HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Hobbies impact all five dimensions of strength in the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. But they especially impact the social dimension.

"Hobbies help you structure your life, keep your mind off of the things that do stress you, and build bonds in a special community," said Spc. Devin Kuhlmann, an information technology specialist during duty hours and a skydiver during off-duty hours.

Kuhlmann, a self-proclaimed 'adventurous guy' who is willing to try almost anything once, didn't hesitate to accept an invitation from his supervisor to join the community of skydivers in 2009, when he was assigned to the USAREUR G-6 Communications and Information Management.

The Long Prairie, Minn., native said that he eased his way into skydiving by making a tandem jump. This provides newcomers to the sport an opportunity to be harnessed to a licensed, professional skydiver and conquer any initial fear of free falling through the sky towards the ground at high speeds.

Kuhlmann said although he enjoyed the tandem jump, he knew that skydiving without someone strapped to his back would be more fun.

"[Skydiving] is total freedom," Kuhlmann said. "When you're up there on a really nice day with no clouds and nothing around you, you can see everything for miles and miles. You'll never see so much in your life."

Since making that first tandem jump, Kuhlmann has jumped solo 25 times and received his skydiving license from the United States Parachute Association. He said he is a skydiver for life.

Kuhlmann said unique hobbies, such as skydiving, have a certain cool factor, keep you busy and out of trouble, and can offer membership into special communities, like the skydiving or Harley Davidson communities.

"There are things in this life to experience," Kuhlmann said. "I suggest that everybody do as many things as possible."

Contact your local Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers representative for more information about skydiving in Europe.

The goal of the CSF social dimension is to develop and maintain trusted and valued relationships and friendships that are personally fulfilling, foster good communication skills and include comfortably exchanging ideas, views and experiences. To learn more about the five dimensions of strength and CSF visit http://csf.army.mil.

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Page last updated Mon October 17th, 2011 at 00:00