The Up Sides to Skydiving

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So if you’re an active skydiver, none of this will be particularly new to you. You’ve felt some if not all of these effects more times that you can actually count, but… you might not have broken them down quite like this; and if you’re looking into becoming a jumper, these are some of the things you may have never thought of:

1. Fear

 Wait, fear is an upside?  Believe it or not, it is! “Well of course” you say, “Obviously jumping out of an airplane is full of fear, right?” Funny enough, the answer isn’t just a simple yes or no. Truthfully, people view fear in many different ways, and there really isn’t any way to know how you’ll react to a given situation until you’re there, but people tend to get things a bit confused when it comes to fear, and the ever-dreaded panic. Panic is not fear. Panic is never a good thing. It robs you of your ability to deal with, well pretty much everything, and it’s something we skydivers train very hard to avoid. Fear on the other hand keeps us sharp, detail oriented, on the lookout for any potential dangers to us and those around us, and if you can believe it, even dramatically increases our ability to enjoy. Having dealt with a fearful situation confidently and even enjoyed yourself doing it can be an incredibly empowering experience. Fear in skydiving, and how we learn to master it also helps us in our everyday lives, allowing us to deal with stressful and sometimes dangerous situations with a level of calm and clear headedness many don’t have.

2. Happy Juices

Skydiving, along with most “extreme sports” tends to put its athletes into situations that most consider high stress, but unlike the stresses of day-to-day life, some of these have huge benefits! During activities like skydiving, your body releases what are sometimes known as “Happy” chemicals called Endorphins, Adrenalin and Dopamine. They are released naturally by your body from your central nervous system and are pumped into you while jumping, exercising, eating, sex, etc… Of course and especially in the beginning of your skydiving career, Adrenalin plays a big part in the buzz you may have once the nylon is on the grass (Adrenalin tends to fade into the background pretty quickly as you progress in your skydiving career). Top that all off with a touch of dopamine and you’ll understand why the bonfire after an incredible day of jumping cab be such a warm, welcoming, and relaxing place to be.  Even the next day, things that may have once had you on edge just seem to have the volume turned down on them a bit, and life is just a little easier to navigate.

Honestly, these are just a couple tangible examples of the benefits to skydiving, but the reality of it is so much more. The bonds formed with other jumpers, the feeling of accomplishment, the ability to see the world in a different light… If you ask a hundred different skydivers what the best part about skydiving is, you’re likely to get a hundred different answers, yet If you ask those same hundred jumpers “Why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?” we’re willing to bet most of them will say “Because they let me!”



Douglas Smith is CEO/President, and Guest Relations Associate at Chicagoland Skydiving Center. He has owned and operated the business since 2000. He has been skydiving since 1994, and in addition to leading the CSC Team, is currently an instructor, videographer and pilot for CSC.