Over the fold is another puff piece that I wrote for the local paper earlier this year.
My friends tell me that I’m crazy! You see, on the weekend I often enjoy flying my hang glider on the coast. Floating high above the sand dunes gives me a unique perspective about the world far below. Everything seems to just fit together perfectly, from the small children playing in the sand to the enormous manta rays elegantly sliding through the water just off the coast. Somehow it all appears to be just right.
As I reflect on my time as a hang glider pilot, it hasn’t always been this way. When I was a student pilot, I was terrified! As far as I was concerned, disaster lurked around every corner and every small bump meant imminent doom. You’re probably getting the picture here; hang gliding wasn’t fun at all for me in the early days.
I remember one particular flight I had early in my hang gliding career. As a floated over the landing paddock – which by the way was an enormous 10 acre field – I couldn’t help but notice that this huge expansive paddock was entirely clear except for one small shrub near the middle. As a got lower, I started to become obsessed by this shrub, until finally I set up for touchdown, and elegantly landed right in the middle of it. Once the raucous laughter of the bystanders abated (10 minutes later), I was informed that this shrub had been christened “the student trap”. Apparently I wasn’t the first (or last) person to pick out the only bush within cooee! The technical term for this is ‘object fixation’. My instructor explained to me that I landed where I did because that was the focus of my attention.
Well are all guilty of focussing on negatives at times, but the major problem with this thought process is that it subconsciously leads us directly to where we don’t want to go. Take some time to explore all the other possibilities that exist in the large paddock of life, and in time, you wont even notice that single shrub, let alone land in it!