Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia
Skydiving can be as intimidating as any undertaking in sports. Let’s face it, hitting a baseball might very well be the hardest thing to do in all of sports but at least you are not plummeting to your death as you stand in the batters box. If you have decided to undertake skydiving as a sport, here are a couple of tips before you leap.
First, ask around and do internet research on the best skydiving schools in your area. When dealing with matters of life and death, why take chances with a no reputation school? Online communities of skydivers are available and participants can point you in the direction of the best lessons. The best thing to do is to use schools that have already worked for others.
Next, search YouTube and other only areas easily accessible to watch actual video of skydive jumps and preparations just prior to jumping. It will make you feel more at ease about the impending lessons and that first jump to see many others doing the same thing.
Last, make sure to use rental equipment for your first jump or two. While the idea of skydiving seems great, the truth is that the gear can be quite expensive. If you buy equipment and decide not to use it at all, it could be a pricey purchase to just sit around in a closet. Wait until you gain some experience before purchasing your own gear.
The number one thing to conquer is the fear of the jump. Recognize that the necessary safety precautions have been taken and that your life is in good hands.
Obviously anytime a person jumps from a great height there is the possibility they could land on an unforgiving surface and kill themselves. Bungee jumpers don’t expect this to happen, however, since the proper maintenance and measurement of the bungee cord is designed to prevent this from happening. And, though this a relatively new sport, it seems to be relatively true, as there have been very few deaths attributed to the act of bungee jumping – somewhere in the neighborhood of half a dozen. So apart from sudden death, what other health risks are associated with bungee jumping?
It might be a surprise, but the number one risk for bungee jumpers only affects women. The problem is the dramatic physical force put on the body during bungee jumping (particularly repeated jumps) can actually cause uterine prolapse. In other words, the pressure involved with bungee jumping can cause the uterus to either tip, slip out of position and in some rare cases come out of the body completely: Obviously a life threatening problem that can’t be easily dismissed.
Eye trauma is another risk when bungee jumping. The problem most often observed is that of retinal hemorrhage, which can lead very easily to a permanent loss of sight. Another ocular risk with bungee jumping is orbital emphysema another condition that can result in permanent vision loss. Anecdotal evidence has produced many account where bungee jumping has led to a temporary loss of sight, or other vision related symptoms.
Additional bungee jumping related health risks include such things as bruises, back and neck injuries, rope burn, whiplash and other motion related injuries. Therefore, prior to throwing yourself from a great height tethered to nothing but a flexible line of elastic and rubber, weigh the risks against the thrill factor, and don’t forget almost everything in life comes at a cost.
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