Most PR companies, including HMA, operate under the common belief that those who work hard deserve to play hard.
“Taking a break” is pretty unheard of in this profession so when we get an email invite specifying the date, time and place of our next company outing—which usually arrives two months in advance—we make the time for it. This is exactly what happened when Abbie notified us that the HMA team would be going skydiving—indoor skydiving, that is!
iFLY Phoenix, which opened in January of 2017, is the “experiential entertainment company that created modern indoor skydiving.” How does it work? Imagine Willy Wonka meets Tron: Legacy. There’s one large, transparent tube extending through the center of the room. In this tube are two people (one instructor, who very much so looks like a character from Tron, and one just along for the ride) who are buffeted around by strong wind currents rising from the fan below the tube for exactly 60 seconds. It is as fun and exhilarating as it is disconcerting.
After the entire group has had their two “flights,” the instructors hop into this miraculous tube and perform a routine—in the AIR—that will simultaneously cause your stomach to plummet and jaw to drop. These instructors are incredible, ours in particular. In addition to clocking in countless hours at the indoor skydiving facility, he had more than 600 jumps from a real plane under his belt—these guys and gals are the real deal!
For me, the best part was seeing our team out of their element—a perfect way to get to know people on a different level. When it comes to team-building outings, I say experiences like this take the cake because they take people out of their comfort zones, which I believe makes for the best bonding experiences.
As for the rest of HMA’s team, here is their take on our iFLY adventure:
Alison Bailin – “There are so many things, be it at work or home, you simply cannot control. What you can control: how you prepare yourself for challenges, and how you react to it. Calm down and look up!”
Scott Hanson – “It was exhilarating. But even better was being there as everyone exited the tunnel and expressed how much THEY liked it.”
Maddie Norris – “As the new intern at HMA, I’ve been doing quite a few things for the first time lately. Why not stick with the theme and try something new outside of the office too? Indoor skydiving definitely fit the bill, and I had a blast literally FLYING with my coworkers!”
Abbie Fink – “Sometimes you’ve just got to dive in, head first, and do something that is totally outside of your comfort zone. You might stumble, lose your footing a bit, but with a good team alongside you, you’ll be flying high again in no time.”
Rachel Brockway – “I love the fact that as a team we were able to experience something that was new for us. Not a single one of us had experienced indoor skydiving before, which seems like is not something that could be said about a lot of things.”