Travelling is a great part to participating in the sport of skydiving. Whether it’s going to a boogie or just chasing the season, your time on commercial airplanes (as well as otters, skyvans, and cesnas) definitely goes up.
But sometimes things don’t go as well as you had planned. Whether it is wind or rain, or some other factor, you need to remain patient. This is a sport where patience is key and it definitely makes itself known pretty quickly (usually on your first student hold).
Well, one of these trips that “test your patience” just happened to me, and it took everything I had not to lose it.
On August 13th, I flew from Alaska to New York where the weather was 80 and sunny. All day long there were blue skies in every direction. The drop zone where I went to Jump, Skydive Central New York, isn’t open on Mondays, so Tuesday the 15th was the only day I was able to jump during my trip. My trip wasn’t off to a good start.
I had been monitoring the weather for weeks prior to my trip, as I didn’t want to bring all my gear for nothing. I went to the drop zone that day, and spent a majority of it there. They are a small DZ that flies a Cessna 182 (fun!), so Tandems get priority (not so fun!). So what does that mean? It means I was there the majority of the day and ended up jumping once, at about 6pm. This wasn’t helped by the fact that a few black clouds came in and the sky was solid overcast and rainy from about 2pm-4pm. Once it opened up though, and when the day of tandems was done, it was beautiful – I love this DZ. The entire staff is awesome to hang out with though, and made my day fun and enjoyable while I played the waiting game.
I then left NY on the 16th and returned to Alaska. The next day, I flew to Seattle, where we took on the tunnel and Skydive Kapowsin. It was great weather for most of the time that we were in Seattle. Sunshine, mostly clear skies, average temp… not too hot, not too cold. We jumped Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before returning to Alaska. 9 jumps in 3 days. Good lord fun and finally I was rewarded.
It was time to go back to Alaska and get back to jumping at my home DZ Alaska Skydive Center in Palmer Alaska. I was excited to get back to where I love to jump. We touched down in Alaska and so did a rain system – no fun. Since I have been back, it has rained every single day. Then finally a bit a sunshine was set to come our way on Tuesday. It was gorgeous all day Tuesday and we were scheduled to jump after work. I gathered my gear, put on my “I’m about to go jumping” clothes, and headed out to Palmer to jump.
Ain’t nothing was going to stop me….
Then the phone rang. It was the DZO. She was calling me to say that they had to cancel because there weren’t enough students. I was already out in Palmer near the DZ at this time so I decided to go and see what the situation was. I began to make myself busy and work in the loft area of the DZ. After about 30 minutes of working in the loft, it started to pour.
We were grounded for sure – no fun.
If skydiving has given me one unexpected gift it has been the gift of patience. Being a mother I thought I already had that skill well dialed in but leave it to weather holds, and trials/tribulations of skydiving to show me I still had room to improve. I mean, we can’t really complain as we are participating in a sport that at the end of the day we are lucky to be able to participate in. Just every once in a while you have to take a few deep breaths and weather the storm – literally.
Article by Kristin Little