The Beginning of the End of My Flourishing Career – Making Out.
Originally posted in the May issue of Blue Skies Magazine.
Hello lovelies, nice to see you again. In my first column, we had a little mishap with my byline. I’m Sydney Owen, not Amanda Owens. But it’s cool, we got it all corrected all fancy-like and awesome and we’re fine. Then, as all good little skydivers that are super busy tend to do, I got off by a month on the editorial calendar and had nothing to give you in March. So, last month we talked about my first chop, which was actually on jump 13, not 15, but whatever. Maybe with this issue I’ll get it right. Fingers crossed.
A quick recap: until now, I’ve graduated AFF, done some coaching jumps, had a cutaway, and finished up the jumps for my A-License. Which brings me to jump number 25. My A-License jump. The jump that switched and changed things pretty quickly for my love life.
Yes, I said it. I’ll feed you, baby birds.
First of all, as a chick at a dropzone, I’m going to go ahead and throw it out there – life is pretty good, and for a number of reasons. As a single chick – there is a TON of potential. A flood gate of hot skydiver dudes. As an infant skydiver, I never have a problem finding someone to jump with. I fall like a freakin’ anvil slash meatball, I’m still figuring out how to dock and I’m a rookie canopy pilot, but I never ever have an issue finding someone to jump with. Coaches for my last handful of jumps? Not a worry in the world. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be supermodel-hot and skydiving – that’s gotta be annoying.
So that part is great, but the best part about my life at the DZ? Nobody cares about how many people read my blog, how many followers I have on Twitter, none of that. In my professional world, these things are topics of conversation. I’m constantly networking, going to events like Social Media Club (excuse me while I push my glasses back up my nerdy nose) and keeping an eye out for that next superstar we should add to our team at the agency.
In short, I can be me. Sydney, unfiltered. I don’t have to censor my sailor mouth, in fact, it has actually helped me get a friend or two here. What you see is what you get: I’m no bullshit, I don’t wear makeup (hello we’re SKYDIVING), and I drink beers with the boys. The dropzone is my happy place and I can actually be me and not worry about who’s watching. I’m like this at home with my roommates and one of which has said on numerous occasions: “it’s a wonder you’re still single.”
Apparently this version of Sydney isn’t for everyone – but she seems to be fitting in juuuust fine at the dropzone.
One of my favorite parts of being a new skydiver are the stories that instructors and fun jumpers openly share. One night at the local watering hole, I was shooting the shit with one of our seasoned tandem instructors. The guy is a total stud and is well-versed in the art (and misfortune) of dropzone dating. I was asking about who was single, who was wasn’t, trying to get the scoop on who’s who and what’s what. This tandem instructor was kind enough to make me a list. A list of who I could sleep with, who I could have a relationship with, and who was totally off-limits. I kept it in my wallet and it served me well whenever I had a skydiving cutie catch my eye.
Outside of the dropzone, however, is a different story. I went on a few first dates after I started skydiving and they never made it to the second date thing. Boys that don’t skydive seem to be afraid of girls who do. Which is fine, I get it. I have bigger balls than you, it’s okay. One of the old-timers at CSC told me that I will never date a whuffo again, as most of them have issues with the whole “I’m dating a chick who throws herself out of planes for fun” thing. Plus, I’m not sure they would be okay with the “I’ll date you on the weekdays” plan, since I wouldn’t be anywhere except the dropzone on the weekends.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to play that game for long.
Let’s get back to the love life part, shall we?
Now, if you don’t know already, Dean (aka Fuckin’ Pilot) wrote last summer about how dropzone romances typically play out and by default, I shouldn’t even be writing this column now. According to Dean, and trust me, he knows, most students that get all gaga for their instructors end up quitting the sport, sleeping with the entire dropzone, or something inbetween. Basically, as Dean so politely put, these relationships rarely work out.
In all of my newbie glory, I had recently had confessed to my new dropzone BFF that I had a big fat crush on one of my instructors. She warned me that “everyone falls in love with their instructors” and that we all have this hero complex when we’re new in the sport. So I was treading lightly with this whole thing. The last thing I wanted was some awkward situation at this dropzone, because, like I said, this is my happy place. I come out on the weekends and escape my crazy existence in Corporate America and dream of the day that I can be part of this world all the time.
So you can imagine my surprise (and by surprise I mean jumping up and down and squealing in my head) when said instructor gave me a big fat kiss in freefall on my 25th jump. I landed and couldn’t really process what happened.
My BFF said “there’s a lot of kissing in this sport” and I was then educated about the kiss-pass in skydiving. I tried to not get my hopes up but my mind was all over the place.
He kissed me again at the bonfire that night.
And he kissed me again the following weekend.
I’m thinking to myself: I could get used to this.
So, what happens next? More on that later, I have my instructor to make out with. ;)