Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.
Cindy Gibson hears a lot of ecstatic exclamations from first-time jumpers—including gratuitous use of the words "awesome" and "amazing"—but one of the most memorable remarks she ever heard came from a woman celebrating her 81st birthday. After landing, Cindy asked her why she waited so long to try skydiving. The woman replied that her husband never let her. Then she cracked a sly smile and said, "But now he's dead."
Cindy certainly understands the lifelong desire to skydive. "I don't remember a time when I didn’t want to jump out of airplanes," she says. But growing up, she figured you had to be paratrooper to do it. Then as a waitress in college, she overheard some customers talking about going skydiving, and she convinced them to take her along. The more she went, the more ways she found to improve the experience. With this newfound love and knowledge of the skydiving business, she sought out a parcel of land and a passionate team and founded Texas Skydiving Center.
Today, she and her team of instructors lead tandem jumps, static-line jumps, and solo free falls thousands of feet above their picturesque facility. Beyond using equipment and instructional methods that are compliant with the United States Parachute Association's standards, the instructors' claim their chief difference lies in the individual attention they give each client. Groups are kept small so that all are on a first-name basis, and the instructors ask each person what they hope to do in the air. A bunch of flips? Maybe a zen-like float? On the way down, they can even record the jumps with several filming options. An eco-friendly dropzone then awaits skydivers, where chattering guinea fowl snatch up insects, colorful songbirds flit through wildflowers, and a llama and alpaca knit their own wool into a commemorative scarf for each successful skydiver.
Lone Star Parachute Center's U.S. Parachute Association–certified instructors really know their jumps—each has completed an average of more than 4,000 skydives apiece. The instructors' ample experience helps them to securely guide thrill-seekers during tandem jumps, solo skydives, and bouts of spontaneous levitation. While awaiting take-off, patrons can picnic in the observation area as they watch other jumpers land, gearing up for their own leaps or adding to their collection of candid cloud photos.
Everyone deserves to treat themselves every once in a while so head to Skydive San Marcos in Lockhart today and have some fun.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.
So if you're looking for a fun time, make plans to visit Skydive San Marcos.
iFLY’s state-of-the-art indoor wind tunnel lets acrophobic and aerophobic adrenaline junkies experience the sensations of skydiving under safe conditions. iFLY will suit you up with a helmet, goggles, flight suit, earplugs, and a can of gravity repellent, before an instructor teaches you the basic maneuvers and hand signals. Once you've learned a lesson, you'll be unleashed into the vertical tunnel’s artificial wind current for some air time at terminal velocity. The entire process lasts about an hour, including waiver signing (flyers under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign), a 15-minute class, and a flight slot during which your group takes turns flying. In addition to the flight experience, the multimedia package includes one souvenir video.
Indoor skydiving is accessible to a wide, family-friendly age range, meaning that Grandma and Grandpa can celebrate their 60th anniversary with more than the traditional cake shaped like Andy Griffith. iFLY’s free observation deck allows for maximum show-offiness, so invite along an audience of hard-to-impress friends, lovers, and butlers to marvel at your simulated plummet through the heavens.
A humble personal blog can start a movement.
Take Kash Shaikh's blog, for example. When he started it, he was a business executive traveling around the world. He poured his passion for writing into a travel blog that he dubbed #Besomebody. Not only did people read it—they began sharing tales about their own passions on Twitter, under the #Besomebody hashtag.
Today, Shaikh is the CEO of the #Besomebody movement, headquartered in Austin. His team's mission? To encourage people to pursue what they love, whether they're artists, athletes, or adventurers. Shaikh and his associates go about this in numerous ways, sometimes with gorgeous graffiti murals in locales from Dallas to Amsterdam, and sometimes with epic events. Their weekend-long 2014 conference features inspirational speakers such as an Olympic gold medalist and an ultra runner, both of whom followed their dreams without getting lost in the Nether, the land where nightmares are born.