Evolutionarily speaking, a healthy dose of fear has been integral to our success as a species. Arguably, even today, having a little bit of fear is a good thing!
The disconcerted stirrings you feel that keep you from climbing to the top of a rickety ladder or venturing out into cougar country in the middle of the night are, what we’d consider, pretty reasonable fears. Wouldn’t you know that even though skydiving is what we do, we see a fear of skydiving as being perfectly reasonable? To tell the truth, we’d be more concerned if you weren’t a little afraid
Fear has a way of wildly oscillating from totally irrational to completely valid. Over time, though, our ability to tell the difference has become a little skewed.
Blaming fear is an easy way to keep from doing things that make us uncomfortable. While a little fear is good, too much can hold you hostage. If the skies have been calling to you, don’t settle for keeping your feet on the ground, choose to fly. Here are five tips to overcome your fear of skydiving.
Even birds have to practice flapping their wings before they leave the nest. To help conquer your fear of skydiving, try indoor skydiving first. While there are differences between indoor skydiving and skydiving , indoor skydiving closely mimics the sensation of freefall. Testing out what it feels like to fly in the indoor wind tunnel before making the leap from an actual plane can do a considerable amount to assuage those feelings of freefall anxiety. Because you’ll know what to expect, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed by the sensation.
It’s simply an immutable fact: you cannot live a risk-free life. However, it is always wise to consider the risks one can incur from a venture before becoming involved. So, how risky is skydiving? Over the past decade, in tandem skydiving, there has been one student fatality per 500,000 jumps. When compared to your daily commute on the highway, the risks involved with making a tandem skydive look downright paltry.
As far as the risk involved with how often do parachutes fail, the numbers here are slight as well–about 1 in 1,000. However, before you panic, it’s also important to note that every parachute container includes not one, but two parachutes! In the unlikely event that the main parachute fails, there is a reserve parachute that can be used.
To overcome your fear of skydiving, it might help to compare it to another extreme sport. Plenty of people say they would bungee jump before they would skydive. We’re not exactly sure why. The only real similarity between skydiving and bungee jumping is that it is an exciting means of transport from a high spot to a low spot. Truth be told, there are a lot of differences between skydiving and bungee jumping.
The bungee jump experience lacks the outside support and involvement that comes with a tandem skydive. While on a bungee jump, you’re making that leap entirely alone. On a tandem skydive, you’re securely attached to a licensed skydiving instructor that not only ensures the equipment is properly fitted but is also there every exhilarating step of the way.
We know which one we’d prefer.
Every now and again, we can all use a hype man (or woman), and that is, precisely, where good friends come in. Overcoming a fear of skydiving is easiest when you don’t have to go it alone!
A group outing to skydive with the posse means having plenty of people to keep your mind preoccupied. The presence of friends will often help dissipate some of the nervous energy you’ll naturally feel on the day of your first tandem skydive. Plus it’s nice to have company to while away the time while you wait for your turn to skydive.
Bonus points if you can convince your friends to overcome their fear to make a tandem skydive alongside you!
One of the most effective ways to overcome your fear of skydiving is with research. Even though all skydiving centers sell the same product (tandem skydiving), not all skydiving centers are the same. You’ll come across a wildly varied caliber of facilities. It’s important to research what distinguishes a certain skydiving center from another. At Skydive Paraclete XP, we set ourselves apart with world-class instructors, knowledgeable staff, expertly maintained turbine aircraft, and amenities like restrooms, covered spectating areas, and an onsite restaurant.
Remember: this isn’t the first time you have ever felt afraid, and it certainly won’t be your last. It might be time to stop thinking about it and to start taking action. Embody your best Nike slogan and just do it! Who knows, you might surprise yourself!