Paragliding - an obsession?
Sent to the EuroPG mailing list on 9th September 1999
It's taken me a long time to realise it, but over this summer I have been increasingly aware that flying has become too all-prevalent in my life, to the extent that I feel it is almost unhealthy (well maybe that's putting it a bit strong!) But it certainly leads to huge frustrations and difficuties at home.
I've come to the conclusion that I have to restore the balance in my life that has been missing for a few years now, otherwise I may regret it for the rest of my life.
Only getting 15 mins flying in the five days I spent in Grand Bornand (before I gave up), when I could have been on a beach in Britanny with my family say, didn't help...
As doesn't staring out of the office window on all those classic mid-week flying days...
Then there are all those weekends when I can't decide which day to go flying on - I invariably seem to choose the wrong day, and get immensely frustrated when I hear what the day I missed was like...
Not to mention getting really excited upon seeing the long-range forecast on Wednesday, only to have one's hopes dashed on Friday...
Meanwhile all this umming and arring and not being able to make family plans for the weekend makes life extremely difficult for Lisa, my very long suffering wife...
There was the day back in April when four of us sat on a hill in Wales all day in blazing sunshine, but with not a breath of wind at all. I just sat there thinking I should be doing something with the family...
Then again there are the days I can't make it - Paramania this year for example - when I had a great camping/partying/swimming weekend at a friend's 40th party, but nagging away at the back of my mind is the thought that I'm missing out on some epic flying down in Wales, even though it turns out that I probably didn't. Same story with the recent Blorenge party - I was on holiday in Jersey having a wondeful time, but all the time I'm wondering what I was missing...
Something else that drives Lisa mad is that mention a particular flight I maybe did 3 years ago say, and I can remember the day perfectly, but as to what we did on her birthday earlier in the year..? Well, you know what the answer is, because most of you are the same as me I guess...!
I'm sure you can all rattle off a similar stories, but when you've got young children (2 & 4) who will only be young once, it makes it so much harder... The trouble is I find the sport so addictive - when it's good it's absolutely fantastic - that's what keeps you going through the frustrations, but as I've found out it can get too obsessive. And so at this stage in my life I have to redress the balance.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not on a downer - flying has given me some wonderful experiences (too many to mention) and many good friends which/who will remain with me for ever, and for which I feel incredibly priviledged. To have the gift of free-flight is surely a magical thing.
And I'm not giving up flying either, I'm just putting it on the back burner for a while, downsizing you could say. And as part of that process I shall be signing off europg. Much as I enjoy the debates, the abuse, Bucking Rod, the valuable information and advice, the jokes and the inevitabale dross that comes too, reading 20 odd emails a day on europg doesn't help you become any less obsessive!
And for those keen Avon XC pilots who send me flight details on such a regular basis, don't worry, I'm going to keep the website (www.avonpgxc.freeserve.co.uk) and my Nova contributions going, but the difference is that I won't get jealous of all your flights! As for my position as Avon Membership Secretary, well maybe I'll try to find someone to hand that over to at the AGM next month!
Anyway, apologies for waffling on for so long and contributing to your own information overload, but after all, this list is about flying and sharing experiences, and there must be others who face similar dilemmas every time they go flying.
Good flying all
Tim Pentreath - Sept 1999