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This article is part of the [In Your Words] series. These are real stories, written by real people, who have made a tandem skydive at Chicagoland Skydiving Center. Our goal is to shine light on the many reasons people choose to jump out of perfectly good airplanes. Want to share your story? Email us!

It was 16 years ago, but it still feels like yesterday. All I know is I need to do it more. 

This article is part of the [In Your Words] series. These are real stories, written by real people, who have made a tandem skydive at Chicagoland Skydiving Center. Our goal is to shine light on the many reasons people choose to jump out of perfectly good airplanes. Want to share your story? Email us!

Growing up, my dad always talked about how he was taking each of his kids skydiving when they turned eighteen. He was so excited to share this extraordinary experience with the people he loved most. Unfortunately, my siblings and I didn’t grow up quick enough to have that experience with him. After battling cancer for several years, my dad passed away in 2013.

This article is part of the [In Your Words] series. These are real stories, written by real people, who have made a tandem skydive at Chicagoland Skydiving Center. Our goal is to shine light on the many reasons people choose to jump out of perfectly good airplanes. Want to share your story? Email us!

I made my first skydive in August of 2014. It all started with a Facebook post mentioning a contest. My local news station was asking viewers to submit a video about why you wanted to win a skydiving experience. I didn’t even hesitate, and my video was uploaded within 5 minutes of seeing that post. My reason? It was on my bucket list. That, and a tumor began taking my vision when I was 13 years old. I wasn't about to miss a chance to get such a unique view of the world.

If you live near any large city, you are probably within driving distance of multiple places to skydive. The good thing about that - you have options! The bad thing - lots of competition means some of those companies may resort to rather shady sales tactics to capture your dollars.

Some of the tandem skydiving marketing gimmicks out there are outright rip-offs. They take advantage of the typical first-time skydiver’s lack of knowledge about the sport.

Skydiving operators throughout the country are concerned about the decreasing price trend for tandem skydives. Many point to the prominence of daily deal websites for this decline. Groupon is the most popular in this category, and many dropzones rely on it as their core marketing strategy these days. It's a problem, pushing our industry to circle the drain and price ourselves out of business.

How did we get here? Why can't we break the cycle? Well, I may have started this mess, and I'm truly sorry. 

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