Soarin’, Flyin’

I flew yesterday. Not in a plane or a helicopter, but attached to fabric wings as I went hang gliding over Interlaken. And that was one of the most exhilarating, terrifying, and exciting things I’ve ever done in my life.

Yesterday started with canyoning down a river with Dr. P and some other CR9ers. We slid down rocks, we zip lined, we jumped, we rappelled, and we had an absolute blast doing it. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared at times, but that was part of the rush. We really had to work as a group to help each other make it through, and we could all count all Will to keep us hyped up. Yet it was the second half of my day that REALLY stretched my comfort zone.

At around 6:30 pm yesterday, my guide, Danilo, and I ran for about 10 yards and started flying. I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t pretty scared. Not that I didn’t trust the guide or myself, but just for the fact that so many things could go wrong. We could be strapped in wrong, the wind could die out on us, something could rip our glider. A million things could have failed…but I did it anyway.

And it was absolutely amazing.

The wind was rushing past me, the sky was clear, the views were spectacular. I felt like I was flying, and I literally was. It was such a rush when our feet finally left the ground, and I thought for a second we might fall down, but we got higher and flew faster. Once up there, I realized how silly my fears were, and I started to get more adventurous. I let go of him for a bit (don’t worry, I was still strapped in), I turned various directions, and he even let me steer for a bit, even though I’m pretty sure he was still steering somehow.

It was so freeing to break through a fear and revel in that success. The hang gliding was so exhilarating not only because I was thousands of feet above the ground while soaring through the Swiss Alps, but also because I had conquered a fear and done something that scared me. I’m not saying that a healthy bit of skepticism and mortal fear isn’t important to keep from harming myself, but this definitely taught me that fear shouldn’t keep you from doing anything. If you live in fear, you’ll never get to experience some of the most amazing things this world has to offer.

I wonder what new things I never considered before will now seem achievable and exciting.