powered paragliding paramotor ppg training

Training is over, now I’m really scared…

Below is a video of the last two days of training, which also happen to be the second and third day, which means I only had 3 days of training! And now I am solely responsible for a little airplane thingy which straps to my back and takes me thousands of feet into the air…

You what!

I have to say, now that I am on my own with this whole thing, now that I have, out of all the people around me, the most understanding of this beast called Paramotoring, I am nervous as hell. It is a strange place to be in, because I am not normally of a nervous disposition, and if I am nervous I just get on with things and it goes away. But this is different, at least it feels different to me.

This is big, this is at its most extreme, life or death different, a mistake here could have me fall out of the sky, or even worse, never get into it. I have to be…responsible!

powered paragliding paramotor ppg training

I suppose I am a wee bit of a risk taker, although I work in managed risk more than anything. For example:

We changed our lives and hit the road full time, but worst case scenario there was that we would have to go back to our old lives if it didn’t work out.

I skydived in Mexico, but those dudes jump 5 times a day and they haven’t lost anyone yet.

I road tripped across Mexico, but then Mexicans do that every day.

I swam with whale sharks in Cancun, but just having the word shark in their names doesn’t mean they are dangerous (and in fact they really aren’t).

I guess what I am trying to say is, I take risks which have the appearance of risk, but really are just unwarranted fears dolled up as risk. This thing, paramotoring, is an actual risk. A lot of things could go wrong, and if you add in the fact that I am putting together, controlling, and maintaining the thing which is going to get me into the sky, well then we start using things like ‘risk squared’ and ‘risk to the power of risk’ to describe its riskiness.

In case you couldn’t tell, I am nervous. I am nervous about my wing not getting here from California in one piece. I am nervous about how we are going to transport this gassy fumey thing with us in the car and wherever we stay. I am nervous about it getting stolen and then being out a lot of money. Most of all I am nervous about something going wrong with the machine, or face planting on the way up or down. I am nervous for all these reasons and a thousand more.

But, underneath all those nerves, underneath all the worries about what could or might go wrong, underneath the self doubt as to my ability to take care of and fly this thing, underneath the perceived inadequacies which pervade every part of every human beings life, is the truth.

It will probably be alright.

Things going wrong when you reach for the skies, metaphorically or literally, are not the norm, rather they are the minority of situations which for some reason dominate over the majority of situations in our minds. Something could go wrong no matter what you are doing. You could choke on a chicken bone and die while eating Mole at your favorite Mexican restaurant, or you could have the best meal of your life. You could hate the new job you are going for and everyone there, or you could hate the new job but meet some amazing people who change your life. You could get robbed and lose thousands and thousands of dollars, but it is just money, it has no real value of its own.

You could learn to fly, you could follow a slightly terrifying dream of leaving the ground behind with no one but you at the helm, and you could crash and burn. Or, you could find something in life to be passionate about, something which takes your steady beating heart and knocks it into the stratosphere while it hammers out crazy syncopated (thanks for that word weird hippy girl in Turkey 6 years ago) rhythms and fills your veins with liquid excitement.

If you face your fear, you are more likely than not to find something really really cool which makes life worth living. Now watch me landing on my arse…

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8 Comments
  • Kim
    Posted at 09:29h, 28 February Reply

    I’d be nervous too!!! Be safe, triple check things and, you’re right, this will (probably- most likely) be just fine.
    Kim recently posted…And now it’s time to panic!My Profile

    • booth_1@hotmail.com
      Posted at 10:53h, 28 February Reply

      Thanks Kim, I’ve got to make myself a check list or something, it is hard to think very clearly when your feet are about to bid adieu to the Earth!

  • Kellie
    Posted at 10:42h, 28 February Reply

    Well this is just frustrating, we can’t watch video because of our limited internet, but I really want to see you landing on you arse!

    Be careful up there though.
    Kellie recently posted…Cost of Living Playa Del Carmen – BudgetMy Profile

    • booth_1@hotmail.com
      Posted at 10:55h, 28 February Reply

      Like I said to Rob, it’s a real shame because it is the most beatifically awesomeness the internet has ever seen, and then some :). Up there is not the problem, it is coming back down here which tends to make the most mess…

  • Brendan
    Posted at 15:35h, 28 February Reply

    Feel the fear……do it anyway!
    You’ll be fine bruv. You’re just sitting there in nervous anticipation that’s all. You’re doing everything right for what it’s worth. And the attitude you have is exactly what I have been telling myself for years…..it’s risk yeh…..but it’s managed risk.
    Rushing headlong into it would get you fked up……you have the right attitude. Enjoy it all, because this……this time right now, they are some of the best days.
    It never stops being awesome……but right now is the best.

    • booth_1@hotmail.com
      Posted at 09:55h, 01 March Reply

      The nervous anticipation is still building, apparently my wing has been sent and now I am just hoping it shows up. I just want to get a few take offs and landings under my belt so I can get that confidence back, hopefully!

  • Rob
    Posted at 18:25h, 16 March Reply

    Love everything about this video, from Sarah’s nervous words of support as you are about to take off, the music, and you actually flying!!

    Are you going to use your power of flight for good or evil?
    Rob recently posted…Losing it! The intensity of solitude.My Profile

    • booth_1@hotmail.com
      Posted at 18:31h, 16 March Reply

      Thanks mate, I just watched it again myself in lieu of having to wait till the Guat’ to fly again, almost seems impossible that it happened now.

      I was thinking I would try the middle ground, not really good, not really evil, and see how it progresses. I find if you try and force it things tend to go a little Pete Tong if you know what I mean, a little bit w’hey, a little bit whoa, a bit hows-your-uncle-fine-thanks-for-asking… If you kno’ whot I mean…
      booth_1@hotmail.com recently posted…Rainy day in Puerto Morelos, or ParawaitingMy Profile

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