Something that has always amazed me about skydivers is the eclectic background we all come from. When you think of a typical “skydiver”, what comes to mind? Is it a long-haired, probably unemployed bum who lives in a tent on an airport, is unmarried without children, jumps 7 days a week without any of the typical responsibilities of life, and says things like (and please, use your best California surfer voice here) “whoa, that skydive was radical, man!”? While in some instances this might be the case, movies such as Point Break and Drop Zone have created a stereotype that in this day and age couldn’t be further from the truth.
At Virginia Skydiving Center alone, our licensed skydivers and staff members include: active and veteran military members from all branches; government employees; a dean at a college; a naval engineer; building construction contractors; commercial truck drivers; police officers; doctors; lawyers; college students; a chemical engineer; married; single; divorced; have families with children (and even grandchildren!); male; female; black; white; Hispanic; Asian; straight; gay…in other words, we are all just “normal” people, a perfect random sample (for you statisticians out there) of society who have come together on weekends to share in our unified passion: skydiving. We are a group of individuals who, in all other circumstances, would probably never associate with one another. But because of this special bond we share, we have created lifelong friendships that don’t differentiate between status in society or what someone looks like.
Our skydiving students are no different. One of my favorite parts about being an instructor is learning about where my student is from, and what he or she does when they’re “not jumping out of airplanes.” As you probably guessed by now, the list is just as diverse. So if you don’t have long hair and speak in Californian colloquialisms (although if you do, then more power to you!), don’t be shy! We’d love for you to jump with us. I think you’ll be surprised at just how normal a skydiver can be.