Su Knight, from Bournemouth FFU AFF Graduate .
Two daunting challenges faced me as I headed for the airport. The first one was the fact that I was going on holiday on my own and the second was – you guessed it – Skydiving. I’d already done a tandem and the first level of the AFF back in the UK. Both were sponsored and I’d been meaning to do the whole course for the past year. My motivation was to jump out of the plane on my own – I saw someone do it in my tandem jump and I really wanted to do that myself.
When I finally arrived I was made to feel very welcome by Tim and Andy my instructors. The atmosphere at the drop zone was really great, and everyone introduced themselves. We all went out for dinner that evening – me and about 10 guys. It was so tough being the only girl in the group, but I gritted my teeth and tried to enjoy all the attention I was receiving. Wow, it’s a real change from working in an office full of ladies! I was so nervous when it was time to do my first jump. But once I was out of the plane, I thought – well there’s no going back I might as well enjoy it. It was awesome! This skydive coincided on the exact same date as my previous level one, the year before back in England. The temperature here was a lot warmer!I went on to do a few more jumps, enjoying each one – until level 6…
This one was a disaster for me. I found myself spinning out of control and was trying so hard to stop myself, but it was no good. I was so tense and I lost it for a bit. I lost consciousness of the altitude that I was rapidly losing and was extremely shocked when the parachute was opened by Andy and I looked at the altimeter at a reading of 4,000ft.
I was so angry at myself, and wanted to give up there and then, but Andy was great. We had a break for lunch and when we returned, our debrief was really good – what Andy said in that not only helped me in successfully completing my next skydive and going on to Graduate from FFU, but I believe it will also help me in other areas of life when I feel it’s time to give up when the going gets tough.
I went on to do one solo skydive – and it was great. I’d achieved what I’d set out to do. There was lots to celebrate that evening . The atmosphere was great all week with new people turning up each day. I really enjoyed the evenings, going for meals with the guys and then hitting the bars and clubs. We all had a passion for the same thing – blue skies and soft landings. I have made some really good friends and will be back for more jumps – in fact I was so tempted not to leave.
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British Armed forces training.
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