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For this fourth photo interview, I found myself 200 miles from home in a hotel room converted into a photo studio on Sixth Street in downtown Austin, Texas. There I met up with half a dozen world class, beautiful skydiving ladies, enjoyed a few cocktails and took some pictures. Some things in life suck; that situation was not one of them! For this interview, I thought it might be fun to mix things up a little bit by introducing you to two of those ladies. Like before, the idea of the interview is to give you the opportunity to meet some of the amazing personalities we share the air with as they are on and off the DZ and tunnel.
You may have bumped into these ladies at a world-record attempt or at one of the Sisters In Skydiving (SIS) events. You also may have seen them organizing at a boogie or watched them compete in dynamic 4-way in the windy tube. Their smiles and personalities are not easy to miss or forget.
It is with great pleasure that I would like to introduce you to the ladies of Arizona Rampage: Lisa Mazzetta and Paige Milligan.
Zach: Good afternoon ladies! First off, where are you guys from, and how did you end up in Eloy?
Lisa: I moved to Arizona in 2008. I moved there after I started skydiving because I wanted to be close to a drop zone with a tunnel. I’m originally from Maryland, and have lived in Europe and a few other places over the years.
Paige: I am originally from the Phoenix area. I did my first tandem in 2010, and got my license the next year in Eloy. [Paige has since moved to Chicago to work at the new tunnel there.]
Skydiving has struggled to get mass appeal with whuffos. There were short term successes with disciplines like skysurfing and freeflying in the early days of the X Games, but it never stuck. Dynamic is so visually appealing, do you think it might be the skydiving-related sport that might gain that mass appeal?
L: We definitely have some good crashes! It’s hard to say, but with tunnels popping up everywhere you will have more people with that first-time flyer experience and might be able to relate to what is happening in the tunnel. I don’t think it will have mass appeal from a spectator point of view, but you will have more potential participants.
P: I think we would all like to see it become a big sport, but I think it is hard for people to relate to and understand the difficulty of the moves and how long it takes to learn the skills to balance and fly this way. I definitely think tunnel flying as a whole is going to evolve into something bigger in the next couple of years.
Tell me about your guilty pleasures. Don’t be afraid to share, your secrets are safe here!
P: You know what, I really like jamming out to ‘90s pop music in my car. It is such a guilty pleasure, but give me some Britney Spears and N’SYNC all day long. I like ‘90s pop and rhytm and blues. I blast it in my car, and when I get to the drop zone I have to change my Pandora station because it is just too embarrassing.
L: I think I have lots of them! Lately I have been hooked on Netflix documentaries, and I can lose a whole day watching documentaries about all sorts of unusual things. I recently watched one about identical twins who have been hookers in Amsterdam for something like 50 years.
How do the two of you bring home the bacon?
L: I work for JPMorgan Chase in mortgage underwriting.
Paige, when did you realize that being a full-time jumper was a possibility, and was that an easy decision to make?
P: I thought it was a really easy decision to make; it was my dream job! I wanted to be a part of the Skydive Arizona staff, and I wanted to be a full time skydiver for a while now. It was really exciting for me when I was given the opportunity to go full time because I worked really hard to put myself in the situation where I might be considered for the position.
L: I too made the decision to be a full-time skydiver, but after a day of packing Strong tandem rigs, I promptly went back to the bank!
Can either one of you describe dynamic in 20 words or less?
P: Fucking awesome!
L: Not static!
[Author’s note: If you haven’t seen dynamic, use the Google and check it out!]
Is there anything that you think the rest of the world should know about your teammate?
L: There is a slight age difference between the two of us, and I love getting to see the world through her eyes. I love Paige’s drive and determination. It is super fun for me to watch her learn, and grow into an amazing woman.
P: Lisa has this amazing quality that allows her to light up any room that she enters. Through our journey together on the team she has become one of my best friends and helped me get through some stressful times. She has a way of making me laugh, no matter what is going on.
Outside of the DZ and the crack shack, what do you guys do to blow off steam?
