Take a parachute and jump

A few weeks ago, I made my first parachute (tandem) jump ever. From an altitude of over 3000 meter, half a minute free fall at 200 km/h. And it felt… WOW! Almost as exciting as speaking publicly in front of a large audience.


So, it’s really me on the picture above. And here are eight lessons I took from this breathtaking experience…

  1. Always make sure your parachute is properly folded before the plane takes off.
  2. Timing is key: when to jump and when to open the parachute.
  3. Motivation is also important. I can assure you that it takes some guts to step out the door of a plane into open space.
  4. Keep in mind that the laws of gravity are equal for each one of us, and g will never be greater than 9.81 m/s– regardless of your size, shape or mass.
  5. Don’t forget to take a deep breath just before you dive and let the adrenaline flow.
  6. The free fall starts a bit scary but once you get through the first seconds it feels really great.
  7. Once the canopy has unfolded, there’s not much left to worry about (except for point 8) – and you have ample time for savoring the scenery below.
  8. Start preparing in time for a soft landing.

Now, re-read the above list and think of the skydive as your next public speech, and of the parachute as the story of your presentation. You would never consider jumping without one, would you?

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