Skydive 13 & 14

[YouTube Video](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN37SynENJw):

It was a great day out this weekend. Spring is definitely in the air and I was too. Soon after reaching the [Skydive Carolina](http://skydivecarolina.com) dropzone I was on a load to the heavens. As I quickly got my gear, inspected it, and sat on the plane ride in anticipation I reflected on how far I’ve come since last October. My nervous energy is gone, but I still get the last moments anticipation rush of less oxygen and adrenaline. A red light glows by the exit door, and we all grin, it flashes green, the door slides open, the spot is checked, and the teams and low openers jump out with glee. I generally float near the front of the plane (one of the last out), there are no tandems on my loads today just wingsuits and a few other AFF graduates pulling between 4k & 5k. I exited for my 13th jump and worked on many skill-sets Pete my AFF instructor, now coach, has asked me to work on. Cupping air, tracking, more granular leg control. 59 seconds goes by quick and yet slow. Yes, there is dualism present. For the last 3k feet I watched the ground and saw the beginnings of ground rush, when everything pops into realism like popcorn. Pulling at 4,000 ft my trusty student 260 opened on heading and I crabbed along the end of one of the runways till about 1k when I went into final.

For number 14 I got to downsize to a 230 canopy. Exiting the plane I tried to mimic some of our free/sit fliers in a sitting position. It lasted all of 2 seconds before I turned it into a flip and went back to belly down. I think I’ll stick with relative work for now, then work on other disciplines–but it’s fun to try. This jump turned a little sour when a loose strap from my helmet began to beat me in the cheek and neck. You don’t recognize the cold in the air usually, but as my strap beat on me it hurt, and that hurt led me to think of how cold it was because the pain was biting. That distraction really blew my ability to stay focused. Every time I’d capture the zone to do another exercise I’d inevitably be drawn back into this minor but highly annoying issue. I ended up at about 7k just waiting for pull time (5k) and working on slowing my descent due to frustration. Our new packer on the ground and AFF friend Allen packed my 230 and it opened like it should and on heading. I’ll tell you what though, jumping something new makes time slow down even further during that opening process. I would have ran my landing off had it not been for a hole I stepped into as I left the green short grass for thicker bramble. My down-scope angle was a bit off so I misjudged where the final spot would be of my landing. I think it’s to be expected when you change canopy sizes. Don’t let my sourness fool you, I had a good jump, it taught me about distraction and there are some great lessons there I might share on [Nuance Labs](http://blog.nuancelabs.com) soon.

Upcoming Rig Design
After much hounding for a would be [deal](http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2684404 “DropZone.com Forum Postings”) I decided it was time to lock down my rig. I worked with Gus of [Rigging Solutions](http://www.riggingsolutions.us), our local Master Rigger & shop owner. Between his expertise and Pete we finalized my order of a Performance Designs [Saber2](http://www.performancedesigns.com/sabre2.asp), a PD Reserve 218, and a [Wings](http://www.skydivewings.com/) container with a number of healthy, safe, and comfort options.

All in all a wonderful day. I’ve committed to the sport for a while by my purchase and Robin is getting into the swing by signing up to work at the DZ in manifest over the summer. Can’t beat that kind of support! If your in the area come on down and just watch. Just being in a spot where so many people are having such high-energy fun is exhilarating.

Fun statistic, I’ve currently fallen about 20 miles in about 9 minutes. 😛

-a

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