Today was my first "play" day in a while. It was cold but worth it, especially since it will probably be my last flight of the year. That means it's time to look back on the adventures of 2012.
Cold at landing and happy to have gotten some airtime
I've taken on a 2nd job so am working close to 70 hours a week, plus keeping up with Jet Set Paragliding and the occasional writing gig. I'm grateful for the work, and the weather has been mostly gloomy so I don't feel like I'm missing out on much.
The second job started a few weeks ago. This spring and summer weather-wise weren't the greatest for flying...in fact I probably got the fewest flights in this year since I moved out to the valley 8 years ago! I slacked off on recording flights in my log book (I'm usually really dedicated about it) but I did log 65 flights this year, and over half of those were tandems. Compared to 200 total flights in 2011 it's no wonder I feel like I barely even touched my paraglider this year!
However, I had some amazing moments in and around those "few" flights. The biggest and most awesome was my Skywalk ponsorship. I'm really proud of that...it was a new experience for me to prepare a paragliding "CV" and to have to tell someone about my accomplishments. To have them come back & tell me they liked what I represented & then offer me a place among the Team Pilots was definitely one of the biggest highlights of 2012.
Then Flyte Park came on board when I went to compete in the paragliding nationals along with support from so many of my friends! The competition was a bit of a bummer for me...with the loss of a pilot my confidence in my own skills disappeared, and some soul-searching was needed to get back on track. Once again, support from my friends helped me clarify my own views on flying and I was up and running (flying?) again as usual within the week.
I also experienced having a new pilot tell me I was his mentor. It was just dropped casually into conversation, but wow, that was humbling and awesome! I remember being new to paragliding and having pilots I looked up to. It's crazy to think I could be that person to someone else.
The year has had it's challenges of course...trying to run a flying business when working 2 jobs and waiting for weather windows can be dis-heartening sometimes, but I love paragliding with a passion and want to be involved however I can for as long as I can. This sport has completely changed my life, introducing me to people, places and adventures I never would have experienced if it hadn't been for that magic cloth that takes me to the skies.
Launching as the snow started falling today...