Yeah, I know it’s not the first time you’ve heard that word, but maybe we can think about it for a minute. To most people, winter is simply the season after Autumn and before Spring. Some people love it (those crazy snowmobilers), most people tolerate it, some people move to avoid it! Generally speaking, Skydivers, we despise it.

Winter is more than a season, it’s more than bad weather and snow shovels. It’s the long void between one great season at the dropzone and the next. It represents many months of seeing good friends less and your family more. No more long summer nights discussing the days successes and failures or cold spring mornings waiting around for enough skydivers to make a load. No more quietly sitting back and watching the new Tandem students nervously pace around as they wait for their ticket to be called.

I have come to believe, that “Winter”, to a skydiver, is more than just the season of winter from December through March. Winter and all it’s cold, dark, and lonely glory; can be found nearly anytime of the year just where you would expect it – far away from the dropzone. See for yourself.. stop skydiving from July til September, trust me – you’ll start feeling Winter while it’s still hot enough to sweat.

In my few years around, I’ve seen people come and go from the sport, some jump for a year or two, then take up hang gliding or rock climbing instead, they merely prefer spend there “Summer” elsewhere. But sometimes others are forced to take time away from the sport. It’s easy for the weather, career, family, kids, life or a new wife to step in the way. Thats Winter. An unmovable object, keeping you from the things you love.

Luckily, no matter how it appears from the depths of it, Winter is a temporary object. It can fade away slowly for months or years, or even give you few weekend breaks before it suddenly ends one day. It can last one season, or it could be a twenty year stretch.

When a long and slow winter finally begins to wane, it’s good to know the sport you love is still there. When you start hearing the birds chirp, know that you will fly with them soon. Winter does end, Spring will come, just close your eyes and smell the jet fuel. You know when you get back to the dropzone, your friends will be waiting for you, as if you just took too long to pack; no hurry, there’s always room for one more on the next load. Once Winter ends, it’s as if it never even happened.

It’s been a long, long winter. But it’s almost over now.

I’ll be skydiving tomorrow 🙂


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