Project 19 – Energy Building

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Alethia Austin, stoked to be a regional captain for the Women’s World Record
Image by Adrian Daszkowski

The Phone Call

When I got a call from Amy Chmelecki last March, I was working as a coach at FlajFlaj skills camp in California, following one of my LSD Bigway Head Down camps at Skydive Spain. She said she wanted to talk about the Women’s Vertical World Record, which the dates of hadn’t been released yet but there’d been some whispers that it would happen in the coming year or two…

“We’d like you to be one of the Regional Captains for the Project 19 Women’s Vertical World Record.”

Say no more. Sign me up. I’d heard of the WVWR during the previous 65 women record in 2016. I didn’t know how to fly head-down properly yet but one morning, hearing a friend talk about the experience, I realised I wanted to be on the next record.

Exit at LSD Camp, Skydive Spain, Project 19
Image by Adrian Daszkowski

The Dream

That dream waking up inside of me set me on a path that gave a new meaning to my skydiving. My fun jumps (wait, that includes every single skydive) became goal-oriented. I challenged myself in every jump. I visited the tunnel to work out the kinks. And soon, I created with a friend the first LSD Bigway Head-Down camp to give myself and others the opportunity to get bigway training.

LSD Camp

Two years later after that dream awakened, many successful LSD bigway camps with multiple plane formation training, and a handful of small Bigway training camps for Project 19, we’re now just 8 months away from that World Record. This past weekend was the LSD Bigway Camp at Skydive Spain with coaches David Nimmo and Havard Flaat and Adrian Daszkowski on camera. 11 women joined the camp to work on their training. The energy was supportive, friendly and warm. The energy between the women, many of whom were strangers before the event, immediately felt disarmed and encouraging. This camp’s energy and bonding felt like it was setting us all up for what will be an incredible event in July.



Building a HD formation at LSD Camp, Skydive Spain, Project 19
Image by Adrian Daszkowski

Blessing

This year I’ve had the blessing and pleasure to coach at over 20 events around the world and what I’ve noticed is the energy building among the women at the events. The discussions revolving around training, hopes, curiosities of the record seem to happen naturally. It seems there is this new bridge that women are finding to each other, strangers suddenly have another connecting route directly to each other. A bonding element slightly even more niche than skydiving alone. For the current time, all of the sisters around the world who are skydiving, are part of this current of collective thought and energy surrounding the women’s record. 

Whether we train together, or whether we support those who are, or whether we understand this record isn’t the right time for us but we’re now more focused on learning head-down, we are united. And while we’re not out there saving lives or doing something that’ll change the state of the world, it is uniquely beautiful to tap into this collective energy with our sisters known and unknown for this time.

What I’m seeing at the training camps, LSD or otherwise, is a real sisterly supporting vibe. When one woman is low because her flying disappointed her, she has a few women around her lifting her up, encouraging her, and keeping an eye out on her mental state to help lift her enough to join the next skydive and go easy on herself. 

LSD: Level – Slot – Dock, Skydive Spain, Project 19
Image by Adrian Daszkowski

We have 8 months until July comes and over 100 women are heading to Skydive Chicago to go hold hands together in a skydive. We have 8 months to lift our sisters up, to connect in a new, unique way with other women on the dropzones or in the tunnel. We have 8 months to realise our own goals, to gently train and gently push ourselves in a positive way to learn how to fly stronger, fly cleaner and quieter. We have 8 months to look around us and ask “How can I help the collective to achieve the main goal we’re aiming for?” To ask “How can I help the collective who aren’t ready for this WR, but who are just now realising their goal for the next one?”

It’s been an interesting process. From actualisation of the dream, to the blessing of becoming a captain, to being a part of this quilt of women and goals around the world. I can only imagine how beautiful the next 8 months will be. 

And I can’t help but wonder as I look around and imagine in my mind all of these absolute unique, beautiful, strong, courageous sisters…what if we all approached each other in this disarmed, we-are-united-by-something way, off and on the dropzone. 



LSD Camp build a symbol of unity, Skydive Spain, Project 19
Image by Adrian Daszkowski

So, let’s go, ladies. It’s just a skydive. We’re just trying to hold hands in the sky. But, there seems to be much more below the surface that we’re tapping into. Let’s go out there today and see if we can recognise this unity and sisterhood. 

Project 19 leaders, thanks for pushing us to find meaning behind this record. 

Collective energy at LSD Camp, Skydive Spain, Project 19
Image by Adrian Daszkowski

FFI

To learn more, to follow the project, and to meet the women behind this project, visit: https://www.brokenrecords.world/about-1

LSD Camp

For the next LSD Bigway Training Camp (women and men!) December 6-8 with Anna Moxnes and Ally Milne at Skydive Spain: Fb Event page

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Meet: Alethia Austin

Alethia is a passionate skydiver whose love of flying has helped her dream world in skydiving.  As Marketing Director of Skydive Spain, Skydive Algarve and Skydive Hibaldstow, Alethia gets to work at three of the biggest DZs in Europe. Alethia created the popular LSD Bigway camps, focusing on vertical flying skill building in big groups as well as her latest spin off, LSD Get Sideways angle camps. With nearly 3k jumps in the past few years, Alethia is a coach and load organiser at events around the world, bringing her love of flying and learning to students and skydivers of all levels. 

Currently, she is training hard for the Women's Vertical World Record which is happening in July 2020. 

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