Discovering your passion

Someone I thought very highly of died recently.  The news came as a shock; learning they died doing something they loved was a small comfort.  I knew him only briefly, but shared a moment that sparked a lifetime passion.

We met on a paragliding trip.  Tomáš was an experienced pilot – I was a novice, with just one week’s flying experience.  I’d already been bitten by the flying bug thanks to the expert tuition of Johnny Welch at Flight Culture.  I’d taken a few months off work to travel and decided to go surfing (hated it) and paragliding (loved it).   Johnny is an excellent teacher & the feeling of being airborne with just a wing strapped to your back was instantly addictive.

It was my birthday & I was feeling more bullish than usual.  I asked Tomáš if he’d take me up in the tandem stunt wing – to my surprise, he agreed.  We rode a thermal up higher than I imagined possible, gaining enough height for the acrobatics to come.  I recall that he worked some magic with the wing so that we were suspended in the air above the island, with no forward movement.  There we remained, while I snapped a photo or two (the ones attached to this blog, in fact) and checked out the view below.  After a time, he slowly tipped the wing sideways and we dropped into some acro moves that induced a series of delighted screams from me as I watched the ground spin maniacally below us.

The whole experience was over so quickly and yet nearly 10 years later, it still remains a vivid memory.   I have two young children now, a business to run & a hectic life in London – my flying hours are limited.  Yet, if I could be anywhere else right now, it would be airborne.

Today, I am thankful for having discovered a passion for flying that has brought some amazing people & experiences into my life.  Whenever I feel low, I close my eyes and remember what it feels like to have your feet leave the ground.

What’s your passion?  – Liz

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