Paragliding in BC

Paragliding in BC

Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolution Time!

How embarrassing. I haven't flown for so long that when I looked at the picture on the top of my blog I didn't recognize my wing for a second! Considering I only have about 30 flights on it I suppose it's not that wait, that's just awful.

Luckily it's December 31st and that means we can all dream as big as we want and declare ridiculously massive goals & no one will laugh at us. I love the whole time around New Years, there's something about fresh starts that invigorates me. Maybe it comes from my childhood when we moved around a lot and each new home was a new beginning, guaranteed to be better than the last. Even though most places ended up being a step down instead of up, I still get excited thinking about moving, running away and/or starting over.

It's a good thing my boyfriend likes to travel so much because we've lived in the same place for over 5 years now and sometimes that makes me itchy. Traveling definitely helps but I still fantasize about putting my EU passport to use & moving to the Alps to become an even bigger paragliding junkie, especially when it's raining in this tiny town in the middle of nowhere that has nothing going on besides a view of the mountains. But instead of sitting around going crazy as the valley winds shake the house, it's time to list my flying goals for 2011:

- enter at least 2 FAI sanctioned competitions this year. Even though I tell people that I'm not competitive, seeing my name listed in the world rankings (even near the bottom) gives me a sense of accomplishment and a drive to do better.

- fly a lot more cross-country this year. This is another way to 'compete' to help increase my skills as there are worldwide online contests where you can post your flights and see what everyone else has been up to. By flying further & racking up points I can also increase our national standing, which helps me justify "wasting" a whole day playing in the sky.

- work on my paragliding business. This is a huge goal too, but easy to break into little steps. Come up with a name for my tandem business, create a website, etc. All stuff I can do now before the flying season actually starts.

Looking back at past goals I haven't done that badly at meeting them. In 2009 I resolved to blog more, and went from about 5 posts in one year to updating at least once a month. As for 2010's list, I didn't get to any SIV clinics like I wanted (to learn more about acro flying) but I did fly a little more cross-country than years past.

Besides, you're not actually supposed to accomplish all of your New Year's Resolutions, are you???

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Seeking Adrenaline

As paragliding is only happening in my mind right now (and vicariously through you-tube videos), I've been concentrating more on my other pursuits. Last month I talked about trying to land a handspring in martial arts and yesterday...I finally did it!

After joining my martial arts school I watched some videos on their website and immediately set a goal of wanting to do handsprings like they were doing in their demonstrations. It's taken a year (minus all the classes I skipped to go flying) which is a long time to hold on to a goal, especially in today's instant gratification world. But in that year I've also learned to use nun-chuks & other weapons, break boards with my hands & feet and can do some pretty cool self-defense take-downs.

Yesterday's class was tough! With the holidays coming up our instructor has stepped up the training and is working us until we're exhausted. I came "THIS CLOSE" to landing the handspring a few times yesterday (but always fell over backwards on my butt) and with 5 minutes left in class I didn't think it was going to happen. We took a minute to catch our breath, go over last minute tips & then were told, "Ok, one last try each! You're going to get it this time!" And somehow I did.

When it hit me that I'd landed perfectly on my feet I noticed something funny. My body was reacting in the same way it does when I'm doing something big at a paragliding SIV/acro course! When I did my first asymmetric spiral and was flying over the top of my wing looking down at the lake, it was the same adrenaline rush I got when I stood up after flipping upside down in my handspring. A few minutes later my legs felt like jelly and I had the post-adrenaline energy crash, just like after I landed back at the beach after a string of maneuvers in the air.

Building confidence, reaching goals and finding new ways to get an adrenaline rush. Not a bad way to spend the paragliding off-season!