They say you never forget your first time. And, though it feels like an eternity ago, I can still recall the first day I flew.
It wasn’t a day out of the ordinary. I remember it quite well, actually: it was a Thursday, and a relatively dull one at that. I had a shift at four ‘o clock and was running a tad late. I remember resting my sweaty forehead against the steering wheel as the red light mocked me with its stubbornness. My foot, all the way up to my jittery knee, shook the brake as my eye darted from the light, now green, to the clock on my dash. 3:56. I floored it.
It was in moments like these that I longed for what I now possess: the gift of flight. Imagine it: no more traffic jams, no more running behind...I'm sure you've considered its ramifications. And, though it doesn’t come easily, flying is something anyone can do, so long as you have the dedication.
I’ll be honest: my first time caught me off-guard. Not only was it a painful learning experience, but the mental stress made me tense up. Besides, when you’re flying so fast, the air can quickly dry out your eyes, making them tear up. This means, just because you want to hit a high altitude, doesn’t mean you’ll have a great view. Patience is a virtue, trust me.
The trick is, simply, letting yourself go. Mind over matter. If you tense up, grit your teeth, and clamp your eyes shut...you aren’t going to zip through the air like a superhero. It’s all about weightlessness.
Don’t worry about what’s going through your head. In fact, let your mind go out the window. Learn to bear the upset stomach. Take a deep breath in, and let yourself go. You'll fly.
If you’re like me, a somewhat wound-up individual, this will prove quite tricky. We like a firm grip on things: our lives and jobs and families. It’s hard to fly when you’re tied down by those things.
You may feel slightly embarrassed, nervous, or even overwhelmed your first time. Naturally, flying is an out-of-the-ordinary, out-of-body experience. My first time, for example, my entire face was red and my hair must’ve been falling out. The stress was so great that my heart felt like it was going to burst from me, had my chest not been there to catch it. That’s normal. Others who held a similar experience attest to the same: we suffered hot flashes, rug burns, and the occasional missing teeth. But, now, we fly all the time.
First-timers have it rough, though. I won't sugarcoat that. I remember laying back on the pavement, still bleeding out, and wondering if, perhaps, flying wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. You have to weigh your options. Flying is something everyone dreams of experiencing...but is it worth the painful induction? Is it worth the trouble?
That's hard to say. I’ve flown so much now, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to walk on two legs. If you don’t mind soaring higher than everyone else, being on a new plane, I’d say give it a try. It only hurts for a moment.
However, if you’re prone to regret rash decisions, I’d steer clear. Granted, everyone who flies is bound to ask the occasional what-ifs, and that’s completely normal. Even now, I still ask myself what my life would’ve been like had I just worn a seatbelt.
I guess I'll never know. But who cares? I can fly! And, so can you.
Written by MakRalston