If you build it, they will come. That’s what The Field of Dreams proposes.
Sure, maybe that’s how it works in movies, but I’m certainly not seeing it.
I’ve Been Building It For Nearly 2 Years…
I’ve tried really hard for nearly 2 years. I started putting on regular belly events. I offer free coaching. I load organize regularly. I personally reach out to people regularly to invite them to belly events they might like or that might be beneficial to them. I’ve been trying to lead by example to be exceptional at formation skydiving.
But, you can’t force people to like something. You can’t convince them it’s cool.
I Am Not an Uphill Battle Person
I never have been. In a lot of ways, I believe in the path of least resistance to get me to where I’m going. I’ve always been the type to put myself out there, just as I am, and say “If you like me, swell, stick around. If I’m not for you, that’s fine.” I’m not for everyone and that is how it’s always been. I’m stubborn and unyielding. I still manage to find my people in the end though.
That’s how I feel about the things I do as well. There is a community out there for everyone, including me. There will always be people who want to do the things that I want to do. In most aspects of my life, I am long passed the point of trying to convince people that what I’m doing is awesome and they should join. If they don’t see it, that’s fine. I will find other people who see it. I will find my community either way.
However, I also seem to have an unfailing belief that I will succeed. I normally do end up landing on my feet and doing well at the things I attempt. I believe that with enough effort, I can do anything. It’s frustrating to find those edge cases where that’s not the case.
But I think I’ve found one of those edge cases.
I Can’t Make People Care About Belly Flying in Colorado
I’m tired of trying to convince people that formation skydiving is really challenging and really fun. I’m tired of yelling into the void. I’m done screaming. If you don’t know, then you don’t know, and I’m certainly not going to be the one to tell you anymore.
There’s a reason I always find myself jetting off to other states for coaching and to be on competitive teams. Like I said, I love a good path-of-least-resistance. When I travel, I don’t have to scream and yell to convince people that belly is cool. My community of like-minded people are already there. Not only is belly flying competitive and cool elsewhere, it is a respected discipline instead of being a joke. It’s not just what people do from jump numbers 1-50 or until they can get a freefly friendly rig.
What’s the point?
What is the point of offering free coaching for a discipline that no one cares about?
What is the point of fighting to schedule tunnel time for my belly events, when the tunnel is hosting plenty of events these days?
What is the point of trying to be an example and a role model when no one sees the path I’ve taken as anything to aspire to?
What’s the point of endlessly scheduling and coordinating events, personally inviting people, and bending over backwards to make them run smoothly if it’s not doing any good?
What’s the point in trying to revive a discipline and convince people that it takes skill and hard work to be good at formation skydiving?