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A letter to skydiving – By Sydney Owen

Sydney, Ashley’s Life twin, and one of my recent new acquaintances wrote a letter to our beloved sport… I know exactly where she’s coming from, and I felt that this deserved a re-post… Check out her blog here

Dear Skydiving,

I’m going to tell you a little bit about me.

You know when you get to that place with something new in your life where you kinda shock yourself by how full-steam-ahead you’ve been approaching things? I’ve been there. A lot. It happened with rowing when I jacked up my hip flexor and was out for the rest of the season. It happened when I packed up my car to move to Chicago because, holy shit, this was actually happening. And it totally happened this weekend with us. I was sitting down at a picnic table and heard something about people going back to school. And then it hit me: um, hello August, nice to see you.

So after ground school in June, you took me by the hand and were all “hi Sydney, I’m your new life, let’s do this” and away we went. I haven’t really looked back since I started AFF. Cue my state of shock.

People are starting to talk about their plans for the winter. Which is totally exciting (for them) but makes me totally nervous about what’s going to happen in a couple months when season here wraps up. Nervous mostly because everything that every skydiver has said would happen once I decide that I’m straight up and down batshit crazy about this sport has happened. You’re addicting and I love pretty much everything about you. If it was actually possible, I’d just have my paycheck direct deposited into my account at the drop zone because that is where all of my money goes anyway. And, I’m okay with all of that. Every last bit of it.

But when we get back to the state of shock stuff, historically, in my little world, I’ve dealt with it in one of two ways.

One, I can keep going full steam ahead. In the instance of rowing, I didn’t have this option, my fate was decided for me. In the instance of skydiving, I can keep going. Keep jumping. Keep spending every waking minute between closing time on Friday and the morning drive on Monday at the drop zone, soaking it all in. Breathing in the culture, the people, the lifestyle, the group of people that have started to become my second family. I can keep going at the pace I have, try to turn off my brain about what happens in two months, and just LIVE. Continue to dive (ew, pun) head first into what is single-handedly the best thing to happen to me in a long time. Continue to fall in love with you, and do so with no reins, love this sport like I love anything that I really set my mind to, and figure out the rest when it happens.

Or, option two, I can start to reel it in. I hate this option. This turns into the battle of what my brain thinks is right vs. what my heart says is right. If I know that everything is going to shut down once the hangar closes for the winter, shouldn’t I start preparing myself for that? Shouldn’t I try to start weaning myself off of that lifestyle so it isn’t a complete and total shit show in my brain when I actually have to stay in Chicago on the weekends? Which, side note, I’m definitely not complaining about staying in Chicago, because it’s one of the greatest cities on the planet, but yeah, you know what I mean. The reeling it in option sucks because I’m cheating myself out of two months of awesome. The reeling it in option is usually the one I’ve gone with because I don’t want to deal with the aftermath.

So, skydiving, a couple questions. What do we do once things shut down? Do I chalk this up to the best summer ever and we’ll revisit when season rolls back around, rinse and repeat? Should I save money to plan winter skydiving trips so we can keep this thing alive? I’m new at this, fresh off of student status. What’s the procedure here?

hearts and sparkles,

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