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Jump for Joy

man about to go skydiving

Luis Valdez said his “whole body was full of adrenaline,” as he waited for his instructor to give the go signal and jump! In early June, Luis along with two other Blue Ridge Community College Adventure Club members, Natalia Rodriguez and Matthew Beach, had the thrilling experience of going skydiving with Skydive Shenandoah in New Market, Virginia. None of the three had been skydiving before, or even really considered it. Luis said, “After this experience that BRCC, the Adventure Club, and Dr. Young allowed me to experience, I will for sure do it again!”

Natalia had never really thought about being able to go skydiving but, “When the opportunity to skydive came up, I knew that letting my fear win and deciding not to go would eat up my courage in future times of fear, so I took it,” she said. She added that she was worried she might panic when it actually came time to jump, but to her own surprise she actually felt calm the entire way up.

Once the plane reached about 10,000 feet, it was time to jump. “The free fall was the moment that I most enjoyed. I loved the first three seconds of the rush of adrenaline and then feeling weightless in such high altitude and with such a beautiful view,” Natalia shared.

Despite some initial nervousness, Luis said that once he had the gear on and got on the airplane, he realized how badly he wanted to jump! “The most exciting part was looking down while you are waiting for the instructor to jump because you get to feel the cold wind, see the beautiful views, and you know that you are ready to jump,” he explained.

Under the leadership of retiring BRCC Vice President of Instruction and Student Services and Adventure Club Advisor, Dr. Bob Young, the club offers its members and other students lots of unique activities each year. Highlights mentioned by Luis and Natalia included: caving, kayaking, roller-skating, horseback riding, hiking and more!

Dr. Young said the club had skydiving on their list of possible activities for many years, but as it is fairly expensive, they decided to offer it to members as a drawing.  Student members who had taken part in at least one adventure during the year were eligible to sign up, and three would ultimately be selected for the unique experience. “It encouraged participation in the other adventures and was a wonderful final adventure for me to facilitate for these Adventurers,” he explained.  

“I wish all of the hundreds of BRCC Adventure Club members over the years best wishes in the future and hope that they keep pushing their own limits to find their own interesting and challenging adventures,” said Dr. Young.

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