Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Over Fifty, Not So Nifty

I have fifty one jumps now.  Most of them still look like this:
It's usually my fault.
Of course my inner critic pitches a fit. 
I'm struggling, but I can't take the critic too seriously.   Scolding and name-calling won't make me better.
What is going to help is for me to listen to debriefings as to what went wrong... ...and then get back on that plane to try again.
Recently I was ready to board the plane, eager to redo a botched jump.   Would I get it right this time?
Then I looked toward the landing area.
And saw this:
I'd never seen so many dust devils at one time.  They were having a convention.  Or at least a flash mob.
I really wanted to get back on the plane and retry my fumbled jump...
...but it occurred to me that one of two things could happen.

Either I'd land unscathed (by luck,) and falsely conclude that scary winds were no big deal.
Then there was this possibility:

No thanks!
I scratched, but stuck around long enough to see some other jumpers come down.
That was a bit scary... 
...and a bit unnerving!
It's a good thing I scratched.  Nobody got  hurt, but there were a lot of, ah, unconventional landings...
 
...you know someone's landing went wrong when the kids at the DZ are the first to yell "beer."
I haven't mastered many skills, but at least I'm learning it's a bad idea to practice them when the wind gets weird.

6 comments:

CodeFarmer said...

And already, you execute one important skydiving skill better than some people with ten times as many jumps.

Linda Davick said...

I love these drawings! Especially the first one, and the last 3 duck expressions. The colors in the background are beautiful and wild too.

Namowal said...

CodeFarmer,
I may be a klutz, but I'm a cautious klutz.

Linda,
Thanks. The duck expression drawings were added last and, in comparison to the others, were somewhat rushed. I thought they helped with the continuity so I drew them instead of watching fireworks. :)

MikeJD said...

Outstanding, as ever - if that's not a contradiction in terms ;).

I often wish you wouldn't be so hard on yourself, but I guess if you weren't then we wouldn't be treated to so many priceless duck expressions!

I loved the drawing of the dust devil beating up the duck. I'm glad to say we very rarely get them on UK dropzones (dust devils, that is, although ducks are scarcely more common). It's been a windy, cloudy and wet 'summer' so far though... :(

I always enjoy your freefall depictions, by the way. Even though they're so simple, they really convey the perspective of that environment beautifully!

gonzalesna said...

Rock on! Regardless of how much time it takes to learn your control skills in the air, you've already locked on to the one that keeps you jumping: Safety! Keep it up. Your flying and landing skills will continue to improve, just keep your safety skills honed and compound on them.

I'm proud of you. =)

Namowal said...

MikeJD,
Thanks! Hope the weather's getting better for you this summer!

gonzalesna,
Thanks for the encouragement! I really do try to be safe, but I still catch myself doing the occasional blunder. A few weeks ago I pulled too low. Not scary-cypress-fire-low, but still in the "good luck with that, noob," territory. I was so disappointed with myself!
Then again, it gave me incentive to pull at the altitude I'd planned to pull on all the jumps that followed.