Nate Crawford, our superhero Manager here at Piedmont Skydiving, is a fireball with a huge heart and truckloads of inspiring enthusiasm (to match his truckloads of skill!).
I am 35 years young. (When I was growing up, you were always taught you couldn't ask women how old they are, although you are free to ask them how young they are...so as I pass into my mid-thirties I'm using this rule to apply to dudes, too!)
On my business card, I’m the Manager at Piedmont Skydiving -- but in general, my occupation in life is letting my light shine!
4. Total Number of Jumps:
2020: 1000 jumps as a tandem instructor, 500 belly jumps, 500 freefly jumps and 20 wingsuit jumps. I did my first skydive as a static line jump at age 19. That was the year 2000, in Wichita, Kansas. Damn, that was a minute ago. Time flies!
5. Skydiving Philosophy:
Be yourself, with no apologies. The world needs you, and no one else. Stay humble and learn, learn, learn. Then be cool and learn some more. Entering into this sport, there's lots of ego -- lots of attitude -- and lots to learn. My strategy was to stay quiet and concentrate on soaking it all up until I had a question; then, I would speak up so I could learn more.
6. USPA Licenses and Ratings:
I’m USPA D-license 34560. I hold a coach and a tandem rating.
7. Of all of your skydives, is there one that stands out most?
This one time at the big drop zone in DeLand, Florida, I ended up with my pants down around my ankles at 8,000 feet. I didn't finish getting them pulled up to my waist by 3,500, so I was under canopy showing my birthday suit to the world. Thankfully, they pants stayed on and could remedy the situation before I landed. Phew -- I don't know if my ego could've handled landing at one of the world’s busiest drop zones with my pants down...but now, in hindsight, I'd like to run it through again and see the look on people's faces. I've grown since then...of course, I mean spiritually. Haha.
8. The most amazing thing I can do in the sky:
I can do a gear check in order of intended use. I can also let my cameraman know if the spot is good. These might be common superpowers in our beloved sport, but they still count.
9. What kind of skydiving student were you?
I was a scary student. I use to think every new rig I jumped would be filled with pixie dust when I pulled. I. Was. Wrong. Pretty normal for me.
10. What do you think makes a great skydiver?
Humility and experience combined. Listen more. Drop the ego.
11. Pet peeves:
How cool everyone is in the sport. The sport could use a little more humility. Also, along those lines: people in a position of power that abuse it.
Reading, trail running, thinking, boating, weight lifting, kayaking and mountain biking. Owning who I am as an individual to anyone and everyone.
13. Pet Peeves:
Air in canopies people have brought in for me to pack. Also: when people don't rerack weights, and people riding in the LEFT LANE!