This morning I woke up, and was a little bit disoriented for a few moments before I realized I was in bed. And then I was suddenly disappointed, because I had been having the most amazing dream. You know that feeling, when you’ve just had a dream where you were doing something awesome and being awesome and you were happy? And then you wake up and realize it was a dream? Yeah, I had been dreaming that I’d spend the last three days learning to fly aeroplanes. But that was too out there to be real. And I lay there, letting myself way up, checked the clock to try and remember whether I had to get up for work or not – did I have to work today? What am I doing today again? I had to be somewhere didn’t I?
Wait….holy shit, that was real?
Yeah, it’s been an awesome couple of days. We were grounded today though – cloud ceiling too low in the practice area. But weather permitting, tomorrow, spins and spirals are up next. Yesterday, Sandra demonstrated one for me after we finished practicing stall recoveries (which are not that hard). “Do you like roller coasters?” she says. And yeah, that’s about the most unnerved I’ve ever felt in an aeroplane, with the ground spinning in a circle in front of me. But I’m sure, like stalls, it’ll be less scary when I’m doing it myself, because I’ll be concentrating on what I’m doing rather than just sitting there experiencing it. And the stalls aren’t that bad at all, they’re not really that scary. The stall horn makes that annoying wailing noise , then the plane starts losing altitude, nose drops on it’s own, and you just go with the nose drop and apply full power. Spins are pretty visually exciting, plus there’s that moment of weightlessness.
My main instructor is Sandra, and she’s famous now. Or, they tease her now that she is. She was on the news for the Women in Aviation day. She’s awesome. I think it makes me a little bit less self-conscious to have a female instructor, but even aside from that, both my instructors, her and Ankhur seem really good at coaching gently, without making me feel like I’m as horribly inept as I probably am, being so new to it all.
And there’s a thing I hadn’t really got to thinking about before I actually started – the trust thing. I mean, it’s one thing to have faith in myself, but another to really believe that whatever I do to this plane, however badly I screw up, she can save me from myself. Heh. Not that I’ve had any “interesting” moments so far, but it’s a new feeling. I remember gymnastics, I never got that good, because I never trusted the instructor to be able to catch me if I fell, and was too afraid to try the movements where they might have to. That lack of trust always held me back. And that was when I had all of about three feet to fall. Now I have three or four thousand, but just like gymnastics, if I don’t trust my instructor, it will hold me back.
I don’t know what’s different now – maybe it’s just that my confidence isn’t constantly being whittled away, or maybe it’s just that I want this so much more than I wanted anything else before, but I do trust my flight instructors. And you know what? It actually feels kind of good to trust.