Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crash 'n' Bash

I'm at  seventy two jumps now.  
It's fun...
...but this was getting  old:
So many crash landings!
My inner critic wasn't pleased.
What was wrong?  I had plenty of jumps.  I'd even taken a canopy course.  Why so many crashes?
Maybe it's a mental thing, I thought.  Maybe if calm down and act as if I know what to do, I'll land correctly.
On my next final approach I was Superduck.
  Superduck knew how it was done.  Calm down, eyes on the horizon, flare half way at ten feet, plane out, flare all the wa-
That was the end of Superduck.
My inner critic had my rap sheet ready:
 What's with all the screw ups?  These were all things I knew I shouldn't be doing, yet they kept happening.
Maybe I didn't deserve my A license after all?  Did they revoke these things?
Inner Critic was also displeased with my rides to altitude.
Now Inner Critic had crossed the line.  Time for some backtalk.
As for the crash landings, some coaches suggest I try a smaller canopy.  Perhaps the 210 was too big for me.  I rented a 190.
As soon as the chute opened, I practiced my flare.  Half way, all the way... hey....  Something was wonky.
The eye hole section of the steering lines was acting like a speed bump.  Each time I pulled down, they'd get stuck in the slider grommets and it took a tooth-pulling tug to get them through.  I practiced over and over:
Half brakes, tug, tug tug... full brakes.
The brakes were sloppy, yet, the landings were  gentle.  Even the crash landings. 
I assumed the problem was my fault.  Maybe I wasn't strong enough .  Maybe there was some subtle trick to a good flare that I was missing (never mind that this had never been a problem before).  Other jumpers gave me suggestions.  I practiced different techniques up high, but the blankety blank thing didn't cooperate.  It was only much later that I figured out that the problem wasn't me.


Sally said...

So funny to read- great poses- maybe not so funny to experience!

Namowal said...

Thanks, Sally!
Trivia tidbit: The panel where the critic is pointing to the list of problems was originally drawn the opposite way (mirror image). Then I noticed it was a continuity problem because the critic was on the left in the following panels. So I flipped it (except for the writing).

Linda Davick said...

Love the drawings of the inner critic especially. (And love the story.)

Namowal said...

Thank's Linda.
The Inner Critic ins't my friend, but she is fun to draw.