L: I used to be a big party girl, but now the hangovers last longer than they used to! I’ve been in Eloy for the last few years now, and I really enjoy when we have a boogie with a DJ here so I can party close to home.
P: I am actually a homebody. Believe it or not, I really enjoy being at home on the couch watching romantic comedies.
So far, this is one of my favorite recurring photo interview questions: What do you suck at?
P: I really suck at coordination in general. I am always tripping and falling or stubbing my toe.
L: I am also bad at spelling, but not nearly as bad as my roommate Amy [Check out Amy Chmelecki’s Photo Interview in the December 2013 issue]. Her spelling always blows me away!
Can you share a little bit about your fitness routine? What do you do to stay in competition shape?
L: Normally, I do hot yoga two or three times a week.
P: Nothing. I don’t work out at all. Ever.
You guys seem really nice, but I would really love to know what the best way to piss you off is?
L: Just drive slowly in the fast lane buddy; that gets my blood boiling every time.
P: You should ask my boyfriend, because he is pretty good at it .
Do either of you have any bad habits that you wish you could break?
L: I bite my nails. I don’t really want to bite them, but then they rip, and I have to bite them and once I start I can’t stop.
What is something that people would be surprised to learn that you do well?
L: I play the guitar and can sing. That has surprised several people because I seldom break out the guitar anymore.
P: I cheered and danced competitively through middle school and high school. I think people are surprised to know that was something I did well.
When your blood-alcohol ratio is out of balance, what is your cocktail of choice?
L: I like Ketel on the rocks. I love a nice Ketel martini, but I usually just drink wine at home. We go through a lot of wine at the Cougar Den. Neither Amy or I are really cougars, but I like the way it sounds.
P: I wanted them to have a party called “Rage in the Cougar Cage,” but I haven’t talked them into it just yet. For me, when I am home I like to have a glass of wine, but when I’m out I like vodka soda with extra lime.
In Amy’s interview it was noted that Lisa is an incredible Italian chef; Paige are you a master cook as well?
P: I can make mac and cheese out of a box and that’s about it! Vince is a really good cook and he is teaching me a few things, but I am still not quite there.
Is there any food that you guys prefer not to eat?
L: Exploding sea bass! We were training on Christmas Day, and I made a beautiful sea bass dinner for the team. Right before I took it out of the oven, the Pyrex dish blew up and shot glass everywhere. In other words, I like to cook successful meals that don’t threaten blindness.
P: I’m not a very picky eater. I am pretty much like a garbage disposal; I will eat almost anything.
Lisa, care to share an unusual fact or two about Miss Paige?
L: Paige has an amazing bikini collection! Every day this summer it seemed like she had a new one on, and not to mention, she wears them so well!
Lisa, do you have any tattoos?
L: No. I feel like I’ve made it this long without tattoos, and I would rather spend my money on tunnel.
If you could walk Lisa into a parlor and make her get any tattoo of your choice on her body, what would it be and where?
P: [Her fiancé] Petter’s face on her butt!
L: That would be awesome! Who wouldn’t want to look at that?
I think it is safe to say that for most of us who have tattoos, there is usually something special or a story behind each one. Would you mind sharing one of those stories?
P: I have always had this fantasy of being in a traveling circus. Like the old 1930s Barnum and Bailey type of circus. When I quit my “real” job and decided to make the switch and pursue skydiving as a career, I decided I was going to give myself a “freedom” tattoo. I started a circus-themed piece that stretches from my mid thigh all the way up to the top of my rib cage. It has a tattooed serpent lady with a fortune-teller lion and a few other unique circus inspired details. This tattoo is especially important to me because it represents a new chapter and journey in my life.
Steak or lobster?
Champagne or scotch?
Europe or Africa?
P: I don’t have a passport, but would say Europe.
Snuggle or dance?
Power or finesse?
Mustard or Mayo?
Sweet or dill pickles?
L: I can’t eat pickles anymore.
Smile or Game face?
L: I thought it was smile, but at our last competition I was all game face. If I had to give one more high-five I was going to lose my mind.
Scrambled or Fried?
New or gently used?
Would you rather be really short or really tall?
Summer or winter?
Book or movie?
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