This post is also available in: German
„Sometimes you need to let go.” I thought for myself and let go of the Airplane.
And this was just the beginning, 6 Years before. A beginning with teary eyes, sweaty hands and a hammering heart.
Meanwhile I a am a frequent participant on skydiving competitions.
And no, its not about “who dares to open the parachute last”.
Its about Teamwork.
I do not jump alone. I have a Team. We are 5 People, 10 Parachutes among us and 1 airplane.
4 People have the strong tendency to jump out of the perfectly fine (okay, sometimes not really perfectly fine, but very old and sometimes even historical) airplane together. 1 Person is going last and has a camcorder with him (because no judge is jumping with us, but somehow, they need to be able to judge our jump!)
In the wintertime we train in the wind tunnel together with our coach, in the summertime we are out in the air at our drop zone. We train every jump beforehand on the floor with the help of rolling devices (looks quite silly), then we jump (looks quite cool).
We need to move as one person as soon as step into the door. 2 people are already outside of the airplane, the wind blows with about 150kmh and tries to peel of your fingers from the airplane, the cold air is making you shiver, takes away your breath, the pilot is fighting against the weight on only one side, against the speed, which is not in his favor. Now every glaze, every movement means something, its all about timing, about keeping strong, staying together, get hold of your partner and not let go…for 35 seconds. That is all we have. After this, everybody is on their own.
Get as much space as possible between you and your teammates, open the chute, check your surroundings, check your chute, check your position, check your team members.
If there is a problem, you only have seconds to decide. And a fast decision can save your live. Later on, you need to find a reason, but in this second you only need a solution to get yourself back to the surface as smooth as possible.
And then? Repack your parachute and repeat!
Until in the evening the BBQ starts, the beer is opened, and friends and music is everywhere.
Now that I write about it, there are much worse things you could do on a weekend.
And now a fun fact:
This skydiving team (Sharkmeido, by the way) started as a SMART project in a Continental training!
No kidding. “Make a realistic but ambitious project which is not work related!”
“Create a Skydiving team for 4way belly flight and start at the German championship competition within 2 Years.” Was what I did. Literally, in the end.
And my passion for my sports burns as bright as my passion for my job.
My Name is Isabella Harter, I am an Architect and, together with my colleagues from the engineering Tires group UBP (Utilities, buildings and Projects), I am responsible for Construction Projects for Continental Tires all around the world. No matter if it is a brand-new factory (and I have already climbed some trees in order to get a better impression of our future construction site) or an small addition in an old plant. We are in Continental to provide support to our colleagues worldwide with big and small construction topics or to start new plants from scratch.
And what has Construction management and Skydiving in common?
A great deal of freedom and responsibility, and that’s, for me, what does it make the most beautiful sport and job in the world.