The tunnel will overlook the Flowrider surf simulator and offer views of the wide open seas. Tunnel time. At sea. It doesn’t get much better than this.
As you all know, Barry and I got married at SkyVenture Colorado, followed by a cruise for our honeymoon. It seems only fitting that we renew our vows at sea. I’m on a mission to make that happen.
My dad was in NYC live for the reveal event of all the new features, and I gotta say, this ship has it all. And, the best part?
WAIT FOR IT.
There is no extra charge for Ripcord. Sure, the cost of the cruise will probably increase a bit, and I’m not sure how it works with booking time, but hopefully I’ll get that information soon and be able to share it with all of you. I know that you can rent Ripcord for special events, so maybe that’s where the money will come into play.
Skydiving. Food. Drinks. Tropical ports of call. I’m not even kidding when I say this is the ultimate skydiver dream vacation.
The smell of my helmet was intoxicating.
…and not because my helmet stinks, but because it doesn’t stink. It still smells new, 200-something jumps later, and I forgot how much I love that smell.
I started on the net with nothing but the wind from outside coming through the bottom. I could feel cool breeze and smell jet fuel from outside. I felt the fans kick on, and the wind speed increase.
…and then I was flying. I can’t believe, at one point, I thought that I should give this up.
My booties seemed a bit more powerful than I remember.
…maybe it’s because I washed the suit, maybe I got taller as my posture was force-corrected for three months in a back brace. Maybe I gained an inch.
I forgot how much I hate flying without a headband.
…my bangs kept getting in my face. One single hair stuck in my eyelash. Or in my mouth. If I had a G3 I wouldn’t have this problem.
This morning, I went to the tunnel for the first time since the accident. Before today, I had my doubts. Maybe skydiving isn’t for me. Maybe I should quit this altogether. Maybe this is a sign that I took the wrong turn at that fork in the road. Maybe this is for the best, I am having a blast doing what I’m doing without skydiving, maybe I can just keep this up and not start jumping again.
I may or may not have had a complete meltdown just days prior. If I’m not skydiving, then what am I doing? I don’t want to disappoint anyone. If I’m cleared for the tunnel then that means I’m getting closer to being able to actually jump out of a plane again, and I’m sure as shit not ready for that.
And those thoughts were fleeting. The second the wind speed was high enough to pick me up off the net, I knew I was back.
That’s the thing about this sport. If it’s not the actual flying itself that has you hooked, it’s another component. Constantly learning. Pushing your own boundaries. Challenging yourself. Confirmation of a job well done from someone you respect, be it a fellow skydiver, a coach, instructor or just feeling it and knowing you nailed it. Perhaps it’s the community. The bond that only skydivers can share.
For me, it’s that feeling of bulldozing the walls of your comfort zone. Trusting myself and my coach to know what I can handle. Embracing the learning curve and realizing this is MY journey through the sport and it’s okay that I’m taking it slow getting back into it.
Today, I nailed it. A couple times. There were some moments of complete bliss, moments where I did what was asked of me, could feel myself executing it well, and I knew that I did so before looking up to my coach for confirmation.
Those moments, however few and far between, are what keeps me going. When you do something, nail it, and know you nailed it before you get a thumbs up, or a clap, or a shit-eating grin.
“Sydney, you’re flying better now than you were before you got hurt.”
Speaking of shit eating grins, I couldn’t wipe this dopey smile off of my face if I tried.
Hi, my name is Sydney, and I’m addicted to skydiving.
Back that up. Hi, my name is Sydney, and I’m addicted to body flight, the learning curve, setting goals and achieving them, and pushing myself, be it mentally, physically, and/or emotionally.
…and addicted to Starbucks coffee. But that doesn’t really pertain to this, now does it?
Here’s the deal, team. Every Thanksgiving I write my obligatory “what I’m thankful for post” and every year, I vow to be thankful every day, not just on Thanksgiving. And every year, at least once, someone tells me to stop saying “thank you” because I’m borderline excessive when giving thanks (and saying please). So, without looking too far into it, I’d say I’m pretty comfortable with gratitude.
But holy fucking shit, y’all. I have been blown away by the generosity that the community around me has shown since I took a little tumble in December. And I’m not just talking about those of you who have chipped in to help me with the medical bills, physical therapy, and bought those ridiculous pens to help me get back in the tunnel. Well, I am talking about you, but not just the money part. I’m talking about every single person, who, in one way or another, took a few moments out of their busy days to hear me out. Whether your way of doing so was clicking the “Chip In” button, visit the office at Skydive Elsinore, shoot me a text, give me a call, or just post up next to me on a picnic table to hear what was happening, I see it. And I appreciate all of you more than you’ll ever know.
I’m a big believer in that the positive energy you put out there will come back full circle, and it has. And for each and every one of you, it will, if it hasn’t already.
Today is a milestone of sorts. Since December 11, I haven’t done much as it pertains to skydiving, with the exception of putting on events at the Skydive Elsinore that I wanted desperately to participate in. Today, however, I fly in the tunnel for the first time since my accident. I have spent the past three weeks in physical therapy a couple times a week, and at my session on Friday, my super sweet physical therapist said “yeah, you could probably think about getting in the tunnel next week.”
Music to my ears, peeps.
