When I first picked up this book, I had already been skydiving four times. While I truly enjoyed the sport, I was still struggling with the fact that I was scared out of my mind before each and every jump I made. This probably sounds perfectly normal to some of you who see skydiving as a dangerous sport. To be honest, there are people who are scared out of their minds before getting on a commercial flight, even if they’ve flown hundreds of times.
Still, I had many friends who have been skydiving anywhere from a few to a few hundred times, and many of them didn’t share the same fear that I did. Most of them got over their fear of jumping after the first couple times, and now are excited each and every time they jump out of the plane.
That’s why when I saw Mental Training for Skydiving and Life on the bookstore shelf, I thought it could be just what I needed. I thought it would be the perfect tool to help me feel much more confident about skydiving. While it definitely did that, it gave me so much more that I never could have imagined simply by looking at the cover. This book, quite literally changed my life.
The book is written by John DeRosalia, who is a skydiver himself but also a true master of motivation. The people around John can’t help but become highly motivated individuals. He also has a deep and passionate understanding of the sport of skydiving, which shows through on every page of this book. I literally couldn’t tear myself away from this book and stayed up late into the night reading it. If it weren’t for the fact that I had to wake up and go into work the next morning, I think I would have read the whole thing cover to cover in just one sitting.
When I saw it in the bookstore, I was thinking it would be a book that would teach me how to get over my fear of skydiving. I was expecting to read statistics about how safe skydiving actually was, and best practices for if you get into trouble while you’re free falling. While I definitely wouldn’t be disappointed if the book had turned out to be like that, I appreciated it so much more for what it actually was.
This book is all about the power of your mind, and how to keep control over that power. This is the power that will keep you levelheaded as you look down at the ground from 12,000 feet above the earth. It is the power that will keep you from freaking out, as your mind starts playing through visions of your parachute not deploying. This book, point blank, will teach you how to think.
I don’t want to give away too much of what John has to say in the book, not because I think it would spoil it for you though. I just don’t think I could do nearly as good of a job as he has explaining it. The way he explains everything is so straightforward, I couldn’t imagine trying to take in the information contained in this book in any other way. For someone who has spent so much of his life trying to understand how his own brain works, he really has a knack for understanding how other people’s brains work as well.
The great thing about this book though, is it can be completely relevant for you even if you aren’t into skydiving. While having a working understanding of how skydiving works helps, and it will probably make you want to give skydiving a try, it isn’t essential to have ever gone skydiving before at all.
In fact, I was talking with a friend who is a professional track runner, and I told him about the things I learned in the book. The things I said really resonated with him, and he went out to go pick up the book for himself. He called me a few days later, saying he loved what they book had to say, and asked me if I wanted to go with him on his first jump.
More than that though, he said that the book’s teachings applied perfectly to him as a runner as well. All the things contained in the book helped him not only to improve his speed, but to gain control over his mind, which he told me up until then, had been his weakest muscle.
The really interesting thing about this book, is that skydiving is actually a very small part of it all. I believe he could have replaced skydiving with any other sport or activity, and it still would have a similar effect. I also believe that John chose skydiving, as it is the sport he knows best, and the one where he could relate to the readership the most closely. I can’t recommend this book enough, even if you’ve never had the desire to go skydiving before.
As for me, I’ve gotten over my fear of jumping out of airplanes, and I’ve been consistently skydiving every weekend, sometimes doing several jumps per day. I’ve also improved in many other areas of my life. My performance at work has gone up, I’m training harder at the gym, and my relationship with my family is better than I can ever remember it being.
It’s kind of hard for me to believe sometimes that I learned all of this from a skydiving book. I picked it up looking for a little boost to help me conquer my fears and I got so much more in return. I never could have imagined when I first saw this book on the shelf that it would be able to help me so much beyond just skydiving. I feel like I owe a lot of my current success to the author and recommend the book to everyone I know.