Published: July 31, 2016
About a month ago we received a call from a guy called Charles. Charles wanted to know if his 16-year-old daughter was able to join up for the AFF course and achieve her A certificate before she returned to New Zealand in two weeks time. We all agreed that weather pending this was achievable. We never thought that anything would come of the request, as we all know it's hard to find women in the sport and its even harder to find such young, enthusiastic and motivated chicks. After several further follow up calls we started to think, "Ok, let's see what happens".
Within those two weeks Lauren not only absolutely nailed her AFF course and began her B-REL training but also became a welcomed part of the family at SA Skydiving. Not questioning late night games of giant JENGA, sunset laughs, dinners at the pub, camping out in caravans or the myriad of new and interesting characters and inherent challenges that are confronted in such a different environment, Lauren instantly became a popular new edition to the dropzone landscape. Nothing but smiles in the sky and gratitude on the ground, she has been an inspiration to us all. She even held her own like a true skydiver when she asked her father, Charles, to buy the team a carton in honour of completing her Certificate A! She paid not only for the beers on our behalf but also for her entire AFF course in full, all on her own.
What a legend.
So we decided to interview the little legend herself. Here is what she had to say.
SASD: Hey Lauren, so.. Just how old are you?
SASD: When did you do your first skydive?
LAUREN: Christmas 2014 so around a year ago.
SASD: Where did you do your first skydive?
LAUREN: With you guys at SA Skydiving in Adelaide! Yahoo!
SASD: What was the inspiration for leaning to skydive?
LAUREN: After doing that first tandem skydive in Adelaide, all I wanted was to do it over and over again, and I went home and started reading articles about skydiving and watching these videos of people doing the most incredible things in the air! These people made it look like flying, not falling and it really all came down to me wanting to be able to do what they were doing.
SASD: What did your parents think about you skydiving in Adelaide?
LAUREN: Dad and my stepmum Georgia were hugely supportive of me and did anything they could to help me. When I had saved enough money to actually do it, it was Dad who called up and organised it all, and he's the one who'd drive me down and hang around the dropzone all day while I did my jumps. Mum wasn't too thrilled that I chose skydiving as the thing I wanted to do and kept asking stuff like 'why couldn't you have taken up knitting instead?' but overall she's super happy for me as well.
SASD: What did your friends think?
LAUREN: I'd been telling them through the whole year that I was going to do it but I don't think anyone really thought I was serious and after they found out I'd actually finished the skydiving AFF course, everyone was really interested in hearing about it. They all thought it was awesome!
SASD: What was going through your head right before your first skydive?
LAUREN: I remember when the plane door opened having my mind completely boggled because it was so windy and I was thinking something along the lines of "Oh my god, oh my god, please don't let us get sucked out the door. Wait, it's supposed to be this windy?? We seriously just jump out?"
SASD: What was the scariest moment for you while you were learning?
LAUREN: Definitely the first time landing by myself because I didn't know that you're not supposed to focus on the ground so instead I was completely focused on it and got so scared that I forgot to fully flare on Jed's command and ate a bit of dirt instead.
SASD: What was the best/most rewarding moment for you?
LAUREN: I'd say stage four when Bryce let me go for the first time because it was such an awesome moment when he flew out in front of me and I realized that I was really doing it! And by the time I'd thrown my pilot chute out and the canopy had fully inflated it was the most unreal feeling, and it sounds cheesy but I just started laughing (and probably looked like a mad woman) because it felt like I couldn't physically contain my happiness!
SASD: What are your future dreams and aspirations for skydiving in the future?
LAUREN: I don't have a specific goal in mind, I just want to keep jumping on a regular basis and work on building some skills.
SASD: What is the overall emotion you have when you reflect back on your training?
LAUREN: Gratitude - I'm so grateful that I found something I love doing so much and I'm so so SO grateful to every single person at SA Skydiving, Langhorne Creek for helping me achieve something I could only dream of before now and for being so welcoming and supportive. You're the most awesome group of people ever.
SASD: What would you suggest to anyone wanting to learn to skydive?
LAUREN: Listen hard to everything that the instructors, ground crew and other skydivers have to say because it's all really valuable, and don't beat yourself up too much if you do something a bit wrong because you'll probably get it right next time if you make the effort to. And don't forget to have fun because it's the probably going to be one of the most awesome experiences you'll ever have!!
We are all pretty stoked as Lauren has recently decided to pack her things, say " see ya later" to friends and family in New Zealand and boldly move to South Australia to finish her schooling and continue to skydive in Adelaide with us!! YAHOO!!!
If you are interested in learning to skydive and completing your AFF Course, or perhaps just want to start with a Tandem Parachute Jump, give us a ring on (08) 8272 7888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. SA Skydiving offers great skydiving prices and deals, so give us a ring!
Yahoo, well done Lauren!