I moved away from blogging a couple of years ago but have found myself missing it lately. So many friends have been stretching their creative muscles - singing, drawing, wood working, painting - and therein lies the inspiration to bring back the blog.
A brief update since the last post - I ran my paragliding business full time for about a year and found while I enjoyed the technical aspects (networking, building the business, etc) that turning my passion into a job was not what I'd hoped it would be. Guilt would creep in on the rare occasion I chose to fly solo… that little voice would nag that I "should" be teaching while the sun was shining instead of playing around. Living in a climate prone to rain and having a business based 100% on the weather means you often have to make an either/or choice, as opposed to running a flying business in California where I imagine you would rarely run out of flyable days and have plenty of time for both work and play.
Sharing this sport is still important and a lot of fun, so I'll continue to fly a limited number of tandems this year while switching my main focus back to solo flying. For extra incentive to keep on track I'll be traveling out to Quebec this summer to compete in the Canadian Paragliding Nationals again. It's a pretty big undertaking considering I haven't flown any "big" flights in the last couple of years but biting off more than I can chew is what I do!
That being said, it wasn't all work and no play over the last couple of years - some pretty cool stuff happened too. One of the most exciting was being selected to participate in the first legal paragliding flights in Jasper, Alberta. Up until now, free flight has not been allowed in any national park, either in Canada or the USA. About 10 years ago, our national organization (www.HPAC.ca) started working with Parks Canada to change the regulations. While there is still a lot of work to be done and flying is currently only permitted in Jasper with a number of conditions to meet (please visit http://www.hpac.ca/pub/?pid=389 for information), we did have a successful first flight and are looking forward to more parks opening up to us in the future.
Here's a little video I made of the occasion…the cheesy song seemed a perfect fit as we look for more freedom in our flying locations ;)
(youtube link: https://youtu.be/RoTi1iTTUxY )