Full-Time Skydiving Career

Johannes Adendorff, the author of A Different Plan, travels to the U.S. to skydive with the best in the sport, breaking a world record alongside other professional skydivers.

Full-Time Skydiving Career: Becoming a Professional

When I first arrived in America, I had no idea where I was going to go—only that Colorado had the best opportunities for aspiring skydivers. With a friend, I bought an old, junky van and set off to find a job.

Skydive Arizona was the first place we found. We helped pack parachutes for money while students went up in planes to skydive with professionals. I learned from some of the greats while making great strides toward improving my form and expertise in the craft.

So long as I kept busy, I wasn’t thinking about anything else. It was more clarity than I’d felt in years.

Next up was Skydive Dallas, where a chief instructor there took me under his wing and helped me become a tandem master. Then, New York. Suddenly, my time in the sky increased exponentially. As I took first-timers up and helped them land safely, I realized just how far I’d come. From scrambling to get free rides in South Africa to going up to jump nine to ten times a day, I was now a full-time adrenaline junkie.

I immersed myself in this new, exciting world. Despite the danger, or perhaps because of it, I loved going up in the plane and the amount of energy, strength, and concentration the jumps required.

One day, I found myself in a plane dressed up as Elvis alongside some of my friends. Below, a darkly-lit stadium waited for our arrival. I felt crazy. Adrenaline pumped through my veins as I flexed my fingers, reveling in the feeling of it.

“Just follow me, okay?”

“Got it.”

Jumping out of that plane into the black hole beneath us was scary, and had I known of the lack of lighting, I would’ve brought a bigger parachute. But when we landed on the soft grass below with the crowd bellowing and cheering, I couldn’t have been happier.

That’s thing about being addicted to adrenaline—even if you’re a professional.

Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games. Between managing skydiving companies and contract work, I pursued my dream: to jump with the best. When Chicago called for experienced skydivers to help break a world record, I was all in. I joined a team of 300 people to break the skydiving world record for the largest formation.

While it took 25 jumps to get there, we finally succeeded. I couldn’t have been prouder.

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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