Have you ever dreamed of making history? Of course, you have!
For precisely that reason, the immense personal (and community!) accomplishment of setting a World Record Skydive has very little equal in the sport of skydiving. World Record stories are compelling examples of skydivers who have pushed their athletic limits and collectively created beautiful moments in the sport. Examples about: for instance, this 164-person formation of jumpers head-down in the skies over Chicagoland to this perfectly insane 400-way that was pulled off in Thailand in 2006 to this high-flying all-female record jump set in Arizona. As is utterly evident in the videos, these feats of skydiving require incredible resolve, resilience, concentration and agility. And mad skydiving skills, of course.
If you're squaring up to the idea of putting yourself on the roster for a record, you've come to the right place. Skydivers from all over the world come to Jumptown to tune in and tune up for their biggest skydiving challenges. You'd better believe that we're more than ready to help you meet yours! Here are the strongest strategies to do so, compliments of the athletes in our community who have done the big records and come back to share the wealth of their experience.
All Women's Vertical Sequential Skydiving World Record - Photo by: Andy Farrington of Red Bull
Your first step is to choose a record to shoot for and make a strong commitment to yourself. Steel yourself: This is going to be a challenging journey! This will be an investment of time, resources, and sacrifice, so you must pledge to yourself not to quit. Keep the mantra low investment, low reward, high investment, high reward.
Currency is only the beginning. In order to make the inevitable cut, you'll need to train harder than the fun-jumpers around you. Much harder, in fact. To make it on the biggest, baddest records, you'll need to show up at the dropzone like it's your second job. Go to as many training camps in the record's discipline as you can manage. Travel if you have to.
It's worth noting that there's an inherent bonus here: appearing ready-to-work at training camps with a great attitude will also get you on the radar of the people who organize the records-as (hot insider tip) they're generally the skydivers who are organizing the camps.
3. Get skydiving coaching (and mentoring, too).
The strongest skydivers reach out for coaching as often as possible and maintain strong relationships with savvy, skilled mentors. This helps to shift your focus constantly back to where it needs to be-and keep you flexible to input--which are the two most major "superhero skills"
you need to get that invite and nail that record. To get there, you're gonna need an experienced skydiver on your side who can help to guide the process.
This is hard work, yo. With this busy a schedule, burnout is a reality. To be smart about avoiding it (and dodging the spitballs of the dreaded Itsnotworthitwhydontchajustquit monster), make space in your life for ease: for fun jumps; for playtime in the wind tunnel; for yoga; for spontaneous sunset frisbee. Watch what you eat and drink, too--many a dream has been felled by stress-motivated food and drink choices that end up poisoning your best, most motivated self.
Ask anybody: To go for a record is to ride a gnarly emotional roller coaster. You'll be required to demonstrate downright superhuman endurance and perseverance. You may perform the exact same skydive over and over again and you'd better do it perfectly, god help you. You may get called out. You may wake up sick on the day of the first attempt. In any case, you can rest assured that no record is a cinch. As you're training, train your good attitude, because it will certainly determine your outcome.
Going for a world record might be the original autotelic activity that all other autotelic activities aspire to be. In other words: It doesn't have to be fun to be fun. As this intense process pushes your envelope, remember-the training; the hard work; the skill-building; the cross-training-this is what you came for. Relish it every step of the way. And when you make history, you'll be able to pass on what you've learned to the next wave.
Maybe you've never been on a skydive, if not, then go on your first skydive with Jumptown! Then it may not be long before you are on a world record skydive!