So, like a year (give or take a couple days) ago, I had my alarm set for 8:05 to meet the likes of Ben Smithee and his Spych crew in the lobby at the Hilton in Austin. I woke up, having been innocently overserved at the Brazen Careerist meetup, at Jason Falls’ party, and an unneccesary nightcap at the Hilton lobby bar before bed. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to jumping out of a plane.
I mean, I was, but I wasn’t. I was feeling like roadkill, looking almost as bad, and in desperate need of a McMuffin and a Gatorade.
Some three hours later, I had no idea how much my life would change. No. Earthly. Idea.
That day, I boarded a SkyTeam Aviation aircraft, a PAC 750XL, built for skydiving, which was chasing the sunshine in Texas while its home dropzone, Chicagoland Skydiving Center, was closed up for the winter season. That day, I got back from the jump and got on Facebook and all of my fellow jumpers had “liked” PROskydiving on Facebook. I remember seeing that logo somewhere, but couldn’t put my finger on it.
We all know that jump changed my life.
Fast forward two months to Memorial Day weekend. I had selected CSC to do another tandem before starting the AFF (accelerated freefall) program to get my A-License. I met Doug, the owner of CSC, and when I had mentioned that I did my tandem at Skydive Temple, he said “oh, then you jumped out of my other plane.”
So let me recap: I went to Austin for SXSW, jumped out of a CSC plane, and then proceeded to get my A-License at CSC, doing several of my jumps out of that same aircraft that I jumped out of at Skydive Temple. Now, CSC is my first client, with which I’ll be working full-time this season, as I start to explore the world outside of Corporate America and start consulting on my own.
Today and tomorrow, I’m taking a handful of fellow SXSW attendees to Skydive Temple to make their first skydive. I’m beyond excited to introduce some new friends to the sport and, hopefully, keep a few more people jumping and have more friends to jump with in the future.
I’m feeling REALLY good about where I’m at in this journey so far.
If you’re in town for SXSW, I’d love to see you. If you’re in town and want to jump out of a plane – we have another group going tomorrow. Let me know.