At just 22, Chiara Borowski easily clocks in as CYPRES’ youngest skydiver–but her wisdom, big-heartedness and powerful work ethic far transcend her years. You may already know Chiara’s familiar face, in fact, because her sunny smile has been a fixture in German CYPRES tents for two years running. This year–as the Roadshow Manager–she’ll be gracing all the boogies in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland–and she couldn’t be more stoked. For all the smiles, it’s hard to believe that her introduction to the sport was–well–inauspicious. But, truth to tell, it kinda was.
“My mom was 37 when she started skydiving,” Chiara explains, “And she did about 300 FS jumps before she quit. I came along to the dropzone with her every weekend, but I didn’t really love the dropzone life before I started jumping. We would get there at nine in the morning and came home ten hours later, after just sitting around eating ice cream, waiting in the sun all day. I did a tandem jump when I was 14 and she came with us in freefall, but it didn’t become a regular thing.”
Dropzone life would improve exponentially for Chiara, of course. It was just a handful of years later that she began as an apprentice here at CYPRES. (In Germany, you have to learn a job for three years before you can do it professionally.) Chiara had a part-time job at CYPRES for six months before she came on as an official apprentice at age 18.
“During the second year,” Chiara says, “My boss came to me and asked, ‘What are you plans at the weekend?’ When I said that I didn’t have plans yet, he told me, ‘Come to the dropzone. You will do a static line jump. You have to skydive so you know what you are talking about.’ I said, ‘What?! …Okay. I’ll be there.’ I did my first static line jump that Sunday morning, and I broke my shoulder on my very first jump.”
I hope I can do the road show again next year. “To make it even better and to connect to even more jumpers. My personal goal–for skydiving–is to become a teacher. I will earn my AFF instructor certification–and to be the mentor for the next apprentice. We are a really small company; it’s like a family, and it would be an honor to mentor the next ‘family member.’
Inauspicious, indeed–but that little speed bump didn’t seem to slow Chiara down a bit. She was right back at it after her recovery–with a much-improved flare strategy, of course. Chiara immediately set about diligently applying herself to learning the freefly discipline, which remains to this day her favorite way to play in the sky.
These days, Chiara’s CYPRES life has two distinct modes: office life and boogie life. When she’s here at the facility in Bad Wünnenberg, Chiara’s work covers pretty much every facet of office operations. From when she arrives (sometime between 7 and 9) to when she finally closes her laptop for the night, she runs back and forth between the office and the production facility to check statuses, answers a snowdrift of emails, processes the orders, contributes on the planning of all our events, ships requested promo stuff to any number of boogie organizers, picks up the constantly-ringing phone, handles the invoicing…everything, really. And the job certainly doesn’t stop there.
“I’m a skydiver 24 hours a day,” Chiara explains. “Even though I only technically work for 40 hours per week. I often get messages on Facebook and WhatsApp at 1 a.m. Sometimes, they act strangely when I don’t answer in one hour. Every once in a while, I have to sleep, or shower, or cook some dinner,” she laughs. “I promise, I will answer as soon as possible!”
The second mode–boogie life–kicks in when the weather warms up. During the sunny season, Chiara dusts out her suitcase and knuckles down to the part of her job she purports to enjoy best: the Roadshow. This will be Chiara’s third year on the road in the CYPRES tent, and she couldn’t be more stoked.
“When I’m on the road, my life is extra-sweet,” she says, “I get to the dropzone by 7 or 8 to open the tent in the morning. Then I’m there answering all the questions, talking to cool people about their lives, enjoying life. And I go for some jumps sometimes, of course. In the evening, there’s always parties, so I get to have some beers in the company of all these great people.”
Indeed, it’s as much the people as it is the freefall that drives Chiara’s engagement with the sport.
“I have been so lucky,” she explains. “Since I was a little skydiver with maybe ten jumps, I have been able to work with all these incredible, famous jumpers. It’s so cool to know and to work with so many people at the top of the skydiving sport–and then to go on the road and meet other jumpers from so many different backgrounds, all here to really enjoy life.”
That affection is returned to Chiara by nearly everyone she comes in contact with, as her buoyant attitude and robust work ethic are legendary around here. Success, of course, naturally follows that all-in approach. One’s early twenties are big goal-setting years, and Chiara–despite already having achieved a heck of a lot as a professional and a jumper alike for her 22 turns around the sun–is lining up impressive goals to match her already-impressive resumé.
“I hope I can do the road show again next year,” she grins, “To make it even better and to connect to even more jumpers. My personal goal–for skydiving–is to become a teacher. I will earn my AFF instructor certification–and to be the mentor for the next apprentice. We are a really small company; it’s like a family, and it would be honor to mentor the next ‘family member.’”
“I love my work,” Chiara effuses. “I love to talk to the customers. Actually, I think you have to love this, because you are never off of work. Pretty much every skydivers know me from my name in their email and my face from pictures, so I do this job 24 hours a day. If I didn’t love that part of it, I couldn’t do this. But I do.”
To follow Chiara’s exploits on the road, follow the CYPRES Facebook fanpage Facebook–or just say hi at the Roadshow tent this summer!
Tags: CYPRES Road Show