‘I Know How a Bird Feels’
When I mentioned my most recent hobby to one of the editors of this fine publication, he replied, “Getting a column out of your never-ending absurdities is the first priority.” In other words, “silly sells!”
Let me tell you about paramotoring…
“Paramotoring” (AKA “powered paragliding) consists of a human, a glider, and a motor-driven propeller. The result is a (relatively) safe form of flying that’s much more affordable than any other. With a week or two of training, you’re a pilot… albeit, a beginner pilot.
Why? Because it’s fun and exciting—people of all ages and most fitness levels can participate in this amazing sport—and because I ran out of challenging stuff I want to do that I can still physically achieve.
Mt. Everest? Not ever(est).
American Idol? They have a restraining order.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a recurring dream that I could fly. When I stumbled upon the world of paramotor a few years back, it just seemed to make sense. I actually started my training in 2016, but the outfit I chose to train me didn’t give me the warm and fuzzies, so I put it on a shelf until recently.
So, what’s it like? Truth be told, I’ve had only a half-dozen flights, so I’m still in the “Holy crap, what was I thinking?” phase. But I haven’t died (yet). And with each flight comes a bit less clenching and a bit more enjoying. I now can say that I know how birds feel, and it’s amazing.
While I’ve enjoyed parachuting in the past, this is different. I’m airborne as long as my gas lasts and I can soar at 100 feet or 1,000 (or more). I can shut off the motor and gently ride the breeze in a slow, controlled descent. Paramotors don’t go too fast but they go pretty far.
I’m not sure how many “absurdities” I have left in the bucket. But then again who really does know? My advice: Soar!