Copied from my post here: http://www.ukskydiver.co.uk/cms/topic/22590-dropping-in-to-say-hi/page-2
Left for work 8 am yesterday morning, got back about an hour ago, oh yeh, and met Ally Milne, and a few others in the Airkix tunnel last night, and after spending the morning working outside with my arms above my head for 80% of the time, and a 4 hour drive home, after last night, i now feel like my arms have had the crap kicked out of them lol.
The only thing im a bit gutted about with the tunnel, is that i didnt get more time in there. When i got there, and met Ally, hes a really friendly and welcoming guy, and he talked me through quite a bit before we even started, and we watched a few people having a go, people doing it just for fun, as well as experienced people, then we got kitted up, and it was my turn 🙂
within about 20 seconds, i had been flipped over by the wind, and was looking up, instead of down, my first thought was ‘fook!!!!!’ but, somehow instinctivley flipped myself back over onto my belly within a few seconds, and carried on. after 5 sessions, watching the screen between each session, we sat down to chat about it all, and Ally asked how i thought i did. i said about the flipping over being a ‘major fook up’ on the first go, but, he then corrected me, by saying that as i managed to recognise what was happening, and righted myself, while i did lose control, i also regained it, on my very first go
for the first 5 sessions, stability, and relaxation were the main things for me to get right, ive read it in so many threads here about relaxing, and, this was my main problem, trying to keep my arms back anough, but relaxed, and holding position, seemed impossible, but by the 3rd session, i was turning clockwise, and back, i was finding that i could turn clockwise on the spot, but anti clockwise, for some reason, while i was turning, it seemed i needed as much room to complete the turn as a princess cruise liner, but, slowly, i wa getting there. by the end of the 5th session, i was able to move forwards and backwards, and, to my surprise, UPWARDS (and didnt know how to get back down at the time lol)
after the first 5 sessions though, i had completed balancing, turning both directions, had flipped over onto my back (accidentally), and corrected myself, flown forwards, and backwards, and done a few practise pulls (my first pull, i used my left hand, which was quickly corrected)
next i had a bit of a wait untill im on again, so watched a few people who were using the tunnel for fun, a few groups of people, and some experts, learning to fly upside down, sitting while flying, and doing all sorts of stuff, and watched one guy do a small ‘show’ for a group of people, and all i can say is i wish id caught it on video, the guy was like a ninja in the air, if you only saw it on the telly, you would swear it was CGI and impossible, next, Alli teaching a few more experienced people, upside down and all sorts of other stuff, including a few of them in at the same time, and this guy, its like hes on strings, he ‘flows’ from one exact location to another, with near perfect precision (except for when one nearly took his balls out, and he also got what looked like a kiss from a guy, more on that later lol) but seeing all this going on, was brilliant
pretty soon, im back up for sessions 6-10, a quick going over the last few things, and im still finding that anti clockwise turning, the eurostar train could probably do a 360 in less space, again, im told to relax my arms, session 7, practice pulls, but, also keeping stable, and turning with only one arm, im finding that i can do anti clockwise like this easier, and looking back at the video between session 7 and 8, i can actually SEE whats wrong, its the elbow, i can see it, its obvious. session 8, i know what has to be done differently, i do everything perfectly, except my anticlockwise turn, i lose control, flip over, i instantly know ive burned my elbow with the friction of the impact, i also instantly know what i did wrong, see the video after, and sit waiting for session 9 (in about 20 seconds) thinking if this is actually something that i really want to do, the pain in my arm is burning, but, im up again
im in, i fly forwards, backwards, left a bit, right a bit, backwards, forwards, circle clockwise, circle anticlockwise, YESSSS!!!! ive got it, practice pulls, times up, last session is coming, watching the last video, im on again in 20 seconds, im at the door, but with a new found confidence, and, relaxed, after the last session, the relaxation has found me instead of me looking for it, turn clockwise, anticlockwise, practise pull and hold it, turn with one hand, then forwards and backwards, to shake hands, left hand, right hand, left hand, right hand, both hands, then, suddenly, im right forward, right in Allys face, hlemets touch, we’re as good as kissing lmao, i manage to fly backwards, Ally is laughing, i apologise, and blow a kiss lol, Ally gives a joking coy look, the ‘limp wrist’ action, spectators are laughing, then he flips me over (not like that you pervs lol) and i right myself, he flips me over again, and i right myself, and a 3rd time, and again, i manage to right myself within 2-3 seconds, before one final practise pull, then the times up, and out the door
I watch the video back, and think back to the first session (i also have them all on dvd to watch over and over again) and while watching that last session there, thinking only 8 mins ago i was wondering if i was doing the right thing.
The confidence that session in the tunnel has given me makes me look forward even more to the actual AFF itself, as reading so many posts about fails and retakes, especially on turns, is what made me think the tunnel was a good idea in the first place
Ally is a great guy, and i also got talking to a few other people there, who were all really friendly, chatting about things theyve done, one guy who is an instructor also showing me some videos of AFF students on his iPad
For me, i fel that the ‘issue’ i had with anti clockwise turning, may have seen me retake a level a few times to get it right, maybe in the air, not confined by the 14′ walls of the tunnel, it may not have, Ally did say its actually harder to learn turns etc in the confines of the walls of the tunnel, but, in my mind, i now know that i can turn both ways, track forwards and backwards, turn both ways while having one hand ready to pull for the whole turn and right myself with no problems if i find i should flip over onto my back, so in my eyes, its been money well spent, and if anyone ever asks me about tunnel training, even though im a complete noob, id recommend Ally Milne in a heart beat, i just with i had more time for more sessions after my 10th one