By Mike Schuh

WHITE MARSH, Md. (WJZ) — Growing up, it’s common for kids to experiment with a couple of different sports before finding one they’re good at.

One area teen is now excelling at a different activity that until recently wasn’t a sport at all.

Thirteen-year-old Brennan Shaw is one of the best athletes in the United States in his sport, but it’s not basketball, cross country, football or golf — he’s an indoor skydiver.

It’s a sport that feels like you’re in a 123-mile-per-hour wind; it literally carries him away.

What started as a lark is now a passion that started, in of all places, on Interstate 95.

“We were driving my son to a Cub Scout camping trip and he said, ‘Dad, look! Indoor skydiving!’ and I couldn’t pull the car over fast enough,” Brennan’s dad Scott recalled.

A five-minute beginner flight had Brennan set a goal; now, he’s addicted.

“I wanted to get past level one so I could fly alone,” he said.

Pretty soon, they found out he was pretty good.

“He’s more toward the prodigy side because he’s active in his everyday life so overall he has more body awareness,” Brennan’s coach Wes, an instructor at iFly skydiving center in White Marsh, said. “So when he goes in to fly, he’s usually more successful.”

Brennan has been flying for three years, training for the last two and just started competing.

Last week, he competed in a national event.

“And I took third in freestyle junior intermediate,” he said.

It’s not a cheap sport; flyers will spend $10 for each minute. The best athletes have sponsors and fly hundreds of hours per year.

Brennan has flown 45 hours in his life. His goal is to come in first at nationals and then compete on the world stage.

Until then, he’ll keep flying high, pursuing a passion that all started by happenstance.

“Once he’s in the air, that all he wants to do. He loves flying,” Scott said.

“I just wanted to be free and fly,” Brennan said.


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