“There is no illusion greater than fear.” – Lao Tzu
We all have bucket lists, whether we literally write them out or whether it is a mental idea of everything you want to try before you die. The truth is that many of those extreme activities, like hang gliding, parasailing or skydiving, can often seem like a joke. “I won’t actually end up doing that,” you may have said about some of the more daunting activities on your list. Team Green Adventures is going hang gliding Saturday, June 21, and this is no joke. This is an opportunity to check off one of the deceivingly frightening items on your bucket list! (Want to come along for the ride? Find out more here!)
I say deceivingly because hang gliding is far more therapeutic and enjoyable than it is often considered. Imagine yourself jaw-dropped, taking in the beauty of the trees, hills and sky from a spot that most humans have never been to before. Hang gliding is the essence of freedom and gives you the liberating satisfaction of being airborne. What better way to experience the wondrous natural beauty of Tennessee than by soaring high above some of the most scenic landscape in the southeast!
This rewarding experience is an opportunity to make a memory that will last a lifetime. When you make the choice to commit to this thrilling experience, you are making a choice to live in the present and live life to the fullest extent. You may even find your hang gliding experience as a way to overcome different fears you face in everyday life. The key is to see the potential for this activity to leave you as a better person than before you arrived.
To ease some of the nerves, keep in mind that you will hang glide in tandem with an expert pilot. Wearing padded suits, you are lying next to the pilot and attached by a long rope to a small airplane. One of the most enjoyable parts of the excursion is soaring upward into the sky during your takeoff. Once the plane disconnects you take a deep dip and carry on with the ride. Instead of overthinking how high up you are, relax and listen to your pilot talk about the breathtaking view that only comes from a once-in-a-lifetime experience like this one. All of the pilots are highly experienced, with many flying 15,000 times or more without injury or issue, and all of them have tons of great stories to tell!
If you’re still not convinced, then maybe this 12-year-old boy will do the job (don’t worry, we won’t be jumping off the cliff – that’s only for certified hang gliders!). Or maybe you just need an in-flight view of some of the incredible scenery at Lookout Mountain. No matter what, don’t let your fears get the best of you – take this once-a-year opportunity to get going on that bucket list!
– Kate (Team Green’s Summer Intern)