Well, I ventured out to the drop zone for another Friday jump. I was determined to get this one right. Things were running a little slow at the DZ, so I didn’t make it on the first load. I was paired with my usual instructor Greg, to go over the pre-jump checks. They were pretty quick because I was starting to get the hang of it. My second instructor, Ray, joined us halfway into the checks. I’d never seen Ray before, but he was a refreshingly mellow guy. Since I was having issues relaxing, this was a good thing. I knew that my only real problem was the arch. The RW is pretty easy to pick up once you can get stable. I’d tried to get some stretching in at home, but it’s really uncomfortable to do when you don’t have 120 mph winds holding you up horizontally. I tried some vertical stretching, but that just made my lower back hurt. We were prepped for load 2 and went out to wait for the plane.
I knew the biggest thing I needed to do on the way up to altitude was to relax and breathe. Thanks to some sound advice from the great community at skydive-info.com, I had some various techniques of chilling to try. When it was finally our turn to exit the plane after a quick circle back, I was much calmer than I had been on any of my previous jumps. The exit wasn’t perfect, but we quickly settled down, sort of. I still can’t arch enough. My stretching trials during the week hadn’t helped. I feel like I really just can’t arch my back like a normal human being. It was rather frustrating. We never really got into position this time, so I didn’t get to try any of the maneuvers. I was still calm, but really didn’t know what to do to make things work. I was arching best I knew how to no avail. Obviously I failed again. But I felt better about the jump, just disappointed. I’m thinking I need a week off to get some stretching in.