COVID-19 closures inspire alternative activities
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Cora Masson of Boulder first jumped out of a plane in February 2019. Since then she has completed 230 skydives.
Like everyone, her life changed drastically when COVID-19 led to the temporary closure of non-essential businesses in Colorado.
“Before the virus craziness hit, we would go to a drop zone at Vance Brand Municipal Airport in Longmont," Masson says. "It's called Mile-Hi Skydiving Center. That's a place where a lot of people are together in one place, so of course they've had to shut down. So, the thing that I've pretty much done every weekend for the past year I no longer could do."
Masson calls skydiving "amazing. It changed my life in ways that I never would have expected. It's helped me in a lot of other ways in my life, too -- being able to feel fear then know that I can get through it anyways. There’s just kind of like a peacefulness about it. ... You can't think about anything else at the moment. You have to be focused on that one thing and it’s just you and the sky.”
The Colorado drop-zone closure accelerated Masson's step into BASE jumping, an acronym that stands for “building-antenna-span-earth," a list of objects parachutists can jump off of.
Masson, luckily, has a job that allows her to continue to work from home. Her boyfriend, however, is not as lucky. He worked for the drop zone that closed.
With this newfound reality and freedom, the couple traveled to Idaho so that Masson, like many before her, could have her first BASE jump off of the 486-foot-high Perrine Memorial Bridge over the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho, one of the few bridges in the country where BASE jumping is allowed.
Her mission accomplished, Masson was delighted with her first BASE jump experience. But she won’t be “jumping off anything crazy” again anytime soon, she says. She, like almost everyone in Colorado, is looking forward to “things getting back to normal."
Except for her, that means being able to jump out of a plane on the weekends.