This week's Recoup Athlete Corner takes a look up to the sky where you can find Jeff Provenzano - professional Skydiver & BASE Jumper. He has over 20,000 jumps to date, trains the military, coaches students, athletes & celebrities while living an active lifestyle and looking pretty smooth while doing it all. He is more commonly known as 'Jeffro' & we are beyond excited to have him on the Recoup Team.
Hometown – NY, NY
Activity – Skydiving & BASE jumping
How many days a week do you jump or tunnel? "On average I jump 5x per week and fly in the wind tunnel 2x per week. On average I make between 600-1000 jumps per year."
How many days a week do you go to the gym or yoga? "Gym 6x per week and yoga 3x per week. I also meditate every morning, and do a light stretch at night."
What got you into skydiving? "The original movie Point Break inspired me to go make my first skydive."
Give us a weird fact about you. "I am first generation American. My mom immigrated from Switzerland and my father is from Italy."
How do you use Recoup? "After every workout, I spend time to cool down, foam roll, stretch and then I use the Cryosphere like a fine sandpaper to finish off. Especially when I have pushed myself and know I’ll feel it the next day if I don't. Whenever I have any pain or inflammation in my knees or elbows, I use the sleeves because it offers some compression as well. The rest of the time I keep the sleeves and the Cryosphere in my lunch cooler and it keeps my food cold ;)"
Best/Worst Injury Story? "My best/worst injury happened while BASE jumping near Saguaro Lake outside of Phoenix, AZ. It’s a beautiful location. This 230 ft. cliff sits overlooking a flowing river that creates an oasis in the Sonoran desert. I would consider this a double diamond jump. The history of BASE at Saguaro has a gnarly past. Many jumpers have been injured here and for some the outcome was even fatal. What makes it so dangerous is that its a low-life and you don’t have much room for an “off heading opening”, when the parachute opens in a different direction from where you are facing. This is not Moab or the Grand Canyon with smooth beautiful flat walls. Like most low cliffs in Central AZ, Saguaro is rough and is nothing even close to flat and smooth. I made many successful jumps here in the past but on this jump I had a 180 degree off heading opening, which is possibly the worst outcome.
After opening I surged into the cliff, slamming myself into the wall and bouncing off. I managed to steer and fly the parachute away from the wall but during the impact I shattered my left arm and wrist. In moments like this, time slows down you are in The Matrix. I made a quick assessment of my body while flying away from the wall passing over the river towards the Landing Area. At first I thought I might have dislocated my wrist and was more concerned about a head or leg injury, neither which I had. I performed a quick practice flare, the procedure used to land a parachute softly, to know if I would be able to finish the job. Thanks to the adrenaline I was still able to control the parachute and prevent any additional injures upon landing. The entire event, from the exit to the landing took place within 13 seconds. I was with one friend who safely jumped right before me and my girlfriend who was waiting in the landing area with the 2 dogs.
So, fortunately I wasn't alone and thankfully this is one of the easiest BASE jumps in Arizona to hike in and out from. The landing area to the car is only a 10 minute hike. Within 30 minutes I was sitting at Banner Regional Medical Center in Mesa, AZ explaining my story to the hospital staff. The shattered wrist required surgery - 11 screws and a plate which took 3 months to heal but my full recovery took almost a year. My first jump back was exactly 3 months after the accident and it is actually my favorite jump ever."
In contrast... what's been your favorite jump? "Out of 20,000+ jumps, my favorite jump ever is the one and only time I jumped over NYC. I jumped from a plane, flew my wing suit over the point of Manhattan and landed on a barge in the Hudson River. Since as long as I can remember this was my dream and it was a jump that I will never forget. Getting permission from NYC took years of planning until it was approved and I almost missed out on this jump because I was still recovering from the BASE jumping accident I had at Saguaro."
Scariest/least favorite jump? "I always said if Skydiving were an Olympic sport it should be in the Summer Olympics. There is a good reason for that. Skydiving into the Denver Broncos Stadium on an extremely cold winter day was my least favorite jump ever. I was frozen the entire day. After waiting 2 hours outside for the helicopter to arrive followed by an even colder 1 hour helicopter ride with no doors, by the time of the jump I was already frozen solid. Now add a 150MPH wind chill during free fall, I felt down right miserable. After the jump, my die-hard football fan teammates insisted to sit outside in the cold to watch the game. That day seemed like it would never end. Back in my warm hotel room that evening felt like the best feeling ever."
Weirdest & also coolest thing you have been hired to do? "Most people consider everything I do as either weird or cool but in my opinion the weirdest thing I was ever hired to do was to ride a sofa, actually an entire living room set, out the back of a C130 for a commercial for NVIDA. Just google search 'NVIDIA Rule the Living Room' and tell me what you think."
Any other facts the world should know about you (ie you love hairless cats, only eat hotdogs before skydiving… something like that?) "I am a bit of an organic food snob, I still get nervous before jumps, I can’t stand people who stand on escalators and drive slow in the fast lane. Please move over."
We talked a lot about eating clean and taking care of your body – any words to share on this to the people? "Rest Well. Sleep is most important.
EAT REAL FOOD. Eating clean and healthy takes some discipline, effort and education. If you really want to know what your body specifically needs you can find out through blood and gut tests. It’s tricky to maintain good eating habits while traveling. Do your research and plan before you travel. Before I travel I search for organic grocery stores, restaurants etc. wherever I go and often travel with food.
Sugar is the worst. Just eliminate it.
Fast. The benefits of fasting are huge. Fasting is beneficial down to the cellular level. Intermittent fasting is a good daily habit with an occasional 24, 36 or 48 hour fast. Sometimes I do my longer fast while traveling when there is no real food to eat. Skip the food on the airplane and at the airports and wait until you arrive to your final destination and go find an organic grocery store.
Set Goals. Focus on how you will achieve your goals as opposed to the “goal” itself. For example, if you want to get in shape you must eat healthy and work out regularly. Now take that one step farther and break down how you will eat healthy and what type of workout program you will follow and that is your actual goal.Meditate. Even just 10 minutes per day can be life changing. There are so many guided meditation apps out there these days.
Journal. It is a great place to just let it all out and there are no rules here. Start with writing down your goals.
Cold Showers. So good for you. I only ever take cold showers. Morning, night you name it.
I feel like we could have 200 more questions for you but… any other highlights/things you want the world to know about you? "Skateboarding and Snowboarding were my biggest passions before skydiving took over my life. I attended and graduated from The School of Visual Arts in NYC with a bachelor degree in Fine Arts. I also really enjoy food shopping and cooking for myself."
Keep an eye out for Jeff and what he has up his sleeve for his next adventure - might be jumping into Yacht Week, doing something unimaginable with the Red Bull Air Force or BASE jumping off the Four Seasons in our backyard here in Denver!