Tag Archives: Sports

Skydive 2008

The lens flare is great, looks like the shoot snapped!

Back in 2008 my sister convinced me to skydiving with her.  I hadn’t thought about it up until that point, it was only really one of those things that I wanted to do “eventually” but never quite got to the top of the list.  So when my sister offered to take me with one of her friends when I came into town to visit, I felt that the priority level of this event just got bumped up.  Plus I wasn’t really doing anything anyway, and having this insatiable lust for doing adrenaline filled things in my late twenties (and now early thirties…yikes!) only pushed this over the edge for me.  I had to do it.  I was GOING to do it.  And I did.

The experience itself wasn’t too bad.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day in Bowling Green, MO.  The weather was near perfect with light clouds in the sky and great ground temp of about 70 degrees.  The people were friendly and most everyone had a good time.  A couple of unique things that come to mind as I reflect back on it all are particularly interesting.  The first being that when we went up into the plane to jump, you really don’t know just how cold it gets at 14,000 feet!  Last I recall was that it got be about 36 to 40 degrees!  It’s pretty cold up there!  But you don’t realize it because you are so filled with adrenaline about the jump that your body is already quite warm.  The second thing about the experience that was different, especially for me, was the fact that I got so pumped up adrenaline wise that when I jumped out with my instructor, I couldn’t breathe for the first second or two!  I just kept gasping for air.  I thought it was rather strange, but after a few seconds I got things under control and enjoyed it.  If you watch the video carefully, you’ll see i look kinda like a fish out of water for a second right after getting out of the plane.  You can see my face kinda get all squinchy and I’m doing the “OMG I’M IN FREEFALL AND I CAN’T BREATHE” face.  Yeah, it was funny, but not so funny at the time.  The entire journey, from exiting the plane to deploying the real parachute (not the small little thing he throws at the beginning) was only one minute long.  After the jump, and talking with a few people, this was probably the maximum time anyone gets on their first jump, and most people don’t get to 14,000 feet either, they stay at around 10,000 or so.

One important thing for those who might do this at one point in their lives…I’m glad I dropped the extra cash for the pics and the video.  I don’t usually do that kind of thing, but this was well worth it.  And since I was in a pretty small down with a pretty small business, I felt I was definitely getting a good deal.  I think I dropped about 150 to 200 for the whole thing.   I don’t remember exactly, but I think that’s about right.

The whole experience was, and still is at the time of this writing, the single most high octane adrenaline rush I have ever received.  I think that Wing Suit Base Jumping is the only other thing that will come close to this adrenaline rush.  Or maybe bungie jumping.  But who knows when I’ll get around to that!  🙂

*UPDATE* Well youtube is being a poop head and they don’t like the music in the video.  Something about copyright blah blah and license ownership from WMG blah blah etc etc.  Poop on you!  I’m trying right now to upload it but WordPress is now being a poop head too!  Max upload size is 64 meg and the video 115!  DOUBLE POOP!  I’ll see if I can’t figure out a work around here soon….

Runkeeper Pro is Free!

The folks over at Runkeeper just released their pro version for iPhone for free! There is a time limit of course, but it’s worth picking up. I’ve been using the free version for quite some time now and have been very happy with it. Until the end of January 2011, you can download the pro version for nothing/nada/zilch. It’s a great little application to map your runs via gps and to keep track of your pace. I haven’t played much with the Pro version yet so I don’t know what all it can do. There is a way to linkup with your iTunes library and to have a “coaching” option enabled but that was only after a quick glance at the new Start screen. Head to your friendly app store and download it today!

My experience has mostly been with the free version, and it’s been quite helpful for running outdoors.  It’s nice to know how far I’ve run and how much time has elapsed.  There is also a handy chart that shows your pace at different intervals, as well as a very accurate google map of your run.  I have been using this app in conjunction with the iOS 4.01 release and an Apple iPhone 4 so I’m not quite sure what anyone else’s experiences have been like on different platforms.

One thing I’ve always liked about Runkeeper is the ability to specify which activity I’m doing and have the application track that.  Before starting, there is a handy drop down list that shows all kinds of sports you can use this program with.  I really wish they had one for Kayaking, as that seems to be absent from the list.  I have noticed an “other” category which I tried to use, but the free version of this application only operates with cell phone service, so kayaking has yet to be tracked in my list of activities.  Hopefully the pro version fixes that by allowing the user to operate it just using GPS service.

On Sportsmanship: Fifa 2010 Finals

Being an American sports player and of course a viewer I have seen variety of shenanigans happen on and off the field. A lot of professional sporting events usually feature at least a few complete train wrecks once a season and rarely focus on anything positive. The World Cup this year is no exception, even as I sit here and watch the final match I’ve seen a few player collisions that don’t look accidental, especially Nigel De Jongs spiked foot to the chest of one of Spain’s players at the end of the first half. However, one thing did happen during the first half of this match that no one, even the sports pundits on tv, pointed out that I’d like to mention here. At one point, Spain forwards passed the ball back to their own goalie from their own offensive zone. The pass was a bad one and the goalie could barely get a finger on it before it got past him and out of bounds. Lucky for Spain their goalie didn’t pull an England, but what happened next was interesting. This error produced a corner kick for the Netherlands team, which they took…however they gave up the perfect setup by passing the ball in bounds to Spain’s Goalie. The announcer said something about being a good sport, as if it were no big deal, but I was in a state of shock. Here was the perfect scoring opportunity for the Dutch and an easy way to capitalize on a big mistake by Spain…but they chose not to. I’m still wondering if this was just a cocky move or if there is some unwritten rule in FIFA that teams follow when this happens. American sports teams would have never given up this kind of an opportunity in the final match of such an important game. I’d love some clarification on this matter, so please weigh in by leaving a comment.

The point I want to make here though is clear, sportsmanship seems at least to be a little more respected on the world stage than in our own national backyards. I find this to be tragic, and it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth when thinking about what our youth is exposed to in America. We as a nation need to start paying a bit more attention to the world stage in this matter.