How Skydiving Changed My Life - United States Parachute Association
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Saturday, July 13, 2024

David Garvin | B-32172

David Garvin | B-32172
Monday, January 8, 2018

I hit 50 alone and depressed. My life was not what I expected or wanted. There were some big issues, and I realized I needed to step outside my comfort zone. As someone who always wanted a foot on the ground and needed to know where the next foot went, I thought a skydive might shake up my world. And it certainly did!

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Anastasia Uglova | A-84045 | Rwanda

Anastasia Uglova | A-84045 | Rwanda
Friday, December 1, 2017

“What on Earth—or in the sky—was I doing?” I asked, staring at RwandAir’s confirmation email for my flight to the Kenyan coast to begin AFF. Instead of the excitement that accompanies a trip to white-sand beaches and warm waters, I felt trepidation. Fear.

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Paul Herrick | D-6835 | Jupiter, Florida

Paul Herrick | D-6835 | Jupiter, Florida
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

In 1962, on a demo for a company picnic—a water jump in Palm Beach, Florida—I was nearly arrested by the Secret Service for "trying to assassinate President Kennedy." As an aeronautical engineer at Area 51, I volunteered to test eject from the Mach-3 SR-71 Blackbird spy plane in June of 1964. (Lockheed, the Air Force and the CIA turned down my offer.) My crop-duster tow plane caught fire and was out of control and going down in flames when I bailed out at 700 feet and landed in a tree next to the forest fire started by my crashed airplane.

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Conor Murphy | B-46253 | Albany, California

Conor Murphy | B-46253 | Albany, California
Sunday, October 1, 2017

There’s a moment that happens in skydiving where my mind calms and the only thing that exists for me is the present moment. I always have some nerves as I climb to altitude. The objects of my anxiety run the gamut from second-guessing gear checks and dive flows to unfounded fears of disappointing strangers.

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Vicki Dillon | B-24860 | Menands, New York

Vicki Dillon | B-24860 | Menands, New York
Friday, September 1, 2017

I frequently said that for my 50th birthday, I wanted to make a skydive. Just before my 48th birthday, my son, who had recently achieved his A license, said, “Mom, don’t wait. You are going to love it.” A few weeks later I took my first jump and knew I was going to do more.

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