PROFILES IN ADVENTURE: AFF Student, Kim Larsen
Meet Kim Larsen. A newly-minted 30-year old, she’s a dosage formulator for Covance with two Bachelor degrees and a penchant for a challenge.
Kim’s also one of Skydive Indianapolis’ AFF students this year. As of June 11, 2019, she’s working on her C-2 jump.
First a tandem skydive and then…
In 2018, Kim graduated with her second degree and decided to reward herself with a skydive—just to experience it. She did her first tandem. Then another. And then…
“After my second jump, I was hooked and I wanted to learn how to do it on my own.”
An AFF student begins her journey
Know this: Kim is not, and never has been, one to shy away from a challenge. She recognized that skydiving solo would be exciting and fun, but it was mastering the 12 jumps in the Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) program at Skydive Indianapolis that really drew her. Besides, she just loved being in the sky.
“I’ve always been adventurous, I like hiking, backpacking, being outdoors. This is REALLY outdoors.”
Kim began her AFF training on May 5, 2011, right in the midst of one of Indiana’s rainiest springs on record. “I kept thinking, I have to move to another state.” she laughed.
Like all AFF students, Kim started her journey with a 5 to 6-hour ground school class. “It was interesting, but it also made me a little nervous. Going through the malfunctions actually put me at ease; I knew I could do something if an issue arose.”
“My first solo jump was amazing.”
“ I actually liked exiting myself because I knew when I was going to go. For free fall, I need to work on relaxing, which is par for the course for me.“ Kim admitted. “But I’m learning how to do that, and I’m beginning to master the arch.”
“It’s so fun, I like the control, the new skills… I’m getting more in control and that’s amazing.“
A big part of skydiving is the people.
Like any other sport, the people who are on your team can make the experience. Kim found the culture at Skydive Indianapolis to be incredibly supportive. “Everyone I’ve met through skydiving is really welcoming, friendly and ready to give advice; some have even opened their homes to me. At the drop zone, there are lots of great people to learn from and jump with— I really love the community.”
“I don’t know what it is, but skydivers seem more happy.”
If you’ve done a tandem and are considering the AFF program, Kim has some advice for you.
“What are you waiting for? You know how great a tandem skydive feels; you can have that feeling every weekend, whenever you want. “
“The AFF program is empowering, parts of it are challenging, and you overcome these obstacles and then you’re on to the next thing; what else can you do, what else can you master.”
Learning to skydive solo. A parental point of view.
Not too long ago, Kim’s parents Paul and Vicki Larsen, came to Skydive Indianapolis to watch her jump and get a better understanding of what skydiving was all about.
As Vicki said, “Kimberly has always been independent, sure of herself; she walks to her own beat. Both Kim’s dad and brother are private pilots, now she’s taking it one step further. She’s not inside the plane, she’s outside the plane.“
During their visit to Skydive Indianapolis, Paul was able to do a do a ride along with Skydive Indianapolis’ pilot and witness his daughter exiting the plane at 13,000 feet.
Vicki continued, “When her canopy deployed, it was amazing to see her up there, moving across the sky, practicing her turns and flares. It was like seeing a sailboat on a lake or a figure skater.”
To learn more about our Accelerated Free Fall program and training to skydive solo, check out our AFF page.