If it feels like a bad idea…

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A friend, Brent Finley, sent me this picture from 26 years ago and it brought up a lot of memories…

“Pretty” Dan after landing

How does one become “Mr. Safety”?

You’re lucky enough to live through your stupid mistakes and smart enough to learn from them rather than feeling empowered by getting away with it. At the top of my list of dumbass decisions that nearly got me killed is this gem.

To make a long story short…

It’s 1994. Joe Jennings calls and says “Dan, I have a great idea I want you guys to try with me.” Strike one. The only thing that raises a red flag higher than Joe saying he has a great idea is Scott Smith saying he has a great idea. Joe wants Airspeed to ride in a car as we drop it out the back of the Skyvan. I knew this was a bad idea and immediately declined. But my teammates thought it sounded like fun and I gave into peer pressure and went along. Strike two.

I knew this was a bad idea and immediately declined”

Joe sat on the hood, Kirk and John got in the back seat, Jack of course was in the driver’s seat and I sat shotgun. As we got ready to roll out the back I had a bad feeling about this. Strike three. The car was marginally stable for a few seconds and then flipped over backwards. John and Kirk kicked away clean, Jack pushed off the steering wheel and I went through the wind shield bar.

Broke my thumb, broke my nose and cracked a couple of ribs on it. I was conscious but couldn’t see and thought I was blacking out. I thought I better pull but then realized, there’s a car out there somewhere. I thought I should start tracking but didn’t know which way to go because there’s a car out there somewhere! I felt like I might pass out but started tracking hoping I was going away from the car. After about ten seconds I figured I was clear and pulled, parachute worked, vision came back and I landed safely.

I arrived at the emergency room looking like a total mess and they asked what happened. Hmmm, how do I explain this one? I told them, “I was in a car wreck.” They asked how I got to the hospital. I said I drove. They asked, “What really happened? You won’t surprise us, we’ve heard it all.” I beg to differ.

What are the lessons learned?

If something feels like a bad idea, it probably is. We don’t always get so lucky.

If something feels like a bad idea, it probably is”

Dan BC

Video – Car Jump

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Meet: Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld

Dan is Manager of Skydive Perris & Author of the highly acclaimed “Above All Else” book. He was a founding member of Airspeed and a multiple 4- and 8-way World Champion, competing for more than 20 years. Dan developed a training system through Airspeed and coaching so many teams. It works. His personal and coached teams consistently performed at their best in competition and often won – three consecutive and different Women's World Champion 4way teams for instance; Synchronicity, Storm and Airkix. He has so much passion for the sport, competing at Nationals every year, organizing at World Records, and trying new areas like Crew and freeflying. As a P3 skydiving organizer, coach and motivational speaker, he is inspirational.

Dan is sponsored by Skydive Perris, Sun Path, PD, Cookie helmets and L&B altimeters.

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