Doing Badly In The beginning Is A Start

 “Anything worth doing well is worth doing badly in the beginning”Marshall Thurber 
I do not like doing things badly.  I want to do things well.  The first time.  I see others doing a thing well, with grace and ease, so I jump in and, well, you all know the moment:  It feels so AWKWARD!  Not at all how it looked watching from the sidelines.  This BLOG feels like that.
doing badly
Rooks County Airport Dedication

I remember when I decided to learn to fly.  I had always wanted to fly. My father was a private pilot based at a small air park in north central Kansas and I had spent many hours flying with him.  He made it seem so easy.  It was:

  • fun.
  • fast.
  • exciting.

I wanted to learn to fly.

Circling Back To It

Years later, I had an opportunity to fly with a friend, a flight instructor.  On the return leg of the trip, he put me in the left seat and, with his guidance, I flew the plane home.  All the way to landing.
I was hooked and did a happy dance, high heels and all, on the tarmac.  Immediately, I enlisted him as an instructor, found a plane to rent and began the training process.  It was fun, until….the dreaded stall recovery training.

Doing Badly – Awkward

This is the part where the instructor has you fly the airplane in such a way that it STOPS FLYING!  Yes, it falls out of the sky.  You are supposed to get the aircraft back into flight mode before loosing more than 200 feet of altitude.
I know, it sounds insane, but as a pilot, this is important for several reasons.  It ensures:
  • you are able to recognize the point at which the aircraft is about to stall and avoid it
  • should a stall occur, you know how to recover before loosing too much altitude.
  • you know how to deal with how AWKWARD this feels!
As we climbed to altitude for this lesson, my instructor told me how to recover from a stall then led me though the steps to get the airplane into a stall – and it did.  WHOMP.  All I could see was the ground looking back at me from at 5,000 feet.  I did the only logical thing:  squealed and grabbed his neck!
AWKWARD.  He got the airplane (and me) back under control and returned to the airport.  A bad beginning… to something worth doing.

Let’s Define It

So what is this thing called AWKWARD?
  • uncomfortable – outside one’s comfort zone
  • a place where fear tries to come aboard
  • embarrassing – a place where pride and humility collide
  • it can be funny if we let it
 Ultimately, we laughed about it and proceeded to work through the process again.  Was it worth doing?  Absolutely.  I continue to enjoy flying to this day.
So here I am, feeling awkward about this BLOG. Rescuing stories, giving them a voice.  Sharing stories behind the stones that make up my STONEBRIDGE of life and being willing to do it badly, to get going.
But more than that, to encourage you to do the same.  Find a way to give your stories a voice.  A voice that will last.  Write them down.  Record them.  Then share them with someone.
What awkward moment when “doing badly” defined the moment?  Try to recapture, retool and let it become something worth doing! Post in the comments!

I am a former air traffic controller, pilot, Aircoupe owner, married 42 years to a great guy. We live in a 125+ year old historic Victorian, enjoy cats, vintage anything, precious friends. My passion is Giving Lost Stories A Voice – Giving Found Materials Fresh Form and Purpose!

7 thoughts on “Doing Badly In The beginning Is A Start

  1. Hi, Nancy–I needed to hear this. I’m on a Facebook page. 365 Poems in 365 Days. I try to post a poem every day, but sometmes what I write needs a lot of revising. I post it anyway and hope I’ll get back to it. I could call it “doing badly.” However, I had a nice surprise yesterday. I posted a poem that I wasn’t sure of. When one of my friends, a former poet laureate of Kansas, indicated that she thought the poem was wonderful. That lifted my spirits, for sure.

    1. This creative writing stuff is quite the journey! A poem a day is a lot to come up with but great “muscle building”. Brava! It is also interesting what we think will speak volumes falls flat and then something else resonates. In any case an encouraging word nourishes ones soul, just like this kind word from you. Blessings!

    2. Diane, where might I read some of you ‘on-line’ poems?

      Since I’ve retired (as an AF pilot)—literature and creative writing have been an interest—even taking classes at UCCS as a “Listening in Student.” You’re challenge of 365 in 365 sounds really productive!

  2. Stalls! (maybe a title for an upcoming topic!)

    As an AF pilot, training at Laredo AFB, I was in the T-37 phase when I ‘missed’ my stall recovery. A guest instructor for that ride, who was also a commander on the base, could have reacted like you, Nancy—grabbing me by the neck and squealing. You see, not too many weeks before, he had ejected from one of those T-37 Cessna ‘Tweets’—after not being able to recover from a stall!

    Fortunately, he kept his cool, and my second attempt at recovery was successful, and I’m here to tell the story.

    (Thanks for bringing back this memory, Nancy)

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