My story started with 2 tandems in Israel that just didn't feel enough.
I felt like I wanted to take that leap of faith out of the plane myself, to face fear and pull the trigger on my own.
A couple months later I couldn't keep my mind off of skydiving, I kept watching aff videos and Friday Freakout videos (For any future students don't watch FF if you want to actually go through AFF). I realized I was already decided on doing AFF I just didn't know it yet. So I started researching about drop zones to do AFF in and one name just kept being recommended to me, my now beloved Skydive City.
I packed up and flew all the way to the other side of the world spent an hour looking for a tent at Walmart and arrived at the middle of the night in an Uber at Skydive City, found Rian Kanouff who became my first and best skydiving friend and asked him "Hi I am here for AFF where do I put my tent?"
That night I was welcomed into the family of Zhills and I immediately felt like this is where I belong. Everyone in the community was so welcoming I felt like one of them before even going on the plane.
The next day I've made my first AFF skydive and that's when I've finally encountered that fear of stepping up to that door at the air plane and jumping out myself, a feeling that I couldn't really fully shake off yet, the thrill of feeling it and jumping out anyways is incredibly freeing and empowering and is totally worth it.
While going through my license the thing I feared the most is seating on the floor of the plane just by the open door, feeling like with every turn I would fall off even though I have never seen anyone else falling. Being so close to the open door before actually jumping just gave the chills (Also it was very cold by the door so sometimes actual chills).
I've tried a few different things to counter that heavy heart beats before stepping up from singing songs to myself to high fiving everyone before jumping.
Then came the day for my 25th jump, my check jump for the license - STAAAMP DAY
I boarded the plane with Noah, Rian and all of the friends I've made during my time in zhills and then I realized that I have to sit just by the door for my check dive, just after I sat down at my least favorite seat on the plane I looked up and realized that this is the only seat that can see the faces of the rest of the plane, for the rest of that ride up to altitude I saw the faces of all the members of my new family, I gave a nod to Eddie, a thumbs up to Rasheed, a wink to Sacha and it felt like everyone just gave me a "Go nail your license" look, I stood up on the plane, rallied everyone with a "Can I get a ohhh yeah" shout and went one to nail my check dive.
And just like that the scariest seat became my safe place and favorite seat on plane.
I hope that whichever DZ I go to I get to sit by the door and remember the faces of my skydiving family cheering for me as I step out the plane one more time.