You may very well have seen my last post about wanting to follow a long-held dream and take to the skies like a bird (albeit a bird with one giant parachutey type wing and a motor on its back).
Well after that post I started having an internal monologue which just would not abate no matter how many excuses or reasons I threw at it. It went something like this:
“So what if you don’t get enough sponsors, how long before it actually happens? And what if it only happens after this incredible drive across Central and South America? Chances are you will never cover this ground again, under your own steam, country to country, with all the time in the world.”
Then the other side would say:
“Just wait, all things in time, when it is right, it will happen.”
And then the first side said:
“It is the right time you fool! Stop procrastinating and put your money where your mouth is. You (me) are always talking about how money is a tool, not a goal. You (me) have the tools, so use them to live your dreams.”
And then a third party joined in and was all like:
“Yo he’s right homie, make that cheddar work for you.”
And I was all like “Get out of my head! People are staring…”
And that has pretty much being the gist of the ongoing conversation playing itself out for the last few weeks or so. I try and live life without compromise, constantly balancing the have-nows for the live-thens, Because despite the limited wisdom inherent in living in the now, there is also a need to make sure that your dreams can continue to be fulfilled.
Flying a paramotor (or Powered Paraglider, or PPG) is one of those things which made me go, “Stop! This is some seriously cool shit, and you will not make up excuses as to why you should not or could not do it!”
Because that is what the brain (my brain at least) does. It tells you that you couldn’t possibly do something so cool, there must be a catch, or you must have to be a certain type of person to undertake such a thing. The trick I have found, is to realize when that genetically important fear is right (the side that told monkeys not to jump out of high trees or slap a tiger), or when it is erring too far on the side of caution (don’t leave the house, something bad could happen).
Luckily for me, I realized that this was just such an occasion. My fear was getting the better of me and I had set myself the almost unattainable goal of securing enough sponsorship in under a month to pay for my equipment and training! Highly unlikely. Although I believe in what Sarah and I have to offer a potential sponsor, things like this take time, and this way, I get to prove how amazing this is going to be, by actually doing it.
I know that everyone who follows this journey will be as amazed by the freedom a Paramotor gives a man (or woman) to fly as I am. It almost seems unbelievable, insane even. It offers a level of freedom we imagine having in the far flung future where people put on an anti gravity belt and float off to work.
Sure, powered paragliding has some restrictions, as does anything in life, but it also offers what it says on the tin, a way to leave the ground behind and soar. Crazy.
What you may already have ascertained from the first part of this post, is that I have decided to take the plunge! I have decided to jump in/off with both feet and take this next step in what is shaping up to be an amazing life. After way too much research, a ton of emailing, and a thousand or so of those insanity inducing internal monologues, I decided to go with an amazing company based in California, Blackhawk Paramotors!
Although a number of people got back to me, I had had my eye on this particular company from the beginning. No matter how much research I did, no matter how many other options I found, there is a professionalism and succinctness about these guys which just made me feel at ease with the idea of flying. I loved their website and how clear it made everything, and I loved their youtube channel and all its videos showing everything from maintenance to past trainees. When I looked through what they had to say, I just felt like this was something I could actually do.
Luckily for me, they agree that this is going to be a pretty awesome adventure and decided to help me out with a bit of a discount. It is not often your first choice becomes a reality, but this time it did. So thank you very much to Mike, Heidi and the rest of the crew who I am shortly to meet.
And I do mean shortly! I am still in a state of disbelief, but on the 3rd of February Sarah and I will fly to California (on an airplane), drive to the Blackhawk Ranch outside of Sacramento and begin my 5 days of training. 5 days! It sounds crazy to me that in about 2 weeks I will be able to take to the skies under my own volition, solely responsible for leaving the Earth far below me and soaring into the heavens like a really large, uncoordinated (at least at first) bird jumping out of the nest for the first time.
Why Not Me
I was talking to Sarah about it (pretty much non-stop actually), and thinking about how big a thing this is for me, for anyone really. It is one of those things you hear about other people doing and think “Damn that sounds cool!” It is right up there with our decision to go on this lifelong travel adventure in the first place, and just as scary.
Not scary because I could get hurt, I trust the guys and gals at Blackhawk to give me the best training and equipment to keep me safe, it is scary because it is such a departure from the norm.
Although I dreamed it, I don’t know if I ever actually believed I would be able to fly. I mean, I am just me right? No one special, just a dude traveling around with his missus, I couldn’t possibly one day fly over some of the most incredible places on Earth!
Well as it turns out, I can, and not only can I, but I’m definitely going to, in less than two weeks!
This is a whole new chapter in our lives, and an extraordinarily exciting one. As if driving across the Americas wasn’t enough, we ( I say ‘we’ because if it wasn’t for Sarah and I sharing the same views on the importance of living your truths, this wouldn’t be happening, thanks Jane) are taking this thing to the next level. Why stop at one dream? Why not find new dreams?
We have this one imperfectly fantastic opportunity called life to live. Rather than putting limits on ourselves, we, I, should seek out dreams wherever they may be hiding and make them into realities.
In less than two weeks I will be flying. Two years ago we left our old lives behind to travel the world.
When you take chances the world truly opens up to you. All you have to do is take the first step.
*If you would like to be a sponsor of the journey to come and have your name in lights, contact me and lets do this thing! Or just follow along with the amazing things to come here…