somewhere in your center and flooding out to your scalp, fingertips and toes.
Sure, provoking the body’s fight-or-flight response is a quick way to get deep, but skydiving provides a full-fledged smorgasbord of other sensations to indulge in, too. The wind on your skin; the sun on your body; the sound of your parachute lines cutting through the air; the rock-a-bye pressure of the harness on your hips as you make your turns…heck, you can even feel the sky between your toes if you look for it.
As you might be able to intuit from the above, the adrenaline rush ain’t even close to the full story. The side effects of skydiving go far beyond the physical. In fact, it’s the sense of peace, clarity and satisfaction that most sport skydivers keep coming back to the sky to re-experience. On a skydive, we feel empowered; as if time is slowing to a standstill; serene; relaxed; in control. It’s difficult to explain to people who haven’t tried it, but you’ll totally get it once you’ve jumped.
Skydiving is a challenge. That much is a given! You’ll be interested to know that it continues to be a challenge throughout your jumping career, whether you’re a weekend warrior, an international-level competitor or pursuing a career in the sport. It takes a lot of time, effort and dedication to build skydiving skills. When you complete that formation–or nail that new body position–or simply execute a jump with your friends that works perfectly from start to finish, you’ll enjoy an incredible sense of achievement.
We, humans, are elementally social animals, so our biggest addictions have a tendency to involve a dependency on the community networks around us. This may or may not be a healthy thing–but in skydiving, it sure as heck is. That’s why you’ll find that most skydiving centers have dedicated areas for socializing–often, a cafe or a bar, and camping areas on-site–so that once jumping is over for the day folks can hang out and enjoy each other’s company. It’s not unusual for jumpers to spend every Friday-through-Monday-morning at the dropzone.
The skydiving community is remarkably welcoming and ironclad in its intra-community support–which, we theorize, must have a lot to do with the trust we share together. Some of the strongest, most accepting friendships you’ll find on this Earth, you’ll find among skydivers.
As addictions go, skydiving is the healthiest we can think of. Want to give it a try and see how hooked you get? Come down to Skydive Orange and meet your new habit face-to-face!
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.