"My love to fly and become an aerobatic pilot found me very unexpectedly.
When it did, all I knew was I had to try it to see if it was something I wanted to do.
I booked a lesson, loved it, and 8-months later, I became an aerobatic pilot.
But the journey, well, that was huge.
The theory: aerodynamics, human factors, air law, meteorology, mechanics, airport procedures, checklists, acronyms, speeds, conversions and calculations—my god, so many numbers.
I don’t remember the last time I learned something so complex, with so many moving parts—not just the aircraft.
How was I going to retain all of this information?
And, one day, it clicks, and you can make radio calls, pilot the plane, and take on instruction while flying the circuit pattern—your ears do work at the same time!
There’s SO many things I have learnt about myself on my journey, but here are two:
1. I’M ALWAYS LOOKING UP. It’s incredible how much more I look up these days. If I’m not in the sky, my eyes are. Any time I hear an aircraft above, I look up. If I’m in my living room—I’ll dash outside to see what it is. So what? Well, I remember how much more I used to walk with my attention just beyond my feet. That’s not to say I wasn’t present with my surroundings or didn’t appreciate the sky or the world around me (I have very much so), but today, in my moments of challenge, I just lookup. It reminds me of the bigger picture—and how my soul is always free.
2, WHEN IT’S LOVE, YOU’LL OVERCOME EVERY OBSTACLE. Would you dare to intentionally put a (spinning endorsed) aeroplane into a fully developed spin and recover? It wasn’t optional. Spin training was part of my course—and one of the most fundamental components of being an aerobatic pilot and my greatest mental hurdle. It’s a strange physical sensation as the plane rotates straight towards the ground—with a descent rate of 2000 ft per minute (stable spin)—but you do not think that when it happens. You’re focused on each step in the recovery procedure. That’s what I mean when I say: ‘If it’s love, you’ll overcome every obstacle’.
After the COVID break, I returned to flying, knowing spinning was left to conquer. I had a quiet chat with my heart, mentally preparing myself.
I realised that if I could overcome this mental challenge and do this—imagine what else I could do in life?! I woke up the following day, and I knew; I was ready.
It was nowhere near as bad as I remembered it.
My mindset had shifted, I had more piloting experience, and I finally trusted myself.
My trust in Self was now stronger than the fear.
And that trust in Self is the gift spinning gave me. I apply it to all aspects of my life now.
If flying has imprinted anything on me, it’s that life is short—you only get one go, so squeeze the juice out of it.
Go and do what sets your heart on fire! "
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