DELAND, Fla. — Bee Powell likes taking chances. It’s no surprise then, to know that this broker of Bee Realty Corp. in DeLand was once a professional skydiver.
She got her first adrenaline rush while bungee jumping in Germany. “They were operating from a plane. I did it a couple of times and then asked the guy if I could work there,” she says. “I wanted to be hands on.”
In addition to her day job as an architect at a large firm in Germany, Powell parlayed those first few bungee jumps into a hobby doing show jumping.
“The bungee operator was also a skydiving operator,” says Powell, who soon started skydiving. “In the beginning, it was the thrill that attracted me, but it’s also the freedom. When you’re jumping, you detach from the world. It puts everything into a different perspective.”
Of course, skydiving is not without scares. However, Powell says she didn’t have very many close calls.
“The closest disaster I had was when I was a new skydiver. In Spain, we were training, and I had a line twist in my parachute. I tried to get out of it for a long time and finally did it fairly low to the ground. It taught me how to be calm in a crisis,” she says.
In 1992, Powell traveled to the United States, earned her skydiving license and went to California and DeLand to skydive.
“It took on a life of its own,” she says. The following year, Powell started competing nationally for the German National Skydive Team. She took fifth place in the freestyle category at the world meet in Spain.
With that somewhat mastered, she moved on to challenge herself in formation skydiving. From 1992 to 1996, she attended a German academy for formation skydiving.
Then in 1996, she moved to Australia, earned her instructor license and participated in the accelerated freefall program. Finally, back in Germany in 2000, she joined an all-female formation team.
“I was a founding member of the first female team in formations,” she says.
She participated in two more world meets, where she got as high as fourth place before marrying in 2004, moving to DeLand and then having two children, Zoe and Calvin. Her husband, Rickster Powell, is still active in the skydiving community. He is a research and development coordinator who does test jumps.
These days, Powell can be found in her real estate office and showing homes.
“I stopped jumping when Calvin was about eight months old – I had to drop him off with family to train for the world meet, then got pregnant with my daughter, so I stopped,” she laughs. “Plus, you need a lot of money and time. I didn’t want to be a weekend jumper; that’s not for me. Now, my daughter and I ride horses.”
This Realtor adds, “If you never take risks, it’s no way to live.”