How Skydiving Transformed My Life: A Journey of Fear, Excitement, and Self-Discovery

Denise Haney skydiving
Skydiving is a sport often associated with adrenaline junkies and daredevils, but for Denise Haney, it became a catalyst for profound personal transformation. At 59 years old, she found herself thrust into the world of skydiving, not by her own initial desire, but by the enthusiasm of her husband. Little did she know, this leap […]

Skydiving is a sport often associated with adrenaline junkies and daredevils, but for Denise Haney, it became a catalyst for profound personal transformation. At 59 years old, she found herself thrust into the world of skydiving, not by her own initial desire, but by the enthusiasm of her husband. Little did she know, this leap of faith would alter the trajectory of her life forever.

“I was supportive and went along to watch him do his tandem jumps [at Skydive the Wasatch]. However, there was no interest on my part to do a jump,” Haney said. But despite her initial reluctance, life had a way of nudging Denise out of her comfort zone when she least expected it. Just a week after her husband’s first jump, Haney surprised herself by declaring, “I want to try it.”

Don and Denise Haney
Don and Denise Haney inside the Skydive the Wasatch dropzone.

What followed was a rollercoaster of emotions – fear, exhilaration, and a newfound sense of freedom. 

“It was the most frightening and exhilarating thing I’d ever done,” Haney said. The adrenaline rush left her feeling alive in a way she hadn’t experienced in years. Her husband, Don, noticed the change too.

“My husband said my eyes were sparkling like when I was a teenager,” Haney recalled.

As Denise delved deeper into the world of skydiving, she discovered more than just a thrilling pastime. It became a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. 

“Overcoming fear and the mental challenges of jumping made me feel strong and in control of my life,” Haney shared. The stresses of everyday life seemed to melt away with each leap from the plane, replaced by a sense of clarity and purpose.

But skydiving wasn’t just a mental challenge; it also presented physical obstacles, especially for someone who had spent over four decades behind a desk. Yet, Denise embraced the challenge head-on, using it as motivation to take better care of herself. 

As she got in better shape physically through skydiving, Haney’s confidence also soared higher and higher with each jump.

Denise Haney is all smiles before one of her skydives.

In addition to the personal growth skydiving brought Denise, it also enriched her social life.

“The timing was right for some excitement and to get to socialize with a fantastic group of people,” Haney said about the community at Skydive the Wasatch. 

What started as a shared adventure with her husband blossomed into a thriving community that spanned the globe. As retirement loomed on the horizon, Denise found solace in knowing she had a supportive network to lean on.

“A new life began when I jumped out of that plane, and I’m happier than ever,” Haney declared with conviction. 

In Denise’s journey, which is similar to that of many others, skydiving taught her the value of embracing fear, pushing boundaries, and seizing every opportunity life presents. Denise gave a special shoutout to Leon, Adam, and Yennifer as mentors in teaching her how to “fly” but credited the entire staff at Skydive the Wasatch for her change in perspective on life and newfound community of friends.

Denise’s skydiving journey serves as a powerful reminder that it’s never too late to chase your dreams, defy expectations, and rewrite the script of your life. As Denise looks ahead to retirement, she does so with excitement and optimism.

“I retire in a little over a year, yet I’m not worried about keeping busy or not having socialization, because I have been welcomed into a community that reaches from my home dropzone to across the world,” Haney said. 

This can be your story, too! Your new life can start today! Book a tandem jump at Skydive the Wasatch and join our incredible community of skydivers. With us, the sky is truly the limit!

Addict II Athlete Skydive the Wasatch group photo

Skydive the Wasatch

Utah's premier tandem skydiving center, Skydive the Wasatch is a "refuge away from the stress and weight of life". Located only one hour away from the Salt Lake City metropolitan area and just half an hour from Provo, Skydive the Wasatch offers tandem skydiving over the majestic terrain of the Wasatch Front.
  • Sarah B. Avatar
    Sarah B.
    so much fun !! the staff was great and super nice and easy to talk to, i felt safe the... read more
    7/08/2022
  • Old S. Avatar
    Old S.
    We had a great experience at Skydive the Wasatch. The entire crew are professional and want you to have... read more
    8/30/2021
  • Tayte L. Avatar
    Tayte L.
    I would recommend if you want to go skydiving then this is the place to go!! The best staff that... read more
    8/23/2021
  • Celine M. Avatar
    Celine M.
    would absolutely recommend this place!! my boyfriend and i went there, and we jumped with leon and eric. they were... read more
    8/03/2019
  • Taylor P. Avatar
    Taylor P.
    these guys are super chill, the instructors are fantastic and definitely know what they are doing. i felt 100% safe... read more
    6/07/2023
  • Jessica B. Avatar
    Jessica B.
    Absolutely amazing! I was absolutely shot with nerves when our group got there and they all took such great care... read more
    8/12/2023
  • courtney m. Avatar
    courtney m.
    The team, the experience, and the view were all nothing short of amazing. I felt comfortable and safe throughout the... read more
    5/31/2023
  • Jared L. Avatar
    Jared L.
    it was an awesome family time with my bro and niece. Leon and the guys were great and so... read more
    7/26/2022
  • Jamie C. Avatar
    Jamie C.
    It was amazing! The experience alone is indescribable. But the view you get in Nephi is awe inspiring. And the... read more
    10/16/2016
  • Scott S. Avatar
    Scott S.
    We had a great time at Skydive the Wasatch!! It was my first time and I was terrified but... read more
    11/03/2021

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