When my husband and I were first dating, we did a lot of fun things.
Being outdoorsy folk, we spent most of our time,going on walks, hiking, riding our bikes, kayaking, river rafting, and taking motorcycle rides.
Ah those were the days. Good times.
As you can see we were up for doing most anything. Well anything that is, that didn't include heights.
You see I'm terribly afraid of heights. I'm talking vertigo, you can't pay me enough money to go on a ski lift afraid. And he knew this.
Therefore it was with great surprise when walking through the park one day he suggested we go hang gliding.
Question marks filled the thought bubble above my head followed by a rather large WTF!?
Ummmm... Did we just meet? Do you not remember that I hate, hate, HATE heights, and that's why when we went snowboarding over Christmas, I hauled myself and snowboard up the mountain on foot, just so I wouldn't have to take the effing lift again, cause when you actually talked me into trying it out just once, I almost passed out, got sick and threw up from fear, because the damn thing crawls along at a snails pace and kept stopping and leaving us dangling about 3 miles above ground....
Did I make my point?
No, I did not say all this to him, but I think my shocked expression conveyed the message pretty well.
I mean, why would anyone, afraid of heights or not, want to strap a giant kite to their back and go running off a mountain? This is not the 19th century anymore, we figured out how to fly. There is a wonderful invention for just that purpose called an airplane.
Despite the absurdity of the idea, we talked about this for quite awhile, and being the adventurous sort ... ahem read idiot, I decided to give it a try. The fact that we were still in that I need to impress you stage, may or may not have also been a factor.
Finally the big day came. We rolled up to the training site, which was nothing but dry dusty hills and a long field filled with cows, their natural excrement and tarantula's.
Did I mention that I don't like spiders either, especially the big hairy variety?
Oh yeah and that it was exactly 106 degrees outside?
And that we were a mile in from the road in a big dusty field, and there wasn't anything remotely wet around for miles in which, if need be, you could dunk yourself in and cool off?
No? Well that's exactly what it was like.
By the time we put our death traps, I mean hang gliders together and fitted ourselves with the height of fashion in hang gliding gear: harnesses, helmets, knee pads, and gators (to keep the weeds out of your socks and shoes), I was starting to get pretty warm.
Also for safety reasons, which I later found out wouldn't mean a damn thing, I was told to wear jeans or some other pant that would help protect your legs from the odd scrape should you happen to have a slight accident.
Jeans. In a 106 degrees. I don't know about you, but in that weather I'm usually floating around in a body of water somewhere, not wandering about in one of the hottest pants ever made.
But I digress..
One thing I found out right away about hang gliding, is that they don't let you just jump off a mountain and hope for the best. Which is good. However, this meant a lot of standing around in the heat being shown what to do. Which again is good. I'm all for hands on, but let's pick up the pace a little shall we?
Anyway our first task was running. Like a cheetah. Yep, we spent quite some time, learning that particular technique, each of us morons, having to show the instructor our own version of cheetah running one by one.
Meanwhile I'm melting. Because while I understand the need for safety with all the gear you have to wear, there is no denying that wearing said gear in 106 (let's milk it shall we) degree weather, is fantastically hot.
By this time, my clothes were a second skin. Make that a second wet, sticky skin. The helmet and harness, were starting to collect pools of sweat underneath them. Making it extremely uncomfortable and icky to walk around in.
So I did the only thing I could do. I started pouring the water from my water bottle (which I should have been drinking!) straight down my shirt. I didn't care if it dribbled down the front of my pants also, making it look like I peed myself, I just wanted to cool off damnit!
I was well past trying to impress my man at this stage. Besides you can only look so good in a helmet and harness, dripping with sweat. Although for some people I could see where this might be a turn on...
Anyhoo, my man as it turns out, was having a jolly time on the other hill, flying away. Why? Because he already had taken the class and knew how to fly. Plus he had his own glider. Hmmm...Perhaps I should have just hitched a ride with him?
I also want to say, that later I found out the classes are supposed to be canceled when the weather reaches a certain temperature. Duh! Heat stroke anyone?
Why ours wasn't I don't know. And just so you don't think I'm being a wuss, and can't stand a little heat, which is true I can't, but the class? Was 6 hours long!
Whew! Is it hot in here? I think I'll will leave you at this junction in the story, as all this talk about heat has made me want to go jump in the pool.
But tune in next time for part II.
I promise I will get to the good part about me flying and maybe, possibly landing upside down...