There are certain outdoor events in my life that have left a timeless impression. Strapping into a paragliding harness, running down a hill and jumping off a cliff hundreds of feet over the ocean ranks in the top 10 for me. With the on shore wind pushing up the cliff face the lift of the paraglider is almost instantaneous. The adrenaline of the first step off the cliff swings to a surreal peace as you begin your flight back and forth parallel to the cliff face turning time and again with the wind. You quickly appreciate the ride and hope for it to never end. If everything works as planned you land right back on the cliff top near your take off point.
For me, not so lucky.
The wind began to wind down and we ended up landing on the beach. Both the pilot and I laughed, broke down our gear, and took a deep breath and a quick look at the ocean before we kicked it in to hike mode with an hour climb to the top. We honestly could do nothing but smile about the ride. Things don’t always go as planned even when you’re having one of those high (pun intended) moments. We define ourselves based on how we respond to those moments that don’t come off as planned.