Something about me you may not have guessed
You did what??? is very often the response I get when I share with people that I learnt to fly a glider.
Back in 2008 before the world went through the GFC (global financial crisis), I was happily attending a weekly adult learning class.
Here locally in Tauranga, adult learning classes were a real thing at this time.
You could attend some of the classes on offer for free -and others at a drastically reduced price.
I have always had a love of all things aviation.
So, when I saw beginner’s gliding lessons advertised as part of the adult learning classes
It was a no brainer for me to enroll.
So many friends said “you did what???” when I told them what I’d done.
But I figured gliding and self growth went hand-in-hand.
I was absolutely terrified the evening I walked into the class.
Would I make a fool of myself?
What if this was way over my head and I couldn’t do it.
How often do you ask yourself the “what if” question and that which you feared never happens?
The course was for 6 weeks.
During the time, I learnt all about reading flight instruments.
I became my family’s guru at reading cloud formations -and by the way, I STILL look at the clouds and can predict when rain is on the way days before it arrives!
I spent several hours on the flight simulator -practicing my take offs, flight and landing.
The day arrived when I would face my greatest fear – turbulence!
My date was booked into the calendar for when we would all take our first flight (with a qualified glider pilot of course!).
As Murphy’s law would have it, my flight was booked early afternoon -the time of day when the turbulence around the airport/Mount is a little more than any other time of day.
So, I was about to face my worst fear – turbulence, possibly being airsick and not being able to do anything about any of it!
(The photos here is my flight supervisor walking me through the pre-flight check list.)
The tow pilot that took me up was a little rough -and even my supervisor commented at the time that he was quite rough.
But I survived the tow up -we released -and then it was putting all the weeks of training into practice.
Gliders are not quiet!
Anyone that says gliders are quiet may not have actually been in one!
While they’re not as noisy as a powered engine aircraft -the sound of the wind rushing over those enormous wings makes quite a sound.
The entire experience was so memorable and was a massive tick for my self growth as a person.
All my “what if” questions didn’t come true – I could so easily have lost out on the opportunity to experience something so incredibly unique.
Gliding and self growth are now synonymous in my journey.
So, that experience has made me stronger, and when the “what if” questions pop into my head and make me doubt my ability to do something, I reply with
What if I don’t.
I have plenty more stories to share with you on that weekend! Why not book and you can say “what if I hadn’t come on retreat!”
If you’re interested in taking up gliding lessons -you can look up Gliding NZ here.
Until next time!