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Wildway Crew Stories: Derrick Edmond (Skydiving)

January 13, 2018

Wildway Crew Stories: Derrick Edmond (Skydiving)

Our Wildway Crew highlights ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

 

Within each of us lies the potential to live life to the fullest. We have the ability to choose our own destiny, live without fear or limits, challenge ourselves and grow, do and be whatever makes us happy. We have the ability to be free. It's how you live a Wildway of life and there are people all around us inspiring others with their actions. We want to celebrate that by highlighting and honoring those who #LiveWild. 

 

Meet this week's featured Wildway Crew member:

Derrick Edmond

Killeen, Texas
Wildway of Life = Skydiving. The autonomy of tracking at 140+ mph through clouds with just your body is soul-searing
Outlook = "Given the requisite knowledge and its compatibility with the laws of physics there's no reason to think it isn't possible"

Wildway of Choice = Banana Nut Granola

Meet Derrick.  He's a US Army veteran, licensed skydiver, and wingsuit pilot in training.  After suffering from PTSD and a combat related injury, Derrick was prescribed several medicines that made him feel detached and clouded.  Instead of continuing life in a less-than state, Derrick took matters into his own hands and reversed his health through exercise, nutrition, and dedication to the most thrilling of activities, skydiving.

Here is Derrick's story in his own words:

"I'm a US Army veteran and current federal government contractor. Over the last decade I've completed multiple combat/diplomatic deployments to southwest Asia and North Africa. My fitness regimen and diet have been the center piece of my sanity, literally. 

I suffered from depression due to post traumatic stress and required shoulder surgery due to a combat related injury. As a result, I was prescribed SSRIs, opiates, and anti inflammatory medication.  After months of physical therapy the shoulder recovered, but after months of opiates and SSRIs I became withdrawn and my mental health declined.

The opiates gave me a euphoric numbness, the muscle relaxers amplified my lethargy, and the SSRIs were the proverbial escape hatch. Combined they provided the perfect barrier to my recovery.  

I slowly got myself back into the gym which gave me momentum. I then began my research into the ketogenic diet and the idea that good healthy fats are the precursor to hormone production and regulation in the brain.  I found the more positive things I occupied my brain with, the less time I had to focus on past negative experiences and feelings. I had to recarve neural pathways with new endeavors.  

This research ultimately lead me to the decision to stop taking my prescribed medication.  Without the haze I am now able to pursue hobbies that I find enjoyable such as skydiving, archery, and trail running - pain free! I am also now debating whether or not to continue my service or just #livewild and jump out aircraft and off mountains for the rest of my life.

My first jump was a tandem in 2010, and it was ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING, but it altered my view of falling forever.  The autonomy of tracking at 140+ mph through clouds with just your body is soul searing. 

My coolest skydiving experience was last year. There were extremely strong winds that day, and the previous jump I was blown about half a mile off target. We jumped again anyway, I noticed I was having problems at about 2500 ft I was unable to line myself up with our prescribed landing pattern at 900ft I attempted to spiral dive to fight the wind but the crosswinds had other ideas. By 200 ft the wind had blown me towards powerlines that ran parallel to a group trees. I fought with every ounce of my being and missed the power lines but ended up in the trees. Suspended 30 ft in the air, hanging by my canopy, I have never been so happy in my life." 

 Live Wild. Skydive Wild.




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