Hands down, skydiving is so much more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Admittedly, hurling oneself from an aircraft roughly two miles above the earth is, by definition, extreme and evokes some pretty intense emotions across the board. Ask anyone who has ever made a jump and they’ll honestly say it’s a thrill unlike any other. But, a thrilling time isn’t the sole outcome of a skydive.
The moments before and during your skydive will bring you face to face with an exigent situation that, in turn, can teach you to cope more effectively with stress in your everyday life. On a skydive, you’re forced to confront your emotions and to test your will. It takes mental chops to come out victorious, but we believe just about anyone can do it, if they are properly prepared. We’ve covered the practical side of preparing for your skydive before, but we’ve never taken a look explicitly at how to make sure you’re mentally prepared for the experience of a lifetime.
If skydiving is all a head game, what can you do to prepare? To learn how to mentally prepare for your skydive, let’s take a look into the mind of a skydiver.
What pushes people to transcend fear and engage in activities that may be perceived as dangerous? Is it a crazy deathwish? A desire to stand apart? A need for attention? Or a gratifying way to feel fully alive?
Thrill seeking appeals to people for a host of reasons as unique as each person and inspired by their individual life experiences. Some people gravitate toward skydiving because they enjoy pushing past societal boundaries and breaking free from the role they’ve been assigned. Several engage regularly in sport parachuting because of the empowering nature of the sport and the camaraderie that exists between participants. The transcendent experience of skydiving allows individuals to connect across divisions of class, age, or sex to become one big, happy family.
While many believe that skydivers are irresponsible, the truth is quite the opposite. Those that pursue skydiving professionally are highly trained individuals, both confident and competent with the equipment they use and the experience they share with others.
This is certainly the case with the incredible team here at Skydive Monroe. If you choose to participate in skydiving by first making a tandem skydive, you will be paired with a highly trained, professional tandem skydiving instructor. This individual has dedicated at least three years to developing their body flight skills and have attained credentials through specific coursework and training as well as having successfully earned the four licenses offered by the United States Parachute Association the A,B,C, and D license respectively.
In order to get past your mental block, you’ve got to attack it head on. You should know before you make your first, or fourth, or fiftieth skydive, that it is okay if you feel afraid. The point of challenging yourself isn’t always about getting over the fear. Sometimes, it’s about accepting that you are afraid and acting in spite of it.
We don’t expect you to be an expert, that’s our job! So, as we go through the process, please ask any questions you have. Knowledge can provide quite an impressive amount of solace, and we are happy to help.
Because of more advanced equipment, strict safety standards, and training policies and programs skydiving safety is ever improving. You don’t have to take our word for it either. The United States Parachute Association has been collecting data on skydiving safety since the 1950’s. For the most recent skydiving statistics, check here.
Our brain is an impressive organ, with complexities still yet to be explored. It’s no wonder that our perspective has such power. Your thoughts can influence how you respond to certain situations, including your tandem skydive. If you’re feeling a little amped before your skydive, try this little cognitive trick. It’s called “Anxiety Reappraisal.”
In “Anxiety Reappraisal,” you reframe your anxiety as excitement. In each instance where you would describe the experience as “scary,” replace it with “exciting.” If you’re nervous about the plane ride up, both your inner and outer dialogue, should be not about how nervous you are but how excited you are to take flight! Because anxiety and excitement are both emotions that are generated from arousal, it’s not as difficult for the mind to make the leap from nervous to excited as it is to go from a point of arousal to a state of calm.
We know you’ve got the mental fortitude to take on anything you put your mind to, including skydiving. Ready to give it a shot? Reach out to Skydive Monroe today!