Monday, August 02, 2004

I've just had an amazing and challenging couple of days at Green Dragons paragliding school. Today especially. The wind conditions were very light, meaning that I hardly got off the ground this week. Potentially a complete washout. But this morning a brilliant instructor called Steve gave me a museum piece to play with - an ancient square paraglider from the early days of the sport. He got me practising reverse launches with this thing, and the simple and forgiving nature of the wing allowed me to really build up confidence. In the afternoon I continued ground-handling practice with a couple of more modern paragliders - ADG Havanes - and found I was getting really confident keeping the wing under control. All I need now is to get back in the air again and my happiness will be complete.

There is something dreamlike about this whole business of learning to fly paragliders. It still seems like an impossible dream - because of the weather conditions I have hardly left the ground so far. But today I really began to realize that I am learning the skills that will very soon make it possible for me to fly properly. There's a combination of fear and intense longing sitting at the bottom of my stomach this evening. I feel like I'm at the threshold of something I have wanted for so long, but never really believed was possible for me......

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