Throw Back Thursday: 20 years in skydiving

Posted on June 25, 2014 by lowequality in Down Lowe with Melissa.

Can you believe it!? Well, take a trip down memory lane with me with this commemorative Throw Back Thursday!

I recently had a friend ask me, “How long have you been in skydiving?” I sat back and thought while I did the math.

“Wow, it’s been 20 years since my first solo jump!”

First solo jump: Circa 1994

First solo jump: Circa June 1994

First solo, landing: Circa 1994

First solo, landing: Circa June 1994

And it’s been one amazing journey! Here’s a fun look back at the last 20…

’ve trained and competed at a world level, I’ve helped organize world records – I’ve participated in 11! I’ve had the privilege to travel the world for skydiving events; I have new sponsors and sponsors I’ve now been with for over a decade (Performance Designs & SunPath)! I’m the 121st recipient of the 10,000 jump award and have earned the 2011 Stephan Banic award for my contributions to the sport. I co-created VFS into competition and participated in many USPA Board of Directors meetings. I’ve published a book about my dad in skydiving, written dozens of articles for industry magazines and blog my heart away. I’ve run one of the largest skydiving centers to working at a little Cessna DZ. I’ve lept from various types of aircraft and even became a private pilot. I’ve worked in manifest to becoming an AFF-instructor to becoming a freefly load organizer and coach. Not to mention all the amazing people I’ve met along the way! I went from Missy Nelson to Melissa Nelson to Melissa Lowe! Now, I’m 28 weeks pregnant with a future 4th generation skydiver!

All this would not be possible without man who dared to follow his dreams. Thank you first must go to my grandfather, Carl Nelson, Sr. who began this family legacy. And a huge love and thanks to my late father, Roger Nelson and Carl Nelson, Jr.

Here’s to the next 20 amazing years of skydiving!

Staring out the jump door, Circa 1995Packing circa 1998Getting coached by my bro. (Yes, there were pizzas back then!) Circa 1999.Guilty pleasure, freesylist at heart! Circa 2000Hodge Podge 10-way Team at the 1998 US Nationals in Eloy, AZ. (Can you pick out BJ Worth, Nancy Koreen, Chris Needles and me?)Packing my rig on my first skydiving trip without my dad! Skydive Arizona, 1997Getting ready to board in my first custom RW jumpsuit. Circa 1996Quincy 1999Flying my dad's pink PD Stilletto. Circa 1999Swoop Club at Skydive Chicago in 2003Earned AFF Instructor rating in 2000. This is me on the radio in 2001 at Skydive Chicago.My favorite shot by Steve Utter in 2001.The first (and only) Open Freefly all-women team, the Sugar Gliderz!1st cover shot! Parachutist November 2003First swoop competition at The Ranch, NY in 20022003 at Skydive OrgeonSwoop Club Skydive Chicago 2006mxtrack_sm

And here’s a fun up-to-date article from Skydive Mag: