To some people, the idea of taking an unnecessary risk like jumping from a perfectly good plane seems completely crazy, and yet millions of people take to the skies every year. What gives? Why do people skydive? The answer is quite simple: freedom; a freedom like nothing else you’ve ever experienced in your life!
It may seem counterintuitive, but jumping from 14,000 feet at speeds of 120 mph is one of the most peaceful and freeing things a person can do. Skydiving creates a space to live completely in the moment. Any worry or burden is suspended. The mind is present for a minute in free fall and five minutes under parachute. This six minute respite from the troubles of the world is supremely gratifying (especially in these COVID times).
The happy after effects of a skydive are as good as any anti-depressant and is why some therapists suggest skydiving to some of their patients. All of this may seem hard to believe, but the feelings described above are true – you’ll feel lighter than you’ve felt in years!
After reading about all these good vibes, it’s likely you’re trying to process how all this can feel so good while you’re also feeling so scared. Of course everyone is nervous, but there’s something almost mystical that happens after leaving the plane. Fear immediately leaves the body and is replaced with exhilaration. There aren’t any feelings of nausea (that sick stomach-in-the-throat feeling doesn’t occur), and there aren’t feelings of instability or ground rush. Free falling actually feels stable – as if laying on a firm mattress – and this stability allows you to relax and soak in the incredible experience. It’s for this reason you don’t see pictures of people scowling in free fall. Everyone is having the time of their lives.
George Addair’s quote “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear,” aptly applies to skydiving. If you can bring yourself to exiting through the door of a plane, you’ll be rewarded with one of life’s great experiences. You just have to do it.
Though skydiving is a great adventure, it’s not what makes a person feel so super-good – there’s a scientific reason for all these good feelings. The body’s release of adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine creates feelings of peace and happiness. Just as runner’s experience “a runner’s high” the same is true for skydiving but at a much greater level. Many people who have skydived have felt a natural “high” or lightness for a few days after the skydive. The experience is cathartic and is why so many people want to skydive more than just once.
Skydivers love to jump from helicopters, hot air balloons, unique airplanes and even zip across the sky in a wingsuit. While skydiving may seem like an activity that delivers its kicks from cheating death, it’s much more than that. There are skydiving competitions for those who love to compete and skydiving festivals (known as boogies) that allow jumpers to fly with the elite skydivers of the world and to exit from rare and unique aircraft. It’s an absolute blast!
The adrenaline and act of skydiving is super cool, but if you ask most skydivers why they jump, the most common answer is the people. The skydiving community is warm and welcoming and populated by folks who tend to have a perspective on life that few others do. Many in today’s society live to work, but most skydivers work to live. To skydive together all day and then have a cold beer around the bonfire at night, sharing in each other’s jump stories, is truly awesome and means so much to this tight-knit community.
While skydiving is fun and positive for mental health, no one would want to skydive if the risk quotient was too great. Skydiving isn’t a zero-risk activity (nothing is), but for many the risk quotient versus the reward is acceptable. Based on safety statistics shared by the United States Parachute Association, it’s far more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a car accident than it is from making a skydive.
Simply put, it’s one of the most exhilarating things to do on planet earth. And it’s not purely because of the adventure – it’s so much more! If you’d like to see what it’s all about, we invite you to come and join us, interact with our amazing community, and feel the peace that millions of people experience each year!
Skydiving is not something that can be wholly explained – it has to be experienced! Let’s go!
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