Anemometer | Thankful
Anemometer | Nov 23, 2023
Anemometer | Thankful

Albert Berchtold

This week, the people of the United States will celebrate the age-old holiday of Thanksgiving. So, I’d like to take a moment to reflect upon some of the things I am thankful for and invite you to do the same.

My Family
First and foremost, I’m thankful for my loving wife and children, parents and siblings. They have kept me grounded through another year of life.

My Health
This year, I was able to jump at various DZs around the U.S., compete in our USPA Nationals, participate in a few triathlons and maintain a reasonably healthy diet. As I grow older, the physical and mental abuse I put myself through in my younger years is certainly coming back to haunt me. Spending time on my own wellbeing this year has made my life better, and I pray it will pay dividends by allowing me to live a long and healthy life.

The Life Lessons I’ve Learned
As for most of us, skydiving has brought enjoyment to my life. This sport has taught me many life lessons, as well. It’s taught me humility, risk assessment and respect for those who have traveled these roads before me. With every trip around the sun, I am further humbled by the amazing people in our sport and what they have accomplished.

I’m thankful for the friendships I’ve made this year, the old friends I’ve gotten to see again and acquaintances whom I’ve gotten to know better. 

Our USPA Board
The members of our board put in countless volunteer hours for one reason and one reason alone: They love skydiving, plain and simple. They pour their hearts into sharing our sport around the country. They work on development of new programs and ideas that will help carry our sport forward into tomorrow. Our organization wouldn’t exist without the time and effort of those who help lead it.

Our USPA Staff
They show up every day, and they are here for you. There are various moving parts to USPA, and without the staff’s dedication and constant devotion to all of us, those moving parts would come to a grinding halt.

Our Drop Zone Owners and Their Staff
Every once and a while I hear someone repeat the biggest lie in our sport, “Become a drop zone owner, you’ll get to jump for free!” Our DZOs and staff are the lifeblood of our sport. They interact directly with the public, and they play a huge part in producing either the growth or shrinkage of our sport. From the first time someone visits a website or calls to find out about making a first jump, their interaction with the frontline drop zone staff sets the tone for how those folks view our sport. I’m thankful that they show up and represent us so positively.

There are so many more things I could add to this list, but I’ve only got one page. I hope your year has been a good one, and you have an entire book's worth of things to be thankful for. Now where’s that turkey?

Blue skies,

Albert Berchtold | D-27832
USPA Executive Director

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