I love adventure.

More specifically, I enjoy learning and experiencing new things.

And because I don’t get to skydive that often, I find myself fond of it.

Since COVID ended, I have resumed skydiving, making trips out to Eloy, AZ when my busy schedule permits.

I recently thought about putting together an article on skydiving, but I wanted a more personal touch.

Here’s something that might surprise a lot of you.

Skydiving isn’t as fast as you might think.

I don’t quite mean it literally. Skydiving has long been regarded as a fringe activity, reserved only for daredevils and extreme enthusiasts.

I can safely say that sharing your passion for skydiving at a dinner party might raise more than a few eyebrows or make for a really good conversation topic.

Unavoidably, skydivers are associated with adrenaline junkies.

It’s almost as if we crave the dopamine hit that comes from falling out of an airplane 15,000 feet in the air.

I won’t speak much of the sensation when I’m free-falling as it’s still a very individual experience.

However, I do like the experience of being both in and out of control at the same time.

In and out of control? 

You must be thinking: How does that work?

During free fall, you have to learn to relinquish some control over your body. 

Excessive tension can make it challenging to maintain the correct body posture, which is essential for balance and maneuvering through the air. 

Being overly tense might affect my ability to maintain a stable freefall position or execute maneuvers safely. Which can be dangerous.

This brings me to my next point – going with the flow.

The best jumps always happen when you’re one with the environment. Sometimes, it’s that much better to just dive in, so to speak.

Being in free-fall places your body at the mercy of gravity and if it’s your first time, it takes some getting used to the laws of physics up in the air.

Overly focusing on how you control your movements and plan your descent isn’t always going to help you.

Free-falling unassisted while stable is something that requires you to be able to be in control while also going with the flow.

You want to be flexible enough to move with the wind while also not aiming to be too tight in the process.

Not to mention, there’s literally nothing but a parachute stopping you from crashing down into the earth. 

So, you still need to retain bodily control and have your wits about you through the descent.

Then, I also experience a moment during skydiving where everything seems to slow down.

It sounds weird but I’ve also had the same thing happen during several of my matches.

If there’s one thing I learned, it’s important to learn how to slow down, especially when everything else is moving at warp speed.

Just like in skydiving when you’re literally hurtling through the air at terminal velocity, in a fight there are a dozen things going on at the same time.

You have to focus and control your impulses and work off your instincts. Likewise, even while free-falling at 100mph, there’s always time to slow down, pause, take a deep breath, and consider what you’re going to do next. 

It’s a valuable skill that can carry over to other endeavors in life. 

I also wish more people could understand the value of being present. 

Finding yourself locked in a cage with someone else in a fight really teaches you the importance of being present in every encounter.

Especially in situations where there is an alarming sense of urgency at every moment, it pays to be present and aware – so you can respond effectively and not simply react.

As a skydiver, it helps to be present in the moment and admire the visual spectacle that is only available for a short moment, even if just for a minute or less.

One of the key things we’re taught as skydivers is to learn how to exhale and breathe.

I covered applying breathing techniques for physiological functions in my earlier podcast with Wim Hof.

I’ve also written a blog post detailing the advantages of deep breathing.

While I’m by no means an expert, I’m certainly an advocate, having practiced and experienced deep breathing in my fight preparation.

Deep breathing is the key to being aware and present during skydiving. It gives you something to actively focus on and helps you relax and achieve the stability you need to descend safely. 

Being able to experience the beauty and the thrill of skydiving is a reward in itself. 

But there are many lessons that I’ve discovered from this process too.

They resonate deeply with me.

Taking it slow, having steady breaths, and being able to stay calm are tangible benefits that can apply to many other things we do in life.