After owning two businesses for two decades, I finally got a real job... dream job actually! Combining my passions of technology, education, and skydiving, I was hired in January 2017 by the United States Parachute Association as Director of IT. Sadly, I am no longer taking on new web programming projects, but I'm still skydiving and teaching certification courses through Xcelskydiving and of course writing! Also, I am still available for public speaking events. This blog site serves to display my numerous previously published works as well as satisfy my continued urge for sharing my insights... you know, those thoughts you have at 4 o'clock in the morning.

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published in Parachutist Magazine January 2014

Backwards Chaining Landing Pattern

In the USPA Coach Certification Course, candidates learn a strategy for presenting material to their students called “backward chaining.” This method involves presenting concepts from the end result and working backward step by step, before putting the concepts together as a whole. Backward chaining works particularly well for teaching landing patterns, because skydivers naturally work backward (from where they want to land) when deciding on their landing approaches.

  • 1 January 2014
  • Number of views: 38
  • Comments: 0

published in Skydiving Magazine January 2008

Sun slowly overtakes the shadow in the hangar as the overhead door moans, opening to reveal a bright blue sky. My manifester has not yet arrived, so I busy myself closing a tandem rig, taking out trash, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom... The first group of tandems walks around the corner. I greet them, briefly introduce myself, and apologize for the toilet brush in my hand. I get their paperwork started, then take their payment, start them on the training video. They are a 30 something aged group of guys who brought their family out to watch. Stereotypically, the big guys are jumping, and their wives just watch their kids and mumble how they would never jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

After the video finishes, I start training them for their tandem jump. Slowly the realization comes over one man’s face, as he then asks, “So, we’re jumping with you? You’re a tandem instructor?”

I’m still surprised and laugh at times when I get this reaction, although I understand it: from their perspective, they see a small framed gal, 5’5 and 110 pounds, who is cleaning the bathroom and taking care of office work.

Let me share with you my anecdotes -- more for encouragement rather than instruction -- the secrets of a female tandem instructor…

  • 1 January 2008
  • Number of views: 26
  • Comments: 0
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