Skydiving for me always feels like an escape from reality. The 60 seconds of free fall before I open my parachute doesn’t even feel like real life. Yet it’s more real than anything I have ever experienced. The psychological effects on my mind when I’m falling towards the ground from 14,000 feet at a speed of 120 mph is indescribable. Time stops and that moment is the only thing that matters. The adrenaline, excitement, thrill and body rush; that’s what I get from skydiving.
Growing up I always knew that one day I would skydive. I knew I wouldn’t just make a tandem jump, but would become a certified skydiver. I watched and became inspired by movies like Terminal Velocity and Point Break. I thought jumping out of a plane looked so fun! The risk and dangerous aspect of it actually appealed to me. When I was 26 years old I still wasn’t certified, so I basically just threw myself into it and signed up for the AFF course at Edmonton Skydive.
After a ground course and a few days of jumping with instructors I completed my AFF course and officially became a certified solo skydiver. That was a big accomplishment for me. I really got into it. My AFF experience was very exciting and rewarding. My instructors Joey and Jamo were awesome. Each jump went very well and the course felt like a breeze.
Getting to know all the staff and jumpers was great. Everyone was super fun, friendly and cool. I found a big group of people who all share the same passions of thrill-seeking and adrenaline sports. These were my kind of people. All the new friends I made kept me going back to Edmonton Skydive.
The following summer I had 34 solo jumps under my belt. One of my favorite places to visit is the Okanagan Valley in B.C. because of the warm weather and beautiful landscape. And it just so happens there’s a drop zone in Vernon right beside the lake. Anyone who’s jumped over the Okanagan Lake knows that the best scenery and views are from 10,000 feet straight up! Okanagan Skydive looked really cool so I drove 15 hours through the prairies, Rocky Mountains, and valleys to go jump there. It was totally worth the drive. The lake is beautiful and huge; you can see the lake for miles in the distance. That was a great experience that will keep me coming back. And of course the people at that drop zone are really amazing.
Over the last few years I’ve traveled to Sebastian, Florida twice to jump beside the Atlantic coast, and just recently I got to experience jumping at Skydance just outside Davis, California. It seems like every drop zone I visit I meet more amazing people. I just love the skydive culture. Everyone is fun, energetic and exciting. All these people have become very good friends of mine.
You could say I’m more of a casual jumper that jumps on occasion. I only have 79 jumps and an A license. I’ll spend a weekend jumping 7 or 8 times, and then I wont jump again for 6 weeks. I’m not in any rush though, I just enjoy doing it as a hobby. I think it’s made me a stronger person. I feel that if I can jump out of a plane, I can do anything. It’s definitely a confidence booster! I’m looking forward to jumping and experiencing more drop zones in the future. It’s a great way to experience life and see the world from a different perspective.
My girlfriend Kirsten is also a big adventure enthusiast who enjoys skydiving and a whole variety of other adrenaline-inducing activities. So for the two of us being able to jump together is a great way to spend time together. It’s definitely enhanced our relationship. We were both skydivers before we met so when we found each other we already had that in common, which was an easy way to break the ice. And, it’s great to share that same passion with someone you love!