Flying Like A Bird

b5

It isn’t every day that you have a chance to check something off your bucket list. So when the opportunity presents itself, you have to do it. Even if it’s something that scares you a little. Actually, especially if it’s something that scares you.

b3It has long been my goal to take a ride in a biplane. There’s just something  romantic about these open air planes and the barnstorming that has been done with them since the years following World War I.

I can’t describe it but my heart takes flight a little every time I see one in the air. 

There was an opportunity to take a ride a couple of weeks ago at a hot air balloon festival but I found every excuse in the book to not do it. So when I learned there would be rides given at an airport in a neighboring community, I simply had to go.

Incidentally, the James A. Rhodes Airport in Jackson County was celebrating their 50th anniversary yesterday with a big shindig – cool aircraft on display, some RC flyers, a Model A Club and rides with Dewey Davenport of Goodfolk and O’Tymes Biplane Rides of the Xenia area. 

This was a really fun blue sky day of celebration but it was a big day for me too. You see, part of the reason that excuses were made to not take a biplane ride is that I have a ridiculous fear of heights. I don’t do roller coasters and cringe at the thought of a glass elevator. But I’ve been up in aircraft before – commercial flights, small planes at my local airport and even a helicopter (sans door as I was taking pictures for a newspaper that day) and it’s ok.

But to glide through the air with the wind in your face and nothing between you and the sky? In a 1930 D-25 New Standard that looks like it belongs in a museum?

Never before.

And guys. Wow. It’s fabulous. 

b9

It probably helps that I had an experienced pilot who is so enthusiastic about his work that I had no choice but to trust him. He’s fantastic. Really. Dewey Davenport is his name and if you see that he’s coming to an event near you, go take a ride. You won’t regret it.  That’s him pictured with me above. And if you’re wondering what’s up with the sign, click here to read about the origins.   Long story short – I have a smart mouth and warped sense of humor.

But this story isn’t really about the plane ride, funny sign or pilot. Sure, the experience was amazing. But it’s really about you and whatever is holding you back.

There has to be something that you’ve always wanted to do, maybe even something that scares you. Please don’t let fear prevent you from doing something that you want to do.

Friends, life is worth living. Go do it. Have an adventure. Go far away. Stay close to home. Do what scares you. Embrace the thing you love most. Whatever it is, do something that will make you smile at the end of this day and every day.

Life IS worth living. Make it what you want. 

This is an area I’m still working on. Truth is, I don’t know what I want my life to look like so I’m just exploring the world as much as possible and doing the things that make me happy as well as the ones that scare me because they often are the same. We’ve discussed this topic here a couple of times before but we all could use a periodic refresher.

I imagine myself to be a kindred spirit of Amelia Earhart, Sheriff Maude Collins and other strong women from history. However, I’m probably a little more closely related to Snoopy versus the Red Barron and maybe Deputy Barney Fyffe! Regardless, I faced a fear and had such a fabulous time doing it that I’m already plotting to take another ride with Dewey someday.

And if you wonder what makes me an authority on this topic, just scroll up and look at that smile. It really was the best day. But this story is going to be a two parter! I checked something else off my bucket list but you’ll have to wait till Monday to read about it!

Want to know more about Dewey and biplanes? Check out his website and his YouTube vlog by searching his name.

A Funny Thing Happened On Day 29

Whole 30 Day 29 didn’t go as planned. I took a trip to the Franklin Park Conservatory for a morning of art and flowers. The plan was to buy a salad and eat the fruit and nuts that I had packed.

That was the plan until I discovered the food truck served the Beyond Burger. If you’re vegetarian you know how exciting it is to find a quality vegetarian options on a menu. The Beyond Burger is amazing.

As I stood there studying the menu, a part of me demanded that I order the salad and be happy about it. Just a day and a half to go and I could say I’ve successfully completed four rounds. But there was another voice. It was the voice of a person who has done a few successful rounds and who feels she has nothing to prove.

The goal of the Whole 30 for me is to reset my bad eating habits and to acquire a taste for whole foods that are good for me.

Would a day make a difference?

If you’re a beginner, yes.

If you’re trying to identify foods that cause your ailments, yes.

If it’s important to you personally that you accomplish the thirty days – you bet.

But for me? No.

I have done a pretty good job ridding myself of bad habits and there was nothing wrong with eating the Beyond Burger topped with onions, cabbage, peppers, mushrooms and the best tomato jam I’ve ever tasted.

It was a delicious experience eating my burger and feeling the breeze in my hair and I do not regret this decision.

If I were trying to complete a round, tomorrow would be a restart. Day one again. With Whole 30, you restart every time you stray from the rules. Every single time.

But for me, it’s not about the round. It’s about good health. So tomorrow I will simply continue making the best possible decisions, eating clean and feeling good about it.

A year ago, I would have felt like a quitter.

Today, I feel accomplished for knowing that goals and priorities change and that I’m capable of adapting rather than blindly following a rule.

Isn’t this what the quest for personal growth is all about?

Perspective From A Brave Place

a5.JPGThere’s this pedestrian bridge that connects downtown Marietta with Old Town.

I hate this bridge.

It seems kind of rickety. The boards are soft and it’s been patched in a few places.

I have stepped up on it a few times but never had the nerve to walk across the darn thing. It crosses the Muskingum River and seems awfully long given that I’m afraid of heights, can’t swim and am terrified of falling through a weak board to my watery grave.

But I’ve been feeling braver than normal lately, or maybe just wreckless, so I took the bridge during my adventures Saturday.

Here are some things I wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t braved the bridge.

A family. See the eggs in the nest?

a9.JPG

This plaque honoring an important man.

a8.JPG

Athletes hard at work.

a10

Lots of locks. Incidentally, I feel like we don’t need to be adding weight to this structure but maybe I’m just a stick in the mud.

a18

Here’s a better view of the scary bridge.   Pedestrians and bicycles use the wooden walkway. The iron bridge is a historic but abandoned railroad bridge. Isn’t it fabulous?

a6

Here’s a view of the other side. You can drive here too.

a12.JPG

Just so you know, lots of people use this walkway every day. You always encounter locals with their dogs, bicycles and baby strollers. It probably isn’t as scary to the rest of the world as it is to me so, by all means, go and enjoy the view.

I’m just pleased that I braved it once and got a different perspective than I would’ve had from the shore.