On a whim in the Outer Banks in the late 2000s, my lifelong friend Tracy & I first tried hang gliding off the sand dunes at Jockey State Park. It was such a rush. Ten feet off the ground amongst the ever changing dunes and we were literally flying.
Fast forward a decade and Wallaby Ranch just a few miles from my house hosted the real deal. My friends Steven & Les challenged me to join them for a “ride that will blow your mind”. My parents joined in the watch party just a few days after Christmas, as this was my leap of faith jumping into a new year with new goals and higher expectations. Go for it.
Fog delayed our jump twice, so we dug into our buffet breakfast and I was silently freaking myself out. But the clouds parted and it finally was go time. After a quick safety briefing & lesson that I don’t remember due to nerves, the small plane we (my experienced guide is tucked in behind me tandem) are attached to is speeding down the grass runway. OMG.
I blinked, we were airborne, the cable released and we are literally gliding alone above the FL farms. It is truly indescribable. The dead silence. The calm in the air. The extreme peace is unforgettable. The next 15-20 mins I alone am controlling our speed and descent. Every slight bloody movement tugs us in a different direction. I have NEVER felt so carefree and completely in awe. Stunned to my core. It was magical and you couldn’t wipe the ginormous smile off my face for days.
The landing was smooth and without incident, but my known limits had been forever changed. If you get up the courage to try, let me know, as I would come support just as my 2 friends & parents did for me.
RIP my friend Les….. you will never be forgotten💔