Graeme Windsor was 19 and working in Papua New Guinea when his mate suggested they go skydiving.
At first, Mr Windsor asked the obvious - "Why jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane?" - but since that first jump he has been hooked.
"I loved it so much. We jumped most days. All weekend," Mr Windsor said.
Since then, the now 70-year-old Canberran has completed more than 7000 jumps, and is set to compete in the National Skydiving Championship in Moruya on the NSW south coast, which is held from March 11-18.
"It's very scenic from the air up and down the coast. The facilities are some of the best in Australia," he said.
But skydiving is not just a hobby for Mr Windsor; he was the longest-serving president of the International Parachuting Commission, worked as an instructor in Canberra, and was inducted into the 2017 International Skydiving Hall of Fame.
At the championships, Mr Windsor will be competing in the accuracy competition.
He will jump out of a plane 7000 feet up to aim for a target that has a radius of just 16 centimetres.
The landing is the first point of contact, so the trick, he said, would be to land the end of his heels on the pad.
Mr Windsor said his tally of more than 7000 jumps is actually relatively modest; others have clocked up between 10,000 and 20,000 jumps.
He said skydiving had taught him things about life too. On his 13th jump - also his first competitive jump - his main parachute wouldn't open and he had to use his reserve.
"It think it was a good experience early in my career, that something can go wrong and you've got a back-up. It gave me confidence in myself and my equipment," Mr Windsor said.
"I've had a number of malfunctions of my main parachute but always had my reserve parachute."
"Your drills, your procedure just kicks in."
But it's also the individual nature of skydiving that captures Mr Windsor. Back in Papua New Guinea, it was too hot to play his choice sports of field hockey and rugby, which is why he agreed to his mate's offer to skydive.
While with rugby or hockey he can find his mind racing, skydiving totally absorbs him.
"The sort of freedom as you leave a plane, free falling, you're focused on what you're doing. Nothing else is a concern," Mr Windsor said.