I am sorry. It has been 526 days since I woke up in the hospital absolutely convinced of the story I have told.
Being apprised of my condition, it was most logical that my brain was wrong. Shaggio Rodriguez is a great guy and I have more stories I could tell to attempt to prove that fact too (I don’t think this crowd needs convincing there.)
I told my son the moment he and I first had an empty room- I already knew of the media attention and did not want to cause a public misinformation event. I had to start one by one with the people that knew, loved, and would trust me. So that we (skydivers) could solve this problem internally, positively, and safely.
One of the people that love me the most in this world, my own son, I could not convince him that a crime had occurred. “Dad, you turned low.” I was not mentally competent to win this argument with my own son and he did not contest the fact Shag was there and coached, merely that I turned low.
And I love his simple logic, I would accept nothing less of my own star student after 300 career aff jumps, I had just done his full progression… I just couldn’t make his check dive.
Deducting from that, I concluded his conclusion was most likely correct, Occam’s Razor. It is so simple. I did turn low. Blame is human and I have a TBI. Thinking still hurts, so I dropped the conversation and did not bring it up again.
I believe bringing it up without having a positive goal and the ability to achieve it would only harm the community, no matter how ‘in-house’ I kept it. So, by the time Justin arrived, I did not repeat the first part of my story.
I at this moment, remain entirely even more convinced of something that I have not yet logically proven to myself, as I cannot yet overcome the positive premise of the tbi or the propensity of the accusation itself.
If the truth I hold is wrong, I chose to release it here instead of 17 months ago on the world news (I was on MSN World News,) where my error would have caused maximum harm and minimal gain to the skydiving community I love (even if I’ve met so few of you.)
This story has been my recovery, my anger, my tears, my motivation, my desire to live and to mentally get to the point that I could have this argument. I felt it was my right to have a chance to say my piece, yet only if I carefully chose my audience.
My story is delusional and logically inconclusive. I am most likely wrong. I want to apologize to Shaggio for disparaging his good name (though I’ve heard that’s a hard thing for a Rodriguez brother to pull off.)
I do not want to be that student who f*cks up and leaves skydiving with a lifetime chip on my shoulder. So what does the student do? Tell their story, get debriefed. Read the log, come back when they’re ready to try another jump.
I am hoping this last week will help me get past this in my head, so that I can regain a normal life again. I love to skydive and my body is now ready, I’m just waiting for my brain to calm, and to find a dropzone that will still have me.
I’d like to remind everyone, you did not see this on MSNBC. I put my story in the most fictional place in the world and I love all of you fucking skydivers that played your part.
- Always be prepared to PLF.
- A flat 270 is a real thing. You should be able to perform any degree turn using any of your inputs, causing varying levels of roll/yaw/pitch to create different decent rates, from this is your repertoire of skills. These are the tools in your toolbox.
- I am most likely wrong about everything I say, double-checking everything with the SIM and your local instructors.
- If anyone has a pic of… you know… please send.
I am done now.