TACKLING THE MENTAL CHALLENGE OF THE FIRST SKYDIVE
It’s no secret that skydiving is a bit of a daunting experience. That’s one of the main reasons people love it so much; nothing feels quite as thrilling as freefalling 12,000 feet through the sky. However, if this is your first time skydiving, you might be a little panicked at the idea of jumping out of an airplane. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can mentally prepare for this exciting yet harrowing moment in your life.
- Ask questions. Humans inherently fear the unknown, and it can feel like there are a lot of unknowns in the act of leaping out of an airplane. You can circumvent this problem by educating yourself as much as possible; research the skydiving equipment that will be keeping you safe, look up skydiving safety statistics, and take every opportunity to ask your instructor questions. In time, you’ll feel much calmer and more confident in your newfound knowledge.
- Skip the caffeine. Most people enjoy a cup of joe in the morning to get them going. Trust us when we say the thrill of falling through the air is more than enough to wake you up; if you drink a Red Bull or down an espresso before your jump, you’ll end up increasing your anxiety levels and creating a negative experience from the get-go.
- Break the experience down into small, manageable pieces. Thinking about the jump itself can be almost cripplingly overwhelming. Rather than focusing on that main aspect, take the experience one step at a time; focus on getting yourself there first and foremost, and then go through the process step by step: sign the papers, do the brief, get geared up, ride to altitude, exit, freefall, etc. When you focus on the now rather than what you know is about to happen, you’ll find yourself having a much better time.
The USPA estimates about 3.2 million skydives occurred in the U.S. in 2017. Knowing how many people took the leap before you may help you realize that committing to a tandem jump is a worthwhile experience. You never know; your first time skydiving adventure could lead to a love of the extreme sport!