by Lauren Harkins
Why do people skydive?
Some are in it for the rush, some want to push their limits, some are working on their bucket list. These are great reasons. But here’s an even better one, and any of the sport skydivers will tell you: skydiving changes lives.
It's a party in your brain
It starts with just the right chemical cocktail.
The intense emotions and sensation created by skydiving elicit the brain to secrete a dynamic chemical combination: adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are strongly associated with extreme sports and a “devil may care” attitude, but their benefits for our lives are important.
Adrenaline is an evolutionary marvel designed to help us survive in extreme situations.
Kicking in when your brain senses danger, this intense hormone circulates through your body forcing extreme physical changes in seconds. But adrenaline can have some pretty cool effects even if you don’t need to save yourself from a scary dragon monster. Adrenaline heightens awareness and energy levels, increasing cognitive functions. This burst of clarity allows us to view the world in a whole new light! Adrenaline is also linked to increased immunity and even fighting cancer cells.
Serotonin is a neural transmitter connector that influences important functions in our brain including mood, sleep, and anxiety. Increased serotonin levels insert a sense of calm, create more peaceful and productive sleep cycles, increases sex drive, and can even fight depression - tell us this isn't impressive!
For dessert, you get a yummy dose of dopamine. This is the “goofy” drug that all daredevils crave. Dopamine is your body’s reward system when it decides you’ve done good. Your prize for taking a risk is an immense feeling of happiness and excitement. Dopamine also increases focus, improves memory and stimulates creativity.
This explains why we land from our skydives feeling happy and re-energized, with a fresh boost of creative powers and a calming inner balance, ready to tackle anything life throws at us.
Walking up to the airplane door, looking down and jumping out takes guts. One huge reward for taking the leap is quite simple: you learn that you CAN. This sense of empowerment gives us the courage to take big risks in life and in business. You jumped out of a plane, dropped through the sky, and landed on the ground. Knowing that you DID that makes taking other risks seem so much smaller. You replay the big leap in your head every time you worry about taking a risk. Scared to make a move on your new crush? No big deal - you jumped out of a plane! Asking your boss for a raise? YOU JUMPED OUT OF A PLANE. Deciding on whether to make a big life change? You dropped 8, 000 feet at 120 mph and lived to tell about this. Hey. You got this. You’re a boss.
Build better relationships
Skydiving is an intimate sport, and not just because you have to get close and personal in the plane. The intensity, intimacy and extreme celebrations of skydiving create a special bond between fellow jumpers. When you start skydiving, you instantly become friends with the entire skydiving community, which, you will notice, is like one big family. Skydivers truly make great friends, and this fact alone is one of the main reasons we come back to our dropzone every weekend.
The empowerment, collaboration, respect for trust, and heightened perception we mentioned above are also some of the best tools for building a strong, lasting relationship. Skydiving has indeed been connecting best friends and romantic partners since the beginning of the sport!
A change in perspective
With the combination of the chemical mixture, empowerment and being part of a diverse group of new amazing people, it's not an exaggeration to say that your perception of life will change. We start looking at the world at a different angle, appreciating our lives and the opportunities we get. We become happier people, better friends and ingenious problem solvers, all due back to the fact that we once stepped out that door.
And you look good doing it!
Your sexy new skydiving bod, is that a thing? Turns out it can be! Thanks to our old friend adrenaline, jumping out of airplanes indeed burns calories and tones muscles. But even that fact aside, adventure simply looks good on anyone.
Ready to check it out for yourself?