Arriving at the dz before the sun rises, leaving after it sets. A big smile from ear to ear at all the points in between.
There is something magical and rewarding about time on a skydiving dropzone. I’m sure climbers feel the same around a mountain.
Sailors the same on a lake.
Mountain bikers in the woods
And skiers on the slopes.
It’s your time. Your free time. And you have chosen to spend it in that space. With those people. It’s valuable time, and it’s not to be wasted.
It is to be savoured and enjoyed like quality food or drink.
That’s one of the reasons I went back to the dz week after week in the early 90’s. It literally filled me with life. From my toes to my fingertips and to the top of my shiny baldy head.
Driving home after a weekend jumping, down the motorway, feeling on fire inside, plus, the sun kissed feel on my cheeks and skull adding to that feeling.
Full of life.
The best version of me.
It give those next few days of normal life extra sparkle, but, by Thursday, feeling used and drained of powers. Needing the escape through the wardrobe into Narnia.
Like Alice through the looking glass
Like Neo in the Matrix
Needing to explode out into the endless big blue above the clouds and be once again saved and energised.
That is why I would drive to the airfield in darkness all those years ago.
That is why I would be in the car and away at the earliest possibility. Never once looking at the weather forecast.
The weather prediction was irrelevant.
I was going jumping.
Try to stop me.
After ten years as a full time skydiver I had almost forgotten that feeling. I don’t know when, just a gradual erosion of excitement I suppose.
Like how going to the movies is a treat, but if you had to do it everyday for years it would become a chore.
Well, since moving to Dubai, my dropzone excitement is back! It’s not a full time job anymore. It’s again what I want to do.
That is how I felt this weekend. Up before dawn. Excited to be out in the field. In the sky.
With my sky family.
A day of jumps and tunnel followed by a day presenting the swoop league. What a weekend. Everything as it should be.
Earlier in the day I was talking with my friend and CP judge Jan Andersson about this. How I was loving everything that was happening right now. My recent boogie in Costa Rica load organising. How completely awesome that had been. How I had fell in love with skydiving again. My recent attempts at FreeFly in the tunnel. My new life here in Dubai. All the stuff I had on the boil and upcoming. From 4 way to boogies and competitions to MCing and presenting worldwide, to having made that all important breakthrough as a presenter in the corporate Dubai world.
How quickly it was all moving.
He talked about my new blog. Especially the bit about having to tell people what I do after years and years of it never cropping up.
He told me about his years of effort to break into judging and the commitment it had taken.
I saw parallels in where we were both now.
I was thinking about all this just near the end of the swoop meet. Stood by the side of the distance track. Waiting for the last round to start.
The sound of the Cessna Caravan single PT6 engine in the distance as it climbed to altitude was somewhere in my thoughts when one of the local skydivers said “Man you are fantastic on the mic. You have really made it exciting and entertaining today for us all!”
His friend stood next to him followed with “What do you do in real life? What’s your day job?”
Jan heard this. He stopped and looked at me, eyebrows raised, a wry smile forming on his face. I knew what he was thinking. “This is it, your moment. Tell them”
I smiled back, pushed my shoulders back and looked at the girl face on. Eye to eye.
“I do this. This is what I do” I said.
Jan mouthed “YES!”
“I’m a skydiver and professional presenter”