Gifts of Inspiration: Chad Brisson’s Story

When High Point local Chad Brisson first rocked up to Piedmont Skydiving, we knew he was going to be an awesome skydiver. We weren’t wrong. Now, Chad is planning his second jump — and seriously considering pursuing the sport as a hobby. Here’s Chad’s story — in his own words — which might be helpful to you if you’re curious about what it’s like to skydive for the first time. (Spoiler: There are a couple of helpful hints in here!) Enjoy.

tandem skydiving

Skydiving was something I’ve always wanted to do.  It was one of the things on my bucket list. It had been a dream as long as I can remember.

I have some friends who had done it in the past. I hadn’t actually gone out and watched them do it, but I had heard their stories. Time went by; I saw a few things on YouTube and became interested. I finally decided to go out there and do it.  

A couple of friends were supposed to go with me, but they couldn’t, so I went by myself.  It was a really small place. Small, rural road. It looks like you are driving into nowhere. Peaceful. I got there at 10 o’clock on a Sunday morning — a beautiful day.

I filled out the paperwork. As soon as I got it filled out, they took my weight, and as they were doing that Matt comes running around the corner saying, ‘Okay! We’re ready for you!’

I had never been so excited to jump out of a plane in my life. But at the same time I was scared; nervous; giddy. There were so many emotions running through me. All I knew was: I was doing it. I was not backing out. I decided that I was going to jump first.

And so Matt got me into the harness; talked to me. We joked around.

I have been on hundreds of planes in my life, but I’d never jumped out of one. Even so, the plane ride didn’t bother me. I was just trying to take in the scenery and soak up the full experience...but I had one of those oh crap moments when I saw the ground and the door opened up.

Anyway, we rolled out. In freefall, as I was looking around at the scenery all around me, I was still scared, nervous and excited. It was intense. I really didn’t know what to feel. Then, there was Matt, pulling the chute. ‘Welcome to my office,’ he says.

I just had this huge sense of relief over me. I wasn’t scared that the parachute wasn’t going to open, but I was still happy when it did. I remember looking at down the ground wondering how fast it was coming; when we would eventually land. Matt started doing some twists and turns, and we just floated on down.

When I got to work the next day, all of my friends and coworkers were asking me about it. They asked me if I would do it again. I said I’d do it again right now. I’ve thought about getting my license. I would love to.

The scary fun part of it for me was just the adrenaline, chasing the adrenaline. My adrenaline was pumping the whole time. I literally shook for about an hour after I landed.

I explain it to people this way: I had faith the whole time that I was going to be okay. There was never a doubt in my mind. But you’re free falling at over 120 mph on a skydive, and you are not in control. So it still gave me that sense of relief when that parachute opened and I was sure that I was fine.

There are only a couple things I would change about my first skydive if I could. First, I sorta wish I had jumped second so I could see how you roll out of the plane. Second: If I could change one more thing about it, I’d would have made that first jump with friends. It would be a lot more fun with other people there, whether they jump or not. When I go again — as soon as I get the chance — I will. I’ve got several friends and coworkers wanting to come along.

Here’s what it boils down to: Skydiving has always been a dream of mine, and I did it. When you achieve a dream that you have wanted for so long, you tell people about it, you get them excited, and they want to make their dreams a reality, too. It inspires them. People start taking notice.

This was my 3rd and most enjoyable tandem jump to date. The staff was great and my jump master (Frank) was very cool guy.  I will be recommending them to my friends who want to try this.

» Philip Greenberg