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#1 Lisajumps

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 03:55 PM

Hi everyone,
I would just like to introduce myself, and would welcome any advice you could offer an older AFF student ๐Ÿ™‚
I am 54 years old, and did a first and last tandem skydive in Florida in November 2014, just to get it ticked off the bucket list. I was hooked! So, I started my training in Florida in May last year, but had to take a long break after fracturing my ankle on my 'instructed tandem'. Not a good start, but I still wanted to keep going. I did my Level 1 and 2 back home in the U.K. at Langar in November, and returned to Florida in December with the intention of completing at least my AFF level 8. All did not go according to plan, again! I completed my level 3, and cleared for level 4 BUT I sprained my ankle ๐Ÿ™ The doctor here as said I should not jump for at least 4 weeks. I am very disappointed in myself, and frustrated.
I have started watching the Brian Germanic 'canopy handling' video course, in the hope that I can help to improve my landings.
Any advice anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated. Of course it has been suggested to me that the best solution is to 'give up'! But, I know most of you will understand why I cannot do that.
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#2 Mbee

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 07:24 PM

If I was in your position, when I go back to the DZ I would talk to an instructor and let them know my concerns. Maybe you might feel comfortable doing some more PLF training again and get an instructor to give you tips. I don't know what what you used as your PLF training but at my DZ we have this Tarzan zip line thing and we repeated it until we got it right.
Then you can see if anyone on the load is doing camera and perhaps asking if they can film your landings so you can look and see what you can do better then show it to an instructor when they are free.
Before I even started AFF I found some landing videos on you tube and watched them, I can't say it really helped me in practice though. But you might get something from watching some.
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#3 shorehambeach

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 12:36 AM

Welcome. Where in Florida did u learn ?
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#4 Lisajumps

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:14 PM

Thanks Mbee, I think PLF practice is definitely on the list now!

Shorehambeach, I did some of my course in Plant City, at Jump Florida.
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#5 BlueSkyBri

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:47 PM

Hi Lisa, welcome to the sky, I'm sorry we didn't see each other at Langar last year. Did you get to meet Dilys? 80+ and an incredible inspiration so there's no reason at all to give up based on age alone. 


You're aware there is a 'less than 55' age limit for training in the UK? I'm not sure how you'd fit into that as you've already started but worth bearing in mind. 


From an instruction point of view, there's no need to go looking for further instruction away from the DZ just yet. Do you have the Langar student manual? Or speak to any instructor with your concerns. 


Sometimes it can be easier to look online (less travel) and Brian G is def recommended. 


With regards your personal situation it sounds like you could do with regaining better strength and mobility within your joints, specifically your ankles. Have you tried yoga? Some balancing exercises would help you build strength. Or maybe you'd prefer running? Or just the simple strength building exercises that runners use if you don't want to get out there. 


Good luck and see you at Langar in 2017.


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#6 Lisajumps

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 12:41 PM

Hi Brian,
Thank you for all the advice.
Yes, I did meet Dilys, she actually came along especially to meet me when I did a tandem jump with the Red Devil's, to get my confidence back after fracturing my ankle! What a lovely lady, and indeed very inspirational!
I did my first two levels with Ally and Dave, and intend to continue when I get back to the UK. I still have a few months before turning 55, so hope that I will be ok.
Ally recommended Brian Germain too, so I have bought his full video course, including 'canopy handling and better landings'.
I have thought about yoga before, so I will definitely look into that, and ankle strengthening exercise too.
Thanks again, I will definitely be taking some of your advice, and I will look out for you at Langar in the next month or two!
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#7 Anne

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 08:15 PM

What about finding a physio who also skydives, to get advice on things like ankle strengthening, taping etc? And making sure your injuries are sufficiently healed before you next jump.

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#8 Perry

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 05:26 PM

Hey Lisa,


As a fellow jumper who has also injured themselves jumping, I'd have to agree that injury is certainly no reason to give up on the sport! I shattered my right foot on one particularly hard landing, and it took 20 months and 1 operation to get myself back in the air (I did my first jump the weekend before the AGM), but it's safe to say, I didn't for a second consider giving up the sport, as it happens I still spent most weekends on the dz helping out here and there, packing, video editing etc etc! 


Personally, I'd recommend taking your time and allowing your body to fully recover from the fracture/sprain you've sustained, sure the Dr said give it 4 weeks before attempting to jump again, but there really is no harm in waiting a couple more if you feel it's necessary, maybe if you don't feel your foots ready, or perhaps the conditions on the day aren't, what ever might make you feel uncomfortable on the day (I know from experience a lot of people can be all like 'ah just go up Perry, it'll be ok', but don't give in to that nonsense)! The physio and foot exercises I thought were a great idea too, my physio after surgery was great, got me on my feet first, then worked on building up my ability to jump through strength building exercises, running exercises and jumping exercises! We seemed to fly through physio and in no time he was happy with my progress! My physio was also a non jumper, so if you can't find a skydiving one, it's worth noting that non skydiver physio's can be just as good, I'd happily recommend mine!


Anyway, just my pennies worth, hope that's of some use to you :) 

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#9 Lisajumps

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 07:51 PM

Hi Perry!
Happy to hear that you have recovered from your injury, and are back in the air!
I am very pleased by all the responses that I have had from the skydiving community.......all of them positive and encouraging! I certainly do not want to give up. It sounds like your injury was far more serious than mine. It took me about 8 months to recover from the fracture, and the sprain only a few weeks. But I am working on strengthening my ankles, and think I may use ankle supports for jumping in the future.
I really need to talk to my instructors about my landings, and get any advice that I can. I'm reading Brian German's canopy handling, and watching some of his videos, so hope to learn from them.
I have never considered giving up either, close family have suggested it (understandable I suppose, given my age!) but when I injured myself the second time, all I could think about was how quickly could I recover and continue my training!
I have a sports therapist who is helping me with my strengthening exercises, and is always happy to give me any help I need. I feel ready to get back to my training, and are booked in to continue at the end of next month.
Thank you for the advice, I really appreciate it
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#10 100%GravityFeed

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:00 PM

Dont know if this helps, but as an long time road and dirt biker, and not a spring chicken anymore, I I have ankle and knee injuries. I often wear a soft sports brace on those parts, and always wear light-weight, above ankle hiking boots to further support my dodgy left ankle.

Adidas do very good super light-weight gortex boots...

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