It Starts, It’s AWKWARD: First Flying Lesson

 “Anything worth doing well is worth doing badly in the beginning”Marshall Thurber 
“Even when it feels awkward…” – Nancy Cullen
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.
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.

Really 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.
So we start. Welcome to my awkward.
What awkward moment could you recapture, retool and let it become something worth doing?  Come on, let us in on it – post in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.