When shit hits the fan, sometimes you just need to breathe (and check your altitude, and arch)

I consider myself a pretty stress free person…..Ah who am I kidding. Our entire generation is stressed out. Bills, doctor visits, finding a +1 to a wedding, panicking because you still don’t know how to do your taxes at the age of 27 (just me on that one?) The list goes on.

Which is one of the reasons I picked up skydiving as a hobby. As a student skydiver, who is almost at his Class A license, I’ve been unconsciously picking up life lessons as I’ve progressed further in the sport. One of those life lessons which I’ve been able to carry over into my personal life is what to do when you exit that plane and something goes wrong. Because guess what, that ground is coming up REAL fast.

Solo skydiving is one of the few activities you can do in this world where for once YOU, and only you, have 100% control over your life. Think about that for a second. You have the keys to your life in your hand. So what do you do when shit starts to hit the fan with those keys in hand? I had a pretty botched exit for one of my recent coach jumps. After exiting the plane I realized that I was cart wheeling and not falling belly to earth. So what did I do?

  • BREATHE (that’s the life part)
  • Check your altitude and arch (that’s the skydiving part)


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“To those that jump, no explanation is necessary. To those that don’t jump, no explanation is possible.” – Still a student and this was my first diving exit. Wasn’t my most graceful but I recovered 🙌 – Learning to skydive with IBD isn’t fun. The nerves get to my digestive system like no other. But nerves, fear, and stress are like an elastic band and you can stretch it and tame it like anything else. Learn to know your limits and always know when to push them. Happy Wednesday warrior’s 💪 . . . . . #crohns #crohnsdisease #crohnslife #chronicillness #immunosuppressed #colitis #entyvio #ibd #ibdwarrior #ibs #crohnie #lifewithcrohns #autoimmune #ibdawareness #skydiving #skydive #adrenaline #fly #daredevil #freefall #skydivinggram #acceleratedfreefall #learntoskydive #jointheteem #ibdsuperheroes #gopro #goprovideo #goprooftheday #blueskies #AFF

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Panicking will only make a potentially bad situation worse. If you panic (like I started to do) then you’ll start careening out of control. The same is true in life. Let’s say you mess up at work. By panicking you lose focus and you lose sight of your game plan making it a downward spiral.

Always have a Plan A. Plan B. Plan C. And yes, a Plan D.

We practice our EPs (emergency procedures) regularly as students to make them second nature. It’s necessary because it means we can act quickly and decisively in life or death situations. It helps because it always means I have not 1, but potentially 3 backup plans. Your plan A is obviously pull your parachute when that goes wrong? Try to fix it, that’s your Plan B. Can’t fix it? Cut away that parachute and go to Plan C. Got two parachutes out or heading for a tree now? PLAN D.The same is true in life. You always have the option to plan ahead and you ALWAYS have a choice in what your next move is. Even if that is to sit, observe, and wait.


You need a clear head to assess and triage a situation. You can’t do that if you’re not breathing. Take one, two, ten deep breathes. Your brain will thank you for it. And for the skydivers out there, check your altitude and ARCH ARCH ARCH.

As always a HUGE shoutout to Skydive New England who have gotten me through a whopping 23 JUMPS. They are therapists and life coaches in their own right and are the ones who made me realize this life lesson. If you haven’t had a chance to visit them, then what are you waiting for? GO JUMP. If you’ve already done your first tandem jump I highly recommend AFF (Accelerated Free Fall.)

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