Be afraid of not to be afraidFor someone who has never jumped, the parachute society may look like a bunch of screw balls without any feelings. They seem to be adrenaline and highest emotion seekers because they lack such sensations in their lives. After all this is partially true, of course. Some jumpers have a kind of wooden brains, unfortunately often accompanied by total lack of imagination.
In my opinion, a large group of skydivers has pushed forward limits of sensitivity and needs strong incentives to feel alive. But amongst those madmen there are some vulnerable people who could as well find something for themselves in this world of extreme emotions.
Skydiverís world fears and anxieties are a combination of imagination that continually brings ideas like "what if" with lack of honest answers, disbelieve in ones abilities or lack of conviction about oneís own luck.
It is hopeless to count on help
The simplest rescue plan would be to confront a particular concern with someoneís elseís way of doing it at a similar stage of training, gender, age, etc. This ďlifebuoyĒ could be a way to add energy to the next jump and break the virus tormenting the brain of the jumper.
However, it's not that easy to admit to your fears within the society which is all cool and WOW. Where everyone seems to be so mentally resistant that any manifestation of normal human reactions could be stigmatized and deliver even worse feeling - the feeling of shame.
So in this game of string controlled puppets, there are those who comply splendidly, they can swagger like a bunch of peacocks and masturbate with their skydiving achievements, equipment, clothes or gadgets. But there are also those who canít cope. Their problem lies not within the jumps as they have become very accessible. One doesnít need to have any unusual psychomotor predispositions, doesnít need to be a candidate for a commando. One can just jump. But they cannot cope with emotional alienation on the battlefield of metahumans. They do not find similar souls, because everyone hides themselves under the same mask.
There is no space for errors in the parachuting world. But there is no space in the sense that no one will admit it. At most others will point out this error, most likely in a funny way. In the world of parachuting there is also no space to show sensitivity. But what is the worst for safety and development - there is no place to show fear. However if there is no fear then there is no solution to it.
Sensitive ones often quitSo, those who donít fit in quit every year. Perhaps those with the best perspectives Ė the ones with imagination. Fears are normal symptoms, most do jump to challenge them after all . To stand face to face with fear, to feel the extreme emotions and joy of going beyond unknown limits.
However, after completing the basic course, there is no place for anxiety anymore. Moreover, there is nobody interested in this phenomenon either. The season is too short and there is not enough qualified staff. Finally there is not enough people who have the courage to admit their fears. And such a behavior can be considered a feat in this theater. To expose your soft spot in preparedness for shame because something does not fit.
It is easier to abandon jumping. With excuse of lack of cash, with excuse of a new hobby. How many times there are hidden natural fears behind those excuses? A virus that grows up to the size of a giant black soap bubble concealing all the pleasure of a jump.
In my opinion, very often, especially at the beginning stage of the skydiverís career we are dealing with such a phenomenon.
It is bad. It's bad that people with fears quit, leaving behind those who are also afraid but they are even more afraid to admit it, and in a couple of seasons they will be cruel to those who show anxiety. It's bad that those without imagination stay at a higher concentration forming the pattern for the next generation of jumpers. The theater is becoming more and more flashy, snobbish and empty inside. Jumps become more and more sophisticated and technically wonderful but there is no fulfilling emotion in the background. There is no breath.
The viruses have to be fought.
Sweeping the viruses away is a very interesting activity and I like it. Very interesting individuals get to me, not necessarily for AFF course, sometimes after the AFF. Maybe subconsciously they are looking for someone who will help them solve or at least understand the problem.
Upon completion of the AFF training, the jumper is exposed to a very serious test. The longer he does not jump, the harder it is to get back for him. Fear of the jump, sometimes even shown on sweaty hands, is sometimes greater than before the first time. The first time everything is unknown. After the course it's hard to call it that way.
It is half bad if the jumper knows that he has to refresh both knowledge and control of the other skills. The presence of an AFF instructor is often reassuring but at the same time certainly noticeable by other former students. Voluntary asking the instructor for the presence during the jump will certainly not go unnoticed on the scene of hard players. It may be miserable. But it will be safe and comfortable.
So if you are wondering why it is you who has fears, the answer is: thatís the wrong question! Wrong, because not only you have fears. Everyone has their own, taken from different shelves. Everybody tries to defeat their troubles and almost everyone is ashamed to share their thoughts.
- It's perfectly right to have concerns - it's a sign that you have an imagination.
- It's perfectly right that after a long break you hesitate to jump.
- It is absolutely not right that there is no one to talk to about it.
Translation Andrzej Przygodzki