Becoming an Adrenaline Junkie

Johannes Adendorff, the author of A Different Plan, realizes his passion for skydiving, beginning his journey as an adrenaline junkie.

Learning to Skydive

“Got any experience in parachuting?” my skydiving instructor asked me.

“Well, I was a paratrooper,” I said, feeling strange to say that in past tense. “I have more than a hundred static line jumps under my belt.”

I was fresh out of the military and looking for something new. When I’d returned home to South Africa (after one year on the border between South West Africa and Angola for the military) and realized that I would no longer be living a life on the edge, my heart began to yearn for something more. I’d also lost my faith in the state church, a place I’d attended throughout my young adulthood. With so much change, an emptiness was growing inside of me—a dark pit that I didn’t want to explore yet, of fear and indecision.

So, I tried other hobbies to fill the gap. I picked up computer programming and regular office job, but nothing seemed to satiate that hunger for something more.

Shortly after talking with my skydiving instructor, I was back in the skies and learning how to skydive. Surrounded by the stillness before the jump, with only the sound of my heart racing in my ears, gave me some sense of peace. Amid the chaos, there was an innate sense of clarity that I could not find anywhere else in my life.

Whenever my feet hit the land again, it was off to work in my little office, designing computer software. It was a strange dichotomy, something I had never imagined for myself. But it provided some of the remedy for the emptiness that had filled me after leaving the military and church.

And yet… I wanted more.

I was restless, unable to be satisfied by the occasional jumps. Even though I’d joined a skydiving club in Windhoek with some friends, performing all sorts of crazy stunts—once, we even jumped down to have our passports stamped while crossing the border—I wanted more of that sweet clarity from the skies. I wanted more time in the air. I wanted to find my footing while falling.

Above all, I wanted to learn more—to jump with the best in the sport. That’s why when my friend Uwe told me that the United States was the best place to pursue my passion, I knew I was going to make it happen.

A former military man and professional skydiver, Johannes Adendorff shares his experiences of overcoming adversity and bullying in his memoir, A Different Plan. After years of life in the skies, Adendorff commits his time to spreading God’s message and encouraging others to live for Jesus Christ. You can contact Johannes here.

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