Name: Leah Levy
What is your role at Skydive Orange?
Graphic Designer, Videographer, Rigger (I can say that now!!), Coach.
How long have you been in the sport?
This summer will mark 5 years in the sport/ 1,000 jumps.
How did you first learn about skydiving/what brought you to the sport?
I had a family friend, who did a tandem for her 75th birthday when I was 8 and that was the first time I saw video of someone jump out of a plane. I had a countdown from that time on until I turned 18 to when I could make my first jump. The lady who I first saw do her tandem ended up doing multiple more tandems over the years and came to watch me land from my first jump as well. So I did my first tandem on my 18th birthday but then it took me a year and a half while in college to save up enough to do my first jump course and get licensed.
Who would you invite to join you on your dream 3-way?
Ooo, this is a tough question. It changes every couple of months but at the current moment maybe Sam Smith and Sharon Pilcher. I want to show Sam how far I’ve come since I last got to jump with her and make her proud, and Sharon because I’ve learned so much from her in the past couple of months.
What’s you next skydiving goal?
OOO!! Ooo next skydiving goal — This question excites me because it occupies so much of my thoughts. 100 way Women’s Head Down Vertical World Record happening hopefully this fall to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment. Right now, I am just hoping for a bench invite because I still have a long way to go, but I feel such drive to even be a part of the team doing something that big.
Also, depending on how all of the Covid-19 stuff plays out over the next few months, hoping to do my AFF or Tandem Instructors course before November.
Tell us about your most rewarding skydive to date.
The most rewarding skydive I’ve ever had to date was actually the last 4 jumps I did before we went on lockdown! So it has been perfect to ride that high over the last month. Last jumps I did were part of the Project 19 Phase 3 camp/tryouts. I did my first ever formation loads (BEER!) and they also happened to be with 65 other bad ass women training for the Vertical World Record — It also happened to be International Women’s Day. All around incredible. I didn’t touch the formation as in I didn’t get my dock on it, but I did accomplish my goal I set with the organizers of being on level and in my slot as last diver out of the lead plane.
What is your favorite thing about the skydiving community?
My favorite thing about the skydiving community is obviously the people. It bridges the gap seen everywhere else in the world. I’ve made friends with people twice, three times my age from all walks of life in all career paths. Whether it be just a fun jump, work jump, or training jump there is always something to bond over with whoever you’re jumping with.
What is the biggest challenge you’re battling in light of COVID-19?
Biggest challenges I’m facing currently during Covid 19 is well obviously employment. I’ve been packing parachutes for military contracts out here in Arizona and everything is on hold temporarily. But I am able to still keep insanely busy with Levity and design work. So actually, I’d say biggest challenge is staying current jumping! Not in the sense of uncurrent by USPA standards, but that all of us ladies training for the VWR were in the peak of our training and now we’ve had to put everything on hold for a few months
There are a lot of challenges with Coronavirus, but what are the silver linkings about all of this that you hadn’t anticipated?
Silver-lining of all of this is that I’ll hopefully have time to grow my small business in ways that I’ve wanted to for the past year. And I get to take my dog on way more hikes.
Everyone is facing challenges. What companies or people have impressed you during these challenging times?
The way Skydive Orange has handled this mess of a situation is incredible and inspiring. We seem to be a dropzone rooted in adversity that always manages to take the difficult times and come out even stronger on the other side. I’m currently writing this in Arizona having spent the season here, but I wanted to answer these questions as a staff member because I am so proud to say I work at Skydive Orange in whatever capacity that is at whatever time of the year it may be.
We’ve all taken things for granted, that we now miss and appreciate. Outside of skydiving, what had you taken for granted that you appreciate more now?
Honestly… so much of my life and time revolves around every aspect of skydiving, this pandemic has shown me that before all of the madness I was actually taking for granted the ability to call and talk to my family and friends. I’ve been so consumed by the daily grind that this little life pause has shown me how to make time and the importance to maintain those relationships.
Aside from skydiving, what are you most looking forward to doing when all of this is over?
Once this is all over I can’t wait to see my family on the east coast (including my dz family) and show off my dog, Navi, who none of them have met yet!!
If you could recommend one song for everyone to listen to, what would it be?
One song I could recommend. How about a few because I can’t decide.
Who/what is your spirit animal?
I wish I had a really cool and fierce spirit animal but to be honest its a raccoon (trash panda).
Tell us about a memory that instantly makes you smile?
Friends and dogs on Lake Anna after a busy weekend of work at Skydive Orange — A memory that can always make me smile.
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.