No-one decides that they want to try sky diving then books a seat on a plane for the following weekend.
Learning and experiencing sky diving is a process. The very idea seems extremely scary to most people. The fear and trepidation just before jumping out of a plane is something that is almost indescribable.
The closest parallel would be something like bungee jumping or abseiling, but even these 2 extreme sports pale in comparison to free falling. With bungee jumping or abseiling, you are securely attached to something, the safety ropes and clips are all in place.
If you were to close your eyes and jump, and do nothing else then you will be OK. The same applies for mountain climbing (as long as your harnesses are well secured of course.)
A different challenge…
With sky diving there is the perfectly rational fear that you might freeze, or pass out through excitement. This is what makes sky diving more of a psychological challenge.
It is also why sky diving is one of the few ULTIMATE challenges in life. Our excitement and satisfaction in life is often related to the level of challenge or difficulty. The euphoric feelings after your first jump are almost impossible to replicate in other activities.
So, how do you go from having the idea of jumping out of a plane, to actually doing it? There is a process involved, that has no time limit, you move at your own pace. If you have already tried scuba diving, racing car driving, and bull fighting…
A sky dive might just be the next crazy thing on your list…
Why not bridge the mental gap by parasailing?
But if you are like most people, you will want to observe a process. You will want to learn everything that you need to know. You will want to use mental preparation techniques such as visualization.
One of the best ways to prepare to sky dive is by doing similar things that are easier to tackle. Apart from the previous examples of bungee jumping and abseiling, a good sport to try is para sailing.
You can do this at the beach, you will experience wearing the harness and parachute, you will feel the weightless exhilaration, you will test your fear of heights or fear of danger.
But the chances of freaking out are much lower.
You start at ground level as the speedboat pulls away, then you swoop up to a few hundred meters above the ocean. In the back of your mind you know that:
- You are not that high up.
- You are over water not hard ground.
- The boat will gradually slow down and your decent will be relatively tame.
You will experience similar things to a sky dive, but you will feel much safer. When you combine these alternative extreme sports, with knowledge and a good instructor, the though of your first sky dive gradually becomes more real, more achievable.
The best thing is that you can experiment, have fun, and not end up bottling it and wasting (+/-)$1500 that you gave already paid when the time comes for you to jump out of a plane.