So yeah, today is awesome for me of course, but today is more about you guys. I couldn’t do what I do when I’m at “work” if you didn’t jump here. I couldn’t do what I do on my days off (read: side-hustle days for 3Ring Media and super special couple time with the boy) if you weren’t in need of some kind of service that 3Ring Media can offer. I would still write here if it was only my mom and my boyfriend that read this blog, but the community of readers here is spectacular, and I couldn’t foster those relationships if there weren’t any people to have relationships with.
So today, I thank you. All of you. For being part of my life, in whatever capacity you are a part of it. I wouldn’t be here without you. Seriously.
On a lighter note, obviously I’ll try to post video of my tunnel session tonight. I’ve been visualizing greatness like a madman, and I’m thinking that my time off may have been exactly what I needed to lose the bad flying habits I brought with me here. Today is a clean slate for my skydiving career.
Hearts, sparkles, rainbows and unicorns, peeps. Lots of that.
And in case you were wondering what kind of awesome 4-way has been filling my dreams, this is what I’m talking about. Holy. Shit.
If you’re on Facebook and have any interest whatsoever in skydiving, chances are you “like” the I Love Skydiving page. If not, head (down) over there and like that shiz.
Now that we’ve all done that, let’s chat about how awesome I Love Skydiving is. Andrew created this super sweet blog to share awesome (and sometimes scary) videos and photos from all kinds of air sports. BASE? We got that. Skydiving? We got that. Swooping? Yup, we got that too. And that’s not all! There is tons of amazing happening over on the website (cross posted to the Facebook page as well as the Twitter feed).
So why the shameless promotion of Andrew’s brain child? Because now, some of the sweet blurbs to go with the videos will be written by yours truly! Yes! So awesome! I am beyond stoked to help Andrew with this project, and with super awesome chicks like Melanie Curtis (of highcomms.com) and Shannon Seyb (of Icarus Canopies by NZ Aerosports), I’m pretty sure this team will be unstoppable.
So subscribe to the blog.
Like the Facebook page.
Follow on Twitter.
Or just stay tuned to my news feed. I’m sure you’ll see everything a bajillion times. Bam.
This is the post where I shamelessly promote the Skydive Elsinore pens I’m selling in order to help fund my physical therapy so I can fly again.
Right, so in December I was in a pretty sweet accident, resulting in a compression fracture in L1, and transverse/bilateral fractures in L2, L3 and L4. My lumbar vertebrae aren’t very happy with me. Fortunately, after a three day stay at the lovely “almost serious” ward at Inland Valley (check out my Yelp review for the skinny on that place), the hospital outfitted me with a super sweet turtle shell back brace for the low low price of $642.11 (after insurance knocked it down from $3,568 and change).
So back to the pens, right. I know, $1 per pen sounds absolutely ass crazy, but, when you think about it, the proceeds go to yours truly and after I rock the everliving shit out of physical therapy, then I can start jumping out of planes again.
Now, I know what you may be thinking: “Why the fuck should I buy a pen when I know that skydiving is dangerous? It’s like I’m endorsing Sydney’s crazy ass decisions.” And I get it. But I will argue this: really, you’re helping me dream again. Because when the only thing you want to do in this whole world is what you can’t do because you’re ground-bound for six months, and all you do for a living is plan ridiculously awesome events that you can’t even fully participate in… well, your happy cup starts to get bone fucking dry. And we all know how important it is to keep the happy cup full. Perhaps you’re part of a book club, and that fills up your happy cup. Or maybe you’re really bendy and you like yoga. Or maybe you rock your socks off in the kitchen on a regular basis.
Here’s what I got: I can promise you that if you ever get into a serious accident, and are struggling to find ways to get back to your passions, and you sell crazy ass pens for $1 each, even $2 each, I will buy them. Lots of them. Wanna know why? Because this shit comes full-circle.
Check it out: my boyfriend had neck surgery and was out for six months. I threw a fundraiser for him. Raised like $3,000 so he had some change to live off of while he wasn’t jumping out of airplanes. One of the gals, Missy, donated $100 for the chance to win a new rig. Then I didn’t think I was going to sell enough of the $100 tickets to raffle off the rig and I thought I’d have to refund everyone their money because I just couldn’t get enough people to buy the tickets to break even on the thing. Then she donated $100 more and said that even if we had to cancel the drawing, to keep the money. That she wanted to support the cause. And no shit, guess who won that raffle? Missy did.
Guess who was the first person to send a check for pens? Missy. She is amazing and I love her and I can’t even stand how much good karma she is putting out into this world.
I gotta give mad thanks to everyone who has already thrown down on some sweet pen action: Missy, Crystal, John, Will, Julie, Candice (FROM THE MF’ING UK PEEPS), KC, Spot, Dean, Yong, Jenny, Tom, Adrian, Sarah, Angie, James, Betty, and a handful of random tandem students that saw the ridiculous flyers and bought one – I thank you. Seriously. You guys rock my socks. And if I forgot anyone, forgive me!
So how can you help? Visit bit.ly/SweetPens. Learn a little bit about the accident, why I’m selling them, and you can clicky right there on the button. And if for some reason you don’t really want pens but you do want to contribute, just make note of that so I don’t come stalking you for your address to send the pens that you don’t want.
Can I be done with the shameless promotion now? Okay great.
*Super sweet fangirl shot of me and Trent, the first responder to my accident. He was the paramedic on the fire truck that was leaving the motorcross track and swooped over and saved my life. Okay so I wasn’t like borderline dead or anything, but he didn’t cut my gear off of me and for that, I thank him.