2014 Year In Review

2014 proved to be an incredible year. What began with an amazing New Year’s day flight at Santa Barbara, ended with a whimper with unseasonably poor weather overtaking Southern California, but all in all gave me 74 flights and over 102 hours. I flew my first two competitions—placing third at the Flytec Americus Cup, and eighth at the Santa Cruz Flats Race—made goal for the first time, and flew my first topless glider. I finally broke the 50 mile barrier and logged over 500 miles of cross-country flights. I’m ecstatic with the way the year turned out.

Along the way I’ve made some great new friends, learned much more about flying, about cross-country, about racing. I’ve earned my instructor rating. I’ve flown a few new sites, a few new gliders, and finally started using a pod harness. Unrelated to hang gliding, I biked nearly 1,800 miles including 1,465 miles commuting to and from work.

I will have a tough time in 2015 topping 2014, but my primary goal will be to do just that. That means more new sites, more hours, more distance, more fun. Do I dare quit my job and live out the hang glider’s dream? …well, not exactly, but I have the feeling there will be changes in my lifestyle. Now is the time for me to live out this dream, to avoid future regrets, to live, to keep the dream alive. What the dream is anymore I’m not even sure. It was originally just to fly, high above the ground, living in the moment, in the pure sky. Now I’m just following the dream where it takes me, and enjoying the ride.

December 30th marks three years since my first mountain solo flight. My oh my has the three years flown by (pun intended)! I still remember my first flights oh so well, and am in awe at how far I’ve come since. From a bundle of nervousness to a mostly confident and somewhat achieved pilot. I know I still have so much to learn, and I think that’s one reason I keep enjoying this sport—every flight is a new lesson. 2015 is a new year with new experiences and definitely new lessons. I am looking forward to what I learn, the people I meet, the places I fly. Oh the places I will fly!

Wishing everyone a wonderful 2015. No regrets. Happy flying!

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