Skydiving helps save gay woman from depression
A LEAP at a height of 12,000 feet was a life-saving experience for Hervey Bay's Fern Talladine.
While the 25-year-old admits she nearly backed out of her first tandem skydive two years ago, she said if it wasn't for that jump she might not have been here today.
"I was in a really dark place," Fern said when The Chronicle caught up with her.
Fern was suffering from severe depression and anxiety, which stemmed from discrimination for being gay throughout her life.
"Skydiving has given me a purpose to live," she said.
Now with an 'A' licence in her hot little hands and her very own parachute, Fern has big dreams of jumping 10,000 times before she dies and it's all thanks to her dad.
"My dad bought my first skydive for my birthday and he jumped first," Fern said.
She explained her first experience was very daunting and even though she got plane sick and went ghostly white, it was a life-changing moment.
"I am up to my 31st jump now and I would love to jump (out of a plane) in Dubai one day," Fern said.
As well as having a passion for skydiving, Fern is enjoying a hobby in photography and would like to be experienced enough to be able to take photos while in the air.
"You need be very experienced to be able to photograph while skydiving so that's something I'm working towards," she said.
At about $325 a pop for a tandem skydive, it's no wonder more women are getting into the sport.
"There are a lot more women getting involved in skydiving ," Fern said.
"Now that I have a licence, I can jump for $45. It's an experience like no other, just breathtaking and awe-inspiring."