Chicago couple quits their jobs to become skydivers
September 12, 2013 10:26PM
Watch video of the jump at suntimes.com/sports
Updated: October 15, 2013 7:13AM
JaNette Lefkowitz and her husband Steve started jumping out of planes in 2007. And they never looked back.
“Steve and I were consultants living in Lincoln Park for years,” said Lefkowitz, who now coaches skydivers professionally. “We loved skydiving so much we decided to quit our jobs and dive full-time.”
The husband and wife team are now part of a four-member squad called SDC Rhythm XP, which competes Friday in the National Skydiving Championships at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Ill. The four-day tournament, held by the United States Parachute Association, includes 60 teams from all over the country participating in multiple contests, 10,000 feet above the ground
The team took second place in their class last year and third place at the Dubai internationals in 2011. They make up what is called an open 4-way team, one that aims to construct and complete as many formations as it can within 35 seconds. Jumpers are accompanied by a free-fall videographer, who captures the performance on video. Teams are judged on speed and accuracy.
Lefkowitz, 35, said that typical training days include “anywhere between 10 to 16 jumps within a day,” not to mention practice within wind tunnels plus general fitness. “It’s 35 seconds of intensity,” she said, “and during each jump we try to execute six formations without error.”