In a guide to women with kick ass powers, TheWrap described Captain Marvel as having “superhuman strength, stamina, durability, and agility, and can fly faster than the speed of sound. She can also heal from injuries quickly, has immunity to toxins and poisons, and can shoot light beams from her hands.”. That’s Isobel Rohwer, newest A license member at Skydive Mossel Bay. Her journey from her first static line jump on 8 Aug 2021 to getting her A license, 73 jumps later, on 11 June 2022, was a difficult one filled with failure, disappointment and despondency, not to mention two malfunctions (which she handled expertly by the way). But our Isobel not only healed from a few minor scrapes, she also healed from big emotional hurdles. To our delight, she comes most weekends to shoot her light beams of generosity, care and friendship on our drop zone. Today Isobel is working towards her CAT III Formation Skydiving test for her B license and soon she’ll be the one everyone else on the DZ will want to jump with. We asked her a few questions about how she overcame and conquered to become the awesome skydiver she is today. Read on.
Isobel with her instructors, from left to right, Corne Moolman, Braam Van Heerden, Chief Instructor Henk Van Wyk, Arenhold Hooper and Arnold Van Dyk.
- What made you decide to do a skydiving course?
Skydiving was my mom’s bucket list item and after joining her for a tandem skydive for her birthday last year, I could not get my head out of the clouds. With lower back issues after a bad mountain biking accident, I thought this might not be possible, but with the ‘all clear’ from my doctor, the encouragement of my hubby Michael and long conversations with my tandem instructor, Arenhold Hooper, I decided to give it a try. How difficult can it be to fall out of a plane?!
- It was an uphill struggle of many failed jumps and most people would have quit a long time ago. Describe what kept you going through the disappointments and lack of progress?
I don’t even know… I am sure hubby will say it is my stubbornness 😊 I am normally a very fast learner, but I am also a conservative person in my decision making – very much in contrast with skydiving. Struggling to progress from static line to freefall and even through the first few jumps in freefall were some of the most difficult times for me. I did quit – twice. However, from quitting you never learn anything, just how to give up. My 2 daughters (8 and 11 years) were on this journey with me, visiting the drop zone with me, watching my every jump. In the end, I think the gain was teaching them how to persevere, even if life gives you a few uphills or throws you out of a plane.
- What was the skydive that was your breakthrough moment when you realized you could skydive?
Strangely enough, I think it was after my second malfunction. (2 malfunctions in 6 jumps). It was also my second time quitting the sport. After long conversations with hubby Michael, coach Arenhold and a few close friends, I realize that my biggest fear was not for another malfunction, but that a loved one might advise me to stop skydiving. I was in love with this sport. I can still remember the feeling of freedom in the air on the very next jump.
- You recently skydived at your first boogie in Plett. What was that like?
I was amazed that other sports jumpers are having the same thoughts (nervous, will you mess up this jump, etc) as you. Apparently, they are all also just human 😉 I felt welcomed, part of the family. The skydiving community is really one big welcoming and accepting family.
5. Any advice you can give to ladies out there that are thinking about skydiving?
In a world where ladies/mom’s are normally last in line to attend to their own needs, I enjoy skydiving as my ME-time. It is a time that I can’t think about anything or anybody else but only focus on what is best for me, in this very specific time. I enjoyed the absolute silence in the air and the opportunity to experience God’s creation from a different angle.
Go! Just do it! Everybody is afraid, that’s normal. The reward on the other side is far more than you can ever imagine.
Isobel’s first static line jump
Looking sharp on a CAT II formation skydiving jump with instructor Arnold Van Dyk.