Concentrated Inspiration: Piedmont Skydiving Welcomes Dynamo Jarrod Spears to the Sky

Jarrod Spears is a man on a mission.

tandem skydiving

Jarrod Spears is a man on a mission.

He just finished his undergraduate degree at , and now he’s working on his master’s degree in business analytics and innovation change management. Oh: he’s also founding his own business. Clearly, this is one impressive guy—already a change agent, at the tender age of 24—and we are stoked to have been able to take him on his first skydive of what will certainly be many.

“I am so inspired to go after my dream and do things now!,” Jarrod enthuses. “I guess you just never know the ripple effect; you never know what will happen when you do something that you always wanted to do. I just thought I was going to go out and have fun—I wasn’t thinking that it would be like this.”

Jarrod’s experience was in line with most other students’ experiences. The big difference? Jarrod’s eloquence.

“Like anything worthwhile in life, of course,” he continues, “It’s going to be scary, and a little unnerving at the beginning, because you don’t know what’s going to happen. Going up was fine, because I’ve been in a plane plenty of times. But then, I had never been in a plane with a door open before! I felt a huge rush of adrenaline, and just listened to what he told me to do, and jumped.”

“The freefall was just, like, ahhhhh,” Jarrod laughs. “It wasn’t physically taxing, like I was running a sprint; I think it was a mental battle: Getting over your fears. Having those doubts. Defeating them. Then when [my instructor] let the parachute out, it was just amazing. I felt like I could conquer anything.  I was like this is great. I can do anything I want to do. I can run a decathlon if I wanted to. I felt unstoppable. I was super tired on the way home.”

He might have been overwhelmed in the moment, but as Jarrod was musing about his skydive later, he explains that he started to connect the dots. “It’s like sitting in the airplane,” he philosophizes, “But being able to see the entire view. Most people can only see the view from the window pane, and they think that’s beautiful. Try skydiving! It’s the window seat, times 100. That inspired me. So, when I shared the footage from my jump, one of the quotes I sent out was this: ‘Don’t live life through a single window pane of the airplane. Instead, jump out, and allow yourself to see the whole picture.’”

Jarrod gives great advice, clearly—but one of the coolest things about him is that he accepts great advice, too. He actively seeks wisdom from experiences (like skydiving!), books and mentors in order to remain, in his words, “accountable, coachable and informed.”

“I played sports growing up. I know about hard work,” he explains. “You’ve got to sow seeds now to reap the benefits later.”

Jarrod projects that he’s 5 to 10 years out from retirement and, in talking with him, it seems likely indeed that he’ll be ready to roll at 31. His goal: to let his assets work for him as he travels the world, supports his mom and “does things that really matter—like jumping out of airplanes all the time.”

“I never thought I’d be doing this,” Jarrod laughs, “But I’m actually entertaining the idea of getting my own solo license. That would be awesome. Reaching people and helping people is what I want to do with my life, and I just found yet another avenue to do it. I am, like, let’s go. Game on.”

I took my boyfriend here for his birthday. Both of us had a great experience! Thomas especially made our first jump fun and enjoyable. All the staff were professional and competent, and I would definitely recommend this place to anyone for their first skydiving experience!

» Ashley Ly