Living Vertically (Literally)
My last blog article, Living Vertically in a Horizontal World, encouraged folks to pay attention to what’s in their own backyard and realize they don’t have to always be looking so far down the road to be fulfilled.
Well, in the backyard of Winnipeg, in Steinbach, Manitoba, there are lots of people living vertically. Out of a little airplane hanger, two great opportunities to go vertical exist. Adventure at Altitude offers various hang gliding options and Adventure Skydiving offers solo and tandem skydiving.
Last Sunday, I took a group of six women out to Steinbach to do ultra light hang gliding. Now the initial idea of hang gliding may be a little scary; running off a cliff and launching yourself into the air on your own, to control a huge set of wings as you hang on to only a bar. As you can see from the short video in the link here, it is nothing like this. First of all, Steinbach has no cliffs. And most importantly, the flight is piloted by an experienced flyer. You actually sit with the pilot who gets you in the air, floats you around, riding the thermals, and provides you with whatever level of thrill you request.
The best part of the day for me, as the adventure organizer (and chef for the day) was seeing all the flyers’ faces as they ended their flight. Whether it was a ride full of aerobatics and death spirals or a scenic flight over the area, everyone was excited and quite proud of themselves for taking the risk.
The risk wasn’t just about flying in the sky 2000 ft in the air. For a couple of the women, the risk was about signing up for an event as a solo participant, not knowing anyone in the group. Another thing that women in particular risk when doing something “fun” or “adventurous”, is to be perceived as self-indulgent or irresponsible. To spend $175 on a day of adventure is sometimes difficult to justify.
But not to this amazing group of women who clearly know the value of living life fully. The list of adventures is long for these gals; skydiving, bungy jumping, sea kayaking, running the Boston Marathon, solo camping.
I so appreciate being a part of empowering women to step out of their comfort zone and push their boundaries. It’s not all about physical challenges. Simply doing something for the first time, putting oneself up for judgement, or going deeper into spirituality, is risky.
For those of you who missed out on the hang gliding, have been reassured by seeing the video, or just think it’s the right time, there’s still lots of summer (and fall) left to arrange for another flying day. All it takes is a group of five who can make the same day work. Let me know if you’re interested.