Sunday, August 26, 2007

Leadership, Confidence, Fear

I woke up early early this morning, and couldn't get back to sleep because I had made some realizations and couldn't get them out of my head. I was too lazy to get up and type them on the computer, so I finally had to write them down. Seems all the expletives yesterday came out for a reason.

Realization 1: Leadership and confidence

If I'm going to be doing something challenging, and be taught how to do it, I need to have faith, trust, confidence in the people teaching me. I need them to be leaders who inspire and instill confidence. I can forgive some mistakes, like when someone calls me Denise instead of my real name, because he really does know what he's doing, but others I can't. One of the instructors yesterday not only bounced me around in freefall unnecessarily, but also couldn't get me seated in the right spot on the plane without an issue. Sorry, I'm not going to trust my life with you. Two strikes and you are out. If they try and have him be my one instructor, I'll walk away without a backwards glance. I realize there are two, maybe three, people at this place that I'll go forward with alone from hereonin. (because in the next stages, you only have one instructor)

Realization 2: Fear

I hate the exit from the plane. Not because of jumping, but because of the disorientation. I need to find some way to deal with it better, and will work with instructors (and perhaps the Gnome has suggestions) to deal with it better.


Gyuss Baaltar said...

What specifically do you find disorientating?

NoRegrets said...

Although I understand theoretically what happens, I don't know how to make that happen the best way. Just arching, or shoving my hips out, is supposed to work? Why did falling vertical feel like almost upside down? I guess I feel like I have NO control between the point of jumping and being in regular freefall, and it's just luck that I end up in the position I'm supposed to be in. Or the instructors. Which freaks me out a little since I'll only have one person next time. Could it be because I'm jumping out too sideways - ie at an angle? Arg.

Gyuss Baaltar said...

It's all you, and you're doing well from what I hear.

We don't skydive relative to the earth, we skydive relative to the wind. On exit, the wind is coming from the direction the plane is flying, so that's where you point your hips. On exit, you're not bell-to-earth, you're belly into the wind, which is often "sideways to the earth" or "feet towards the earth"

I think you must be very aware of your surroundings and are noticing that your not belly-to-earth on exit. This is very cool and actually shows you're mentally further along on the game than most.

Exit is also a little bit tougher to feel in control because we're only going 90mph, which you might notice feels "mushy" As you accelarate to 120mph, the air gets cleaner and easier to feel in control.

Jumping out sideways is totally cool, as long as your hips are forward. In fact, it's kinda fun. But your doing everything ok.

NoRegrets said...

Damn, I dont' want to be more aware. It's very disconcerting. But thank you for the info, Gnome-san.

Susan said...

I just like to read all this stuff. It keeps my feet firmly on the ground. ;)

NoRegrets said...

Well, Susan, as long as it's serving a purpose for you!

Gyuss Baaltar said...

When your 20 feet up and about to plant your first anchor, what is going on in your mind?

NoRegrets said...

Hmm... well, actually, it's the first piece. An anchor has three points, and it's established you keep everyone safe while you belay someone.

With the first piece, first off, it has to be damn good - be able to accept a pull from all directions - up, down, out, round and round. If that first one goes, what can happen is 'zippering' meaning all the pieces above it come out like it's being unzipped - and that is bad to say the least. Sometimes if you are on something difficult, it's hard to think about that because you just want a damn piece in so you won't fall and break an ankle or worse. So, really the first two pieces should be good. Cams are good for that. If you can't get a piece in in the first 20 feet, it's usually rated R or X, and I tend to avoid those. Or it's well known to be an ankle breaker, and I tend to avoid those too.

Not much goes through my mind when I climb except how's my stance, how's the rock, how's my piece, where am I going next. It's like meditation. But I guess at the beginning I'm excited and/or nervous about the journey.

Gyuss Baaltar said...

What method do you use to reach that point of meditation?

NoRegrets said...

Focus. Trust in myself. Knowledge of how to do it/ability. Clearing my head.

And don't think I don't know (now) what you are leading to. I transferred some of the skills - that's how I jumped out the plane the first three times - and I trusted the instructors. BUT, the problem is, there's no turning back once you are out of the plane. And now there's only one person besides me. And I don't trust myself yet because I don't know if I can. I don't know what good is - obviously, since I thought I had done a shitty job and in actuality I was doing fine.
I remember seeing one person jump out and it struck me how he/she did it. The person was out perpendicular to the plane immediately, with a huge smile on her face, and I wondered how she could face the beast with a smile.

Gyuss Baaltar said...

This is a great start. I've got a couple more mental exercises we can do before your next jump to build on this.

Mental prep is 90% of the jump.

Exit is my favorite part. I'm usually still scared, but anticipating the fun that awaits.