I’m off on another trip to the drop zone at Bridgewater in Victoria, with a mission to introduce another group of adventurous students to the exciting world of the gravity attack. The trip takes me ten hours each way and covers almost two thousand kilometres, but it’s well worth the time and expense.
Stepping out of the door of an aeroplane at 14,000’ is not for everyone, but those who accept the challenge have their lives irrevocably changed, and I take great pride in being there for them at the start.
The past year in skydiving has been a very interesting one for me. I got healthy again, successfully overcoming major sinus issues with the help of surgery, so I fling myself at the ground from a great height at every opportunity, and I’ve also re-entered the world of wingsuiting, something that has extended the dimensions of my world and given me a whole new set of aspirations and challenges.
The risks of my chosen sport have also been highlighted over the past twelve months with a number of fellow skydivers either hurting themselves or worse. We lost some good people this year.
Being able to use my instructor rating each month to train new skydivers has provided me with some great moments, but nothing can beat the feeling I get from seeing a student I trained land their canopy and walk back to the packing shed with a mile-wide smile on their face. It’s an absolute joy.
Next year will bring some new self-imposed challenges for me. I want to become technically competent at flying my wingsuit, which means lots of practice and dedication to task, and I also want to extend myself in the area of instructing. I’m already committed to running a nine-day training course for new students, but also on my agenda is to aim for the next level up the instructing chain, the Instructor “A” rating. This is the highest instructor level in skydiving, and it will take lots of application and self-discipline to achieve.
Bring it on.