In 2009, just after the Pulse canopy came onto the market, I was one of the early adopters of the new canopy. A couple of months later, I got a call from a friend who (at the time) worked for Performance Designs. Let’s call him Karl, mostly because that’s his name. He said something along these lines… “Hey, Krisanne, we’re putting together a new campaign for the Pulse, based more on the target market. In the past, we’ve featured world champs like Solly Williams, but we want to go in a different direction and feature the average weekend skydiver. And we’re hoping you’d like to be in the campaign.”
“Are you calling me AVERAGE!?!?!?”
Yeah, okay, I can own that! And I did participate in the campaign, the ad appeared in Parachutist a couple of times, it was great fun, and gave me a little more of that 15 minutes of fame I’d never really craved. So here we are, a few years later, and the Blue Skies Mag crew asks me to do a column from the perspective of an average weekend skydiver. Again with the average thing! That’s cool, I can, and do, totally OWN my averageness. I love to jump with Airspeed, but I’ve got no aspirations to join the team. I enjoy jumping with and helping new jumpers, but I wouldn’t expect anyone to pay me for doing that… I’m just someone with moderately more experience and skills who can give back some of what many more experienced jumpers have given me (and continue to give me).
I am, and probably always will be, a weekend and vacation jumper. In just under 10 years I sit at just over 1300 jumps, so I keep at it, but I don’t pound out 1000 a year either. I’m extremely fortunate to have a day job that pays me well, provides me with the insurance I need in case I break myself skydiving or otherwise, and has a generous and flexible vacation policy that allows me to skydive about as much as I want to (and as my middle-aged body can handle).
Like the overwhelming majority of skydivers, my goals are pretty modest… I want to be a better skydiver and continue learning and improving. I’d like to keep doing this for as long as I enjoy it. I want to be the safest skydiver I can be – I don’t like pain, I’m a lousy patient, and I certainly don’t want to fuck up someone else’s life through my mistakes. I want to throw myself into my first “for real” 4-way team this year, and laugh and grow and improve with my friends on that team (expect to hear a lot about that team in the upcoming months as I’m already obsessed!)
So my posts will be coming to you from that perspective. I’m not sure quite yet exactly what my angle will be, but I can tell you what it won’t be. It won’t be all about living the dream – you’ll notice there are plenty of BSM writers who have that ably covered. It won’t be about my fuckin’ crazy exploits – Princess has more than got that handled and his life has been way less boring than mine for sure! It won’t be chock full of expert tips from badass skydivers – the AXIS crew has that nailed already.
What it will be is a series of musings on being me… being the skydiver that has busy years and slow years, that balances skydiving against a full-time desk job. It’ll be about being a bit of crotchety, conservative safety stickler going against the tide of the GoPro/YouTube generation (but hoping that at least a few of them listen to me).
It’ll be about being the skydiver who makes her way mostly in stealth mode through the corporate world trying to avoid the inevitable “OMG you skydive? Do you do that by yourself?” conversations that come up (but alas, I’m often foiled often by my boss who likes to introduce me as “the skydiver”). Hopefully some of the Blue Skies Mag readers can relate to being that person… or at least won’t point and laugh too much when I share my version of that experience. Unless I’m being funny on purpose. Then you’re encouraged to laugh.