Saturday, March 09, 2013

Ground Duck

 I returned to work about five weeks after breaking my arm and leg.  I was bummed about being grounded for so long, but work kept me busy.  I probably wouldn't have gotten much jumps in anyway.

This was my plan
Work all week, visit the DZ on weekends, learn to pack, etc..  

My work project was supposed to end in March, about the same time I'd be cleared for jumping.  I figured I'd take some time off before starting the next project. Catch up on all the jumps I missed.  Maybe even spring for some coaching.  In the meantime, I'd visit the DZ every weekend and learn to pack.  (Sure, I'd taken the obligatory packing course, but I'm not convinced I can pack properly)
Here's what really happened.
The project kept me way more busy than I expected.   Evenings?  Still at work.  Weekends?  Guess where I was.  Oh well, I thought, I'll take a little break when I'm done.

Then came mid February.   My work filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.  We were for sale.  Whomever bought us had no obligation- an possibly no reason to keep us.

Well, I could still jump, right?  My inner critic was skeptical.

He had a point.  I couldn't regularly throw myself out of a plane with no income and no insurance.  Time to look for a new job.  There was just one catch- what I did for a living (VFX work*) is being phased out in the United States.  It's cheaper to have overseas artists do it.  Why should I get paid to do something if someone else can do it for a better price?  Time to switch careers.
But what could I do?  What was I good at other than my job?  Drawing pictures?  Storytelling?  Cracking jokes?   These aren't exactly marketable skills.  The inner critic chimed in again.
So I may be on the ground a bit longer than I expected.  But I'm not selling my gear.  I'm not sure what kind of job I could do, but job = jumps, and that's motivation.
Or should I jump anyway in the meantime?  Most of my non-skydiving  friends thought staying on the ground until I got the "job problem" was the right thing to do.   Some of my skydiving friends had other ideas...
*I was on the (large) team that brought home these, for example...


Anonymous said...

This is my life, too. Spent 20 years in a career that is not nonexistent in the US. Ahhh... isn't progress great? Here's to new careers and new beginnings! We will all succeed at something brand new. And I'm sure that your future is filled with jumping and flying.

Leroy said...

Keep at it, there's always a way to find money for jumping. Who know maybe you could start packing for money :)

Namowal said...

Anon- I guess that's part of 21st century living- the world changes quickly now and we have to be flexible.

Thanks. :) I'll figure out something. Maybe I'll do my after-the-project-ends jumpapallooza anyway. Was considering waiting for the job situation to clear up, but I wanna jump again, dang it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen, you HAVE to start jumping again. If you dont I will be "Jolly Baity" when i get back there in December. WE are jumping together and it wont be a coached jump so you need to have your collective shit together :P

You and I have an air date.. Dont you dare let me down.

Anonymous said...

Does it end like it begins - with our hero Namowal the duck being pulled in two different directions? Curiosity won the last battle... Whatever happens, you're great at what you do :-)

Namowal said...

Thanks Anon,
Nobody's pulled me in two, but I am getting very different advice from those who don't jump and those who do. The non jumpers warn me to stay on the ground till things "settle down" and I should be more practical, responsible, realistic etc.. With jumpers it's more like "Stop procrastinating and jump!" :)

Namowal said...

Anon "Sq", don't worry, I don't think I could stay on the ground through December. I'm a bit stir crazy as it is. :)

Anonymous said...

Here is one jumper's advice: no matter how much you are going stir crazy, do not jump unless you have health insurance that will cover skydiving injuries. Beyond that, it's your money and your choice as to what's important to you, taking into account both long and short-term goals.

Skykat108 said...

Head to the DZ even if you can't afford to jump. You know your fellow skydivers are always there for you. There's always packing that you could do

Here's to hoping you get back in the sky and remember first jump after an injury... BEER!