If you’ve been to Skydive Chicago, you’ve more than likely met this warmhearted person as she’s been a part of Skydive Chicago for over 19 years. She greets jumpers with a big smile as she loads the plane, and has embodied what it means when we say skydivers are family. Meet our extended family, member, Christa Cross.

Christa Cross skydiver in chicago

Give us the skinny. How old are you, where are you from and how did you end up at Skydive Chicago?

I am a 61 year young women, born in Germany but been in the USA since 1982. While living in Dayton Ohio I started jumping 1992 in Waynesville Oh. Went to Florida and attended Nationals in September 1999 where I met the 10 way team form SDC. They were so much fun that I thought I need to go and the out SDC, gathered 2 friends and went to SDC in October that year.

What were you like as a kid? Were there any indicators early on that might make one think you’d becoming a skydiving instructor?

I am pretty sure I was a “difficult” child, always wanted to hang out and play with the boys, never wanted to do homework but got good enough grates to pass my classes. But I guess wanting to stuff boys did made me tough enough to be working in the skydiving world since it is/was a male dominated sport. I got my tandem rating in 2001 and did tandems for a few years and SDC and then later at Start Skydiving in Ohio.

Before skydiving, what were your favorite passions and/or hobbies and why?

Before skydiving I lived a “normal” life as a wife and worked in the Nursing field. Always love to be outside, did lots of hiking, walking, biking and swimming. Never really had a hobby that I stuck too until I found skydiving.

What job(s) did you have before you found skydiving?

I have a business degree from Germany and a Nursing degree from the USA, so a lot of business and medical stuff.

Christa Cross skydiving in chicago

What is the story of how you got into skydiving and how did you decide to continue:

I was working in a Dr’s office in Dayton OH and we had a medical student named Dan Ebert, he was rotating through diff specialty’s offices. Dan and I had to do many X-Rays and develop them so we had lots of time in the dark room to talk, where I found out about him being a skydiver. As we all know anytime you tell someone that you skydive they say: Oh I want to do that, but most likely they never will do it, so he did not believe me either. One Saturday morning I just decided to show up on the DZ he had told me about and prove him wrong. That was at Waynesville Skysports in Waynesville Oh, owners Steve and Janie Stewart.

First jump was a static line jump, I just remember climbing out on the step and thought this is crazy I will never make it to hang on the strut, but somehow I made it all the way out there and when I let go my whole world changed, I was free!! So that was it, I continued to come back and proved to Dan I was not one of “those” – hahaha!

What discipline do you like and why?

I did some 8 and 16 way and also did 10 way speed star. I am not sure why I guess those where my disciplines.

Christa Cross-skydive chicago

What’s something about the sport that surprised you that you didn’t know when you started?

To my total surprise: I made so many friends from all over the world, I know that does not have much to do with jumping but that is my biggest surprise.

How long have you been at Skydive Chicago and what is your position?

I have been at SDC since 1999, after the World Record attempt in 2000 I move there completely. Got a trailer on the DZ and started to work as a grounds crew member and TI. Now I work as a Loader and am training in manifest to check in costumers.

Can you explain a breakthrough moment in your skydiving career: explain the challenge you faced and how you overcame it:

I guess for me a breakthrough moment was the first jump of the 300 way attempt, being in the base and seeing all those people around me was such an amazing moment that I had to change my life after that.

What is your favorite part of the sport and why?

My favorite part of the sport is, it teaches you to get out of your comfort zone and learn how to fly. Who does not want that?

Christa Cross-skydive chicago

FUN FAST FACTS

Favorite Cuisine: Thai food

Favorite Junk Food: Doritos-original of course

Favorite Place visited: So many, can’t only pick one. San Francisco, Alps, Rocky Mountains

Never been: Tokyo

Pet Peeve: not thinking outside the box

When I grow up I want to be a Hairstylist. Not at all me now!

Something about you that few people know about and would be surprised to learn? I like Reality TV…

Best book you’ve ever read? I do not like to read

Most used app on your smartphone? Face Book

If you’d like to discover more about skydiving, visit our tandem skydiving page and discover more about this great sport at Skydive Chicago.