I'm not very good at this. Feeling very down today. The weather was so perfect for skydiving yesterday, sunny with no wind, and I was hoping to make two jumps. One as a tandem and then one on my own if I could demonstrate to the instructor that I was ready to continue with the Student Training Program.
The tandem was a bit of a disaster. You will remember that the big problem last time  was my lack of upper body/arm strength. Well, for the past three weeks I've been working out with handweights and hanging on a bar in the garage and trying to lift myself up. I've been feeling stronger and thought I was ready to flare that parachute. It was not to be. I pulled the toggles to just below my waist, a bit further than last time, but couldn't get them any further. The instructor had to help me. And they've told me that until I can do a complete flare there's no way they're letting me jump on my own (and nor would I want to!).
On top of that, I made other mistakes yesterday. The instructor told me I brought my legs forward instead of arching as we left the aeroplane, and held them there for at least four seconds. I didn't finish the list of maneuvers he assigned me during the freefall. I was too slow with the practice touches and turns. I locked on at 6,000' as I should, but then started the wave-off and pulled too early.
So it was a sloppy freefall. Then there was the assisted flare, as already mentioned. And then I just lost concentration as we headed to the dropzone. The instructor was talking a lot about directions and wind speeds and a lot of other stuff and asking me questions that I was slow to answer. I guess my mind was still on that failed flare. The stuff he wrote in my logbook is embarrassing, but honest.
I didn't have that wonderful adrenalin rush either yesterday after the jump. The one that lasts for about three days. I felt flat and disappointed, and am wondering if perhaps skydiving isn't for me. Perhaps I'm too old to train my brain and build up muscle mass? I do, however, have to say that the instructors are all great (I've been through six different ones in seven jumps!), but I feel more comfortable with two of them. John thinks I should request them in advance, but I'm a bit too timid to do that.
So . . . no second jump. And the next one will, of course, have to be another tandem. I'll give it four weeks this time and keep working with those weights. Why, oh why, didn't it occur to me to try jumping out of an aeroplane 40 years ago?