What a day. In the last twenty-four hours I’ve slammed two 16oz redbulls, wrote some code for a few Facebook pages, toured 5 apartment buildings, almost fell to tears when I saw how much tuition has gone up and – oh yeah, signed up for a crash course in skydiving. And it’s only Thursday.
My name is AJ Stuyvenberg. I decided after my freshman year at the University of Minnesota that I’d rather stay in town for the summer and try to find work, than to go back to my small hometown and live with my family. I got a job at a bar, and a print shop, and haven’t looked back yet.
Which brings me to my skydiving tale. I’ve been looking skywards since I was a little kid, throwing army men with parachutes, even putting on a Superman cape, running down the hallway and diving head-first onto my couch asking my dad “Am I getting higher daddy? Am I flying?”
Naturally the day I turned 18, my friends and I took a break from a weekend of camping and drinking to hurl ourselves out of a plane 13,500 feet in the air. Needless to say, I was hooked.
Here’s the video – Warning, it’s uncensored:
Like everybody who was smart enough to make the decision to skydive, I felt the unceasing desire to gaze skyward and wish for that feeling back. It’s impossible to describe to anybody who hasn’t jumped before, but I literally could think and speak about nothing but skydiving for days.
The only problem was that I was heading off to college, and carrying 13,000 dollars in debt with me. That really didn’t bother me, as I immediately began donating plasma and saving a little bit each month, all winter. I knew what I wanted, and I was going to do it. Now the time has finally come. It’s official, I’ve registered for my first class in the Static Line Progression tomorrow, and will be writing about it the whole way.
Currently, I’m planning on finishing the progression in 4-5 weeks. I plan on jumping every Wednesday and Friday, and hoping to jump 2 or 3 times per week. We’ll see whether or not that happens, but since I’ve saved enough to pay everything up front, the only factors involved in progression will be time and weather.
I’ve decided to write a blog about skydiving for many reasons. Part of my internship at the print shop I work at is to plan, design, code and implement their facebook and twitter page. Whilst doing such, I stumbled upon many interesting, and funny blogs written by regular people. I have found that the more I work with these social media outlets, the more I love them. So moving onto a blog was natural.
Secondly, I’ve found that an increasing number of DZ’s are moving to an AFF-only method of instructing students. I think the Static Line method of instruction is quickly falling out of favor because it takes longer to achieve freefall, and DZ’s charge less for it. Adam pointed out that nobody on staff at Skydive Addiction progressed using the S/L method, and thought I may have an interesting perspective. Hopefully I do!
I’m incredibly excited to begin tomorrow. I received a call from the DZ with both good news, and bad news. The good news is that nobody else will be at the course, so I’ll be there getting one on one attention from a jumpmaster. The bad news, is that the winds might be a little high for me to jump tomorrow, so it might have to wait til next Wednesday. I’ll be sure to post as much video, pictures, and blogs about them as I have time for.
I invite you all, jumpmasters, skydivers, students and enthusiasts a like leave a comment. I love hearing from new people, and I really want to see what you guys think. Did you start your skydiving addiction through AFF or S/L? Which do you think is better? Why?