Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ground Week

Finished Ground Week of Jump School today. Well, yesterday, actually, since we didn't do any training today, just cleaned up and got released for the long Thanksgiving weekend. It was a lot of fun, overall. I'm certainly encouraged, since Ground Week is by all accounts the most difficult portion, and I didn't think it was particularly hard at all. Which isn't to say I'm not more sore than I have ever been in my life, because even though it's not exceptionally difficult, Airborne training is brutally punishing. This video gives a good idea what I've been up to, despite the rather frenetic editing:

Ground Week mainly consists of practicing proper exits on the 34-foot tower and proper PLFs (Parachute Landing Falls) on the LDA (Lateral Drift Apparatus). We spent one full day on the tower, and nearly two full days on the LDA, which you can see at work in the video when the narrator mentions practicing PLFs until you get them right. And it's kind of funny, PLFs are terrible and you dread each one you have to do. Until you start getting them right, that is, at which point you feel like could do them all day, because they don't hurt anymore. But then you're done, because you're doing them right. Boy, you really do pay for the ones you do wrong, though. Last night when I was laying in bed, I had to use my hands to lift my head off my pillow to get up, my neck muscles were so exhausted from PLFs. Having a long weekend for Thanksgiving after Ground Week was perfect timing, really.

I have a lot more thoughts about Jump School, particularly regarding the remarkable pedagogy at work, but I'll probably get to that later this weekend or perhaps after Tower Week.

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