Published: April 18, 2019
We are pleased to announce Elizabeth "Zibby" Alexander of the Women's Skydiving Leadership Network will be joining us as a special guest organzier during our Sisters In Skydiving Boogie to benefit the YWCA of Greater Flint on Friday, July 12th through Sunday, July 14th.
Zibby began skydiving in 2014 and has over 600 jumps and 25+ hours in the tunnel. Native to Northeast Illinois, she proudly calls Skydive Chicago home. She is a Coach and Load Organizer at Skydive Chicago and organizes the A-License Club, which introduces newly licensed skydivers to safe fun jumping. Having experimented in numerous disciplines, she is most proficient in belly FS and is focusing on camera flying. Zibby loves snowboarding and indoor climbing in the off-season, and owns a small business making and selling custom crochet.
Recently, we had a chance to interview Zibby about her experiences when she first began her journey as a skydiver, what made her decide to get involved with the Women's Skydiving Leadership Network, about being a female mentor to women in the sport and much more. We hope that you will find her as inspiring as we do!
- What made you decide to start skydiving and what was the experience like when you first started towards your A license?
My brother Alex and I are generally game for anything, so when he called one day and suggested skydiving, I was all in. I was certain it would be a one-time thing, but at the drop zone I saw all these really cool people jumping again and again. I didn't know people could do that. The minute my tandem instructor and I were under canopy, I was completely hooked. Working toward my A-license was terrifying. Fortunately, I was goal-oriented more than anything else and I rode that momentum through to jump 25.
- Why do you feel it's important for women in this sport to connect with one another and learn from each other?
I don't believe I truly knew the value of having friends who were women until I started skydiving. People learn a lot about themselves when they choose to override their basic survival instinct and throw themselves out of an airplane at 13k feet. Even if we never identify or discuss any of these things, I feel women understand and relate to each other on an intangible level that can make all the difference to someone struggling in any aspect of the sport. And yes, we can totally smoke the men in the sky and be "just one of the guys" on the packing mat. But sometimes it's just fun to be silly girls and paint lipstick on each other in freefall, and no guy is about to do that with us.
- What do you enjoy most about traveling to different drop zones as a female load organizer?
I enjoy meeting new people and experiencing the atmosphere of different places. Every drop zone culture has similarities and differences and there's always a new idea or two to bring back home that will improve our own program. The only distinction I think I experience as a female is that the old guys seem to get a huge kick out of flying with a chick they just met who's not [outwardly] afraid to get in there and call the shots.
- What made you decide to get involved with the Woman's Skydiving Leadership Network?
I was invited to take the training to become a Mobile Mentor, and I don't turn down opportunities that cross my path. Since becoming involved, I've been inspired by the camaraderie, support and general lack of drama within the female skydiving community. This sport is naturally full of strong women who pursue their goals and ask for what they want. There are also women who can easily be overwhelmed by insecurity, lack of experience or thinking they don't fit in. They feel that they just aren't good enough to fly in that big way, join a competitive team or land their canopy without getting hurt. They don't speak up and silently fade out of the sport. Those are the women that can benefit the most from the WSLN. If we can encourage them to keep going, do just one more jump, it could set them on the path to the kind of personal growth that affects every part of their lives.
- How did you feel when you received Honorable Mention in the 2019 Blue Skies DZ Awards as an Organizer?
Absolutely stunned. And then elated. I had no idea enough people even knew who I was, let alone who thought of me highly enough to write in my name. I love load organizing because of how happy and excited people get when they have a really fun and successful jump, and I'm encouraged by the impact it seems to be having.
Zibby will be organizing, offering learning opportinuties, and coaching during our 4th Annual Sisters In Skydiving Boogie to help benefit to YWCA of Greater Flint. Each year we use this event to not only help inspire female skydivers, but also to offer an educational experience to help build their abilities, confidence and skills in the sky though Special Female Guest Organizers and Mentors. All of this skydiving awesomeness combined with raising money and awareness for one of our local community organizations, the YWCA of Greater Flint. We hope that you will be able to join us Friday, July 12 - Sunday, July 14th for what is sure to be an incredible weekend full of smiles, excitement and sisterly love!
Click here to learn more about our 2019 Sisters In Skydiving Event being hosted at Midwest Freefall on Friday, July 12 - Sunday, July 14th and what other amazing opportunities we will have available that weekend!
"Midwest Freefall is a fantastic place to go."
» Barb Sapien