At the edge of an airplane door

ready to let go

I can feel my whole life

like a piece of quartz in my hand


I’ve found nothing quite like freefall to keep me alive, focused, and in the present moment. The door opens, we step out into the sky, the clock ticks. We have less than a minute to fly before we have to open our chutes to save our lives.

“Why,” Whuffos ask. “Whuffo you wanna jump out of a perfectly good airplane?”

Good question!

This is one question we’re asking every jumper we interview in making our film documentary Seconds from Death; the Evolution of Sport Skydiving in America (working title — stay tuned!)


Photo: That’s me on the left, in the white jumpsuit, with the brown stripes.  (I’m not asking my student why he jumps, I’m asking him if he’s ready to skydive!) Skydiving absolutely changed the course of my life.  Even though it has been over twenty years since I’ve jumped from an airplane, the sport still influences me greatly.The photo was taken in 1992 by freefall photographer Kim Tucker. As I recall, the pilot is Mike Simms?  He has taken us to approximately 11,000 feet over the Missouri farmlands below.

photo by Kim Tucker