Another day at the office 8-4-18

The shenanigans started early. Lukus felt the need to swing underneath of the airplane and hung from the tire. I knew if I had asked “Why?” he would just say, “Because it was Fun!” That’s a good enough reason for me. Lukus is the type of guy that is always smiling. Whenever he is at the dropzone the excitement level bumps up a couple notches.

The excitement of going to TommyHawks Axe House carried over to this weekend. Unfortunately, Steve had missed out on all of the axe throwing, decided he wanted to be a part of the fun and threw an axe through the wall. Steve acted alone and was not egged on or encouraged by anyone else. Something told me that Casey would not be amused so I thought quickly and fixed the hole by covering it with the dart board. Good as new, even better in fact! The dart board is back up..

Saturday started slowly and the winds were too high for students so we grilled lunch. Everyone pretty much takes turns grilling. When one person steps away to finish packing or to work with students, someone else flips the burgers. There’s enough food for everyone. I can’t count the number of times that I showed up at the drop zone or boogie completely unprepared. I was so excited to get there that I would grab my rig and sleeping bag, then drive 7 hours to a boogie. I packed parachutes for a lot of people at those events and they seemed to appreciate it. I appreciated the people who had brought extra burgers, brats, and steaks for the grill. I feel like this is my opportunity to give back to the sport in the same way that others have helped me.

Smile for the camera! I’m glad Reid finally came out but it seems like he showed up just in time for lunch. Reid’s on his own time schedule for sure. Glad he came out to see the place to make a jump.

It was just HOT all day. Pretty sure we exhausted our popsicle supply in a matter of hours. I think Brandon brought the first bag of popsicles, now we buy them by the case. I was able to get through a couple skydiving ground courses with Jack and Nicole. I give them credit for being out there all day. At 6pm the winds were still high so we called it a day and headed over to Houlihan’s (Springfield North, MO) This is definitely our go-to place in Springfield. They recognize us when we walk in. The food is great and we spend a couple hours just talking about the day, skydiving, and how much fun we’re going to have tomorrow.

We started with breakfast and coffee on Sunday morning to get everyone kicked started. After bacon, eggs and pancakes we were up and running. Winds were perfect for student jumps in the morning. Around noon they got a little high but came down in the afternoon.
The Speed Flags tournament continues… Adam and Lukus went one-on-one in the singles match. Each jumper is trying to capture flags off the other person. We’re still working some of the finer aspects of game play. When we tried one-on-one before it didn’t work out well. The flags were attached to each opponent at the ankles and they just ended up circling each other the whole time. We decided to attach flags on wrists and ankles. This made it more of a head to head match.
Lukus is down by one point with 8 seconds left before they reach break off altitude of 4,000 feet. Adam has captured one flag from Lukus’ right arm, and that’s when Lukus got Cereal. You and can see the look of SHEER determination and unwaivering focus that Lukus has on his face. He’s focused like a hawk! I’m sure Adam felt a sense of terror as those hawk eyes bore down on him as though he was a tiny mouse in a wheat field. But skydiving is no fairytale and we don’t give out participation trophies. Unless the goal is to have fun and make new friends then yes everyone wins! I should make a trophy that says “I had fun and made friends.” That’s a good tag like for a shirt also. Anyway,… as both jumpers landed we could see that Adam had captured a second flag from Lukus. This one off his left arm. Adam wins this round but there are 37 more rounds to go. To be continued next weekend. Starting to think I need to get in on this action.
With perfect winds and being fully rested, Jack make a lot of progress on Sunday. His first jump of the day was turns. Jack had to complete 90°, 180°, and 360° turns in freefall, stop on heading, and not lose track of altitude. On the second jump Jack completed two barrel rolls. Jumpers are taught how to get off their back during freefall. When you’re still learning to skydive your adrenaline peaks during the jump and crashes shortly after landing. This up and down adrenaline rush can wear you out, but Jack pushed through. One his third jump he completed front flips and back flips.
Troy is one of our Skydiving coaches and worked with Jack on Sunday. One jump at a time Troy laid out the objectives, taught the maneuvers, evaluated the jump, and gave a thorough debrief. Troy shows Jack how it’s done by landing in the center of the target. You can see the outline of a mowed circle in the grass. I was standing on the edge of the circle ready to take this photo because I knew Troy was going to land on target.
The sky was beautify at the end of the day. We walked out into the field to watch the last group land, enjoy the view and reflect on the weekend. If you look closely you can see Lance, a single canopy between the clouds. This is the sunset jump that everyone dreams about. The clouds create a silhouette in the sky as sun rays extend from the edges.
Lance, Casey, Scot and Troy were on the last load of the day. This is us walking in from the field. Good looking group of people. Casey got distracted by an odd shaped limb on a tree in the next field. When she puts her mind on something its hard to pull her away. We packed everything up and say goodbye until next weekend.
Nick and Casey enjoying the summer. This has been one of the best summers that we have had. Good times with good friends.

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