Relax. It’s not always a competition!

Last weekend I had the chance to go skydiving again, the second time this year (see some photos,Thanks Chris Ko for shooting with your GoPro!). Sounds great, but for a frequent skydiver, that’s a pretty desperate number. As it has been this way throughout the last 3 years, I did not really develop my free flying skills the way I hoped. It’s like with every sports or music instrument: As long as you practice frequently enough and train hard, your skills improve very fast in short time. Just let go for some weeks or a few months and you feel like a beginner again. You’ll need to train much harder to get back to your previous level.

You feel how frustrating that is? I see friends who started with me becoming the pros now. And I can’t compete.

But do I have to compete? I’ve got other challenges I like. Ones that I’m a pro in and that I can and do win. There should be things in life that are for the pure fun. For me, skydiving is one of them. I found my peace with it no longer seeing it as a competition!

What matters is to be save, though! To stay current with the jumps, to go through every safety routine frequently and to stay “one” with the gear is crucial. It is not less important to know the limits. I use to keep a little more distance and higher deployment altitude for more buffer, prefer to jump with only people I know and trust and keep the groups small (head-up +3 people, head-down +1). All that can give more comfort, pays into safety and makes it relaxed enough to make it fun!

To be honest, I’ve thought about quitting several limes. But every time I jump out of these planes with friends and enjoy free fall time, I’m so glad I did not quit that great sports!

I’m curious… What is the sports you want to reach higher goals in? Do you play an instrument that you want to focus on? Do you take your time to focus? If you can’t, how do you deal with it?

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