For the past few months now I’ve been spending my free time in the sky learning the in’s and out’s of how to properly control a bird that was built to touch the skies and see what’s beyond.
As the way many others probably have started, my adventure began in my mind. Thinking what it would be like to fly as easily and freely as birds do. Throughout the years, this question turned into a goal. When I turned 16 I was so ecstatic that I was taking one of the first steps into being up there with them in the sky, which was learning how to control 1 to 2-ton machine on the ground around other people who were either learning just like me or have driven for years.
Late 17, early 18 I finally got my license to drive a motor vehicle on the road, and IT FELT GREAT. I could go anywhere at any time. NOTHING stood in my way of taking to the roads and going anywhere I wanted! But then I learned the harsh truth that I believe everyone comes to the realization of when they get their drivers’ license. Gas. Is. Expensive. When I was growing up, gas was like… $1/gal. Now, when I just get my license, it’s anywhere from $2 to $2.50 and I quickly realized that I would need to get a well-paying job to fund this traveling urge.
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Throughout the years in college, this same realization stuck with me. Every time I was able to make some money from working, it would be just enough to pay the apartment rent or food for the next 2 weeks. Never enough to really take to the open road and see what there is out in the world let alone, learn how to take a bird in the air.
I remember my friend Stacie and I, in the burning summer heat, would wait for the early evening. When it was just a little bit cooler, we would walk the streets of our college town just to get out and see what that small town had to offer. Man, I miss those days.
During the years of community college was the era of the rise of Travel Vloggers. Basically, people who did the exact thing I wanted to do but with the added benefit that they were able to see the beauty of what the Earth held as well. This fueled my goal even more. I wanted to exactly what they were doing but with a twist. Instead of taking these large birds every place, having to wait on layovers, paying outrageous prices for just flying a few hours ways away. I wanted to fly myself or shall you say, “Be the Captain of my own ship.”
Fast forward a few years later, past 40+ hours of work a week at Fast Food chains, past MANY car breakdowns, past MANY hours of school work. I finally get the opportunity to start my flying journey but not in the way you would think. A friend of mine had a family member that had his own grass strip and an old Cessna 150 that he let me ride in with him. The first time flying was a little frightening (mostly because I was scared of heights) but I was up to the task.
While moving down the runway, the speed of this small bird increasing every second, the chills progressively grew. When we got halfway down the runway, he told me to pull back on the yoke. A funny thing happened when I did that, not only did the chills and the anxiety of flying for the first time fade away, but I felt a new sense come to me… a sense of… freedom. I don’t know what it was, and I still don’t to this day. But it was exactly how I pictured the birds flying freely felt.
After that flight, I WAS HOOKED. There was nothing that was going to stop me from learning how to fly now. Even if took me years to save up the money to learn, I knew I was going to.
Sadly, it took 4 years till I was ever able to fly again. Those 4 years were filled with multiple car break-downs, money issues, and school.
About the 4th year, I found out that there was a flight school no more than 20 minutes down the road called Circle S Aviation. As soon as I found that I out I called them up and planned a date where I would again be able to reach heights only birds knew.
As all future dates that we look forward to going to, it was a looong week. I still remember working at Cookout, doing all my daily tasks, and the only thing on my mind is the flight at the end of the week.
On Saturday, the big day, I was nervous. Questions like “Will I still like it?” “Am I ready?” flooded my mind. All the way to the Hangars those questions stayed there. As I arrived and pulled into a parking spot, I saw there were a lot of cars and thought “How could I not have known about this place all these years??”
The flight went AMAZING! Once again the anxiousness rose as I got closer to the bird. With every step towards it, the questions in my mind grew louder and louder. I could feel my heart start pounding. When I got to the door of the bird, opened it, and looked in, doubt started to creep in. My mind was trying to make up all these excuses as to how easy it would be to tell the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) that I had an emergency and I need to leave. But I pushed passed it, hoping that I felt the same feeling as I did the first time I flew.
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A funny thing happened, The feeling of freedom that I felt at takeoff last time, covered me as I was taking my seat. The anxiety and doubt started to vanish and thoughts of all the places I could go and possibilities overcame me.
For the next 2 years, I would save up some money, and then go and spend most of it flying. After about 2 and a half years I was able to get a better paying job that allowed me to start flying A LOT more. These days, I work at 1st Phorm, a company that not only allows me to relive that first flight and the freedom I felt but they also give others that same sense of freedom and the knowledge to do anything they set there mind to through the avenue of fitness.
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Not only do I write about flying, but I also record all my flights on Youtube so others can see the beauty that flying is.
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