Friday, July 20, 2012

Life is Rough and Thank You's Aren't Enough

July 13, 2012
Pain Field
Cessna 152
0.9 hours 6 landings


I’ve been so busy lately I’ve been neglecting my flying to the max. At first it was studying for finals; my GPA is very important to me, so I saw it as a “I’ve got plenty of time to get my flight training done, but I need to study now to do well on the final.” Once finals were over, I scheduled a lesson, though the weather showed it was VFR conditions when I left my house, by the time I got there it was apparent the field would be going IFR. I was bummed I’d have to reschedule but it wasn’t a complete waste of a drive. I ended up sitting down and discussing where I felt I’d be going with my CFI, to get his input on it since he’s been around more people who are doing what I am than I have. I thought who better to ask? Worried at first about the decision I’d made, he confirmed the information I had been given and it put me at ease. I will admit, I’m still terrified by what I’m doing, but it’s exhilarating at the same time.

I finally made the decision. I’m currently in the application process of going into the Marines to fight to become commissioned (officer) and then fight for a pilot slot. I have my first PFT August 8th, I just found out yesterday. I hurt my ankle a few weeks back so as you can imagine I’m freaking out. I need to have my 3 mile run no more than 25 minutes. I’m not so worried about the flex arm hang, it’s purely mental, and as for the crunches, I’ve got that down pretty well. My ankle and my run is what I’m most worried about. I also leave for MEPS sometime next month, and if all goes well and I get accepted, I leave for Platoon Leaders Class next May. I may not get accepted though, and that worries me. Everything about this process is pure competition. And though I’m a competitive person, I haven’t been preparing myself for this like I’m sure many others have.

As if that wasn’t stressful enough, I’m still full time at my college. Yes, even throughout summer. In fact, twice a week I’m at that damn school for 13 hours! I’ll break it down for you; 08:00-09:30 yoga, 10:00-01:30 chemistry 02:00-05:00 chemistry lab, 05:30-09:00 Speech class. The other 2 days I’m there for 6 hours. I have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off from classes, but I work. From 04:00am-12:30pm all three days. And on Saturdays I volunteer with the team, from 02:00pm-04:30pm.

Needless to say; I’m exhausted, stressed, drained and frazzled.

I’m nonstop almost every day of the week. I always have something that HAS to be done, and with all the homework I’ve got I’m only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night. I made sure to tell my CFI I probably won’t be flying again this month, I simply have too much going on. I don’t think I could juggle anything more even if I tried. There is no way I could be flying right now, my mind is in overdrive, I’m stressed out and worried about everything.

So, to get back to my flight lessons and training. My lesson this day was to just ease me back into it as I hadn’t flown in weeks. We practiced a Short Field take-off; I was instantly smiling allowing the airplane to wash my stress away. Then he had me take us out of the pattern, just for a little bit so I could remember what it felt like to be up there again-how I missed it so. After that we stayed in the pattern where I worked on my landings. Though my CFI said it was like riding a bike, it most certainly was not! Not the landings anyways. I think some of my worst landings were that day! Though Ryan said he expected worse for me not flying in so long. Not sure if that was a compliment or not. I’ll just blame it on the crosswinds though, yep, that was it. After getting a feel for what it was like landing again and once I stopped second guessing everything I was doing my landings began to improve and I’m happy to report towards the end I finally just kissed the runway. When we landed I felt like a burden had been lifted from my shoulders; I had turned my back on my flight training, it had not turned its back on me. Even more so then than ever, I knew that the path I had decided to walk on would be worth it. I felt at such peace with myself, nothing could bring me down that day. I can’t explain, though I have tried. When I’m flying I shut everything down but the then and there, nothing on the ground matters when you’re up above and nothing can hold you down.

My flight school reminded me of what I loved so much as a kid. And though none of them probably think about it, they’re the reasons dreams come true. Both my ground school instructor and CFI have on at least one occasion brought up where they wished they had gotten their degree in something else so that they could be working at Boeing, or be making more money. But don’t they realize they’re a part of something more? I know they aren’t getting paid much for what they’re doing but both of them have shaped me in ways no other teacher has. I don’t think I could ever thank either of them enough. In fact, where ever it is I go in life, it will be because of them. And if my dream comes true, I will forever be in their debt. I probably will cry when I leave my flight school for PLC and then off to Florida. How could I not? Everything I’m doing now is because of them. They didn’t see it, but when I first walked in there my dreams were fading, I was giving up on what made me me and I had accepted I’d never get to fly, I’d never get close to space. Life after high school came down rough on me, I had to take two quarters off from college to help raise my mom’s child, I had to get a part time job at some hole in the wall. I was essentially, dying inside, turning into a zombie like everyone else around me. That flight school pulled me up from drowning. Made me kick my butt into gear and tell the rest of the world to leave me alone. I’d be doing what I wanted, and what I needed to do. Without my flight school, I’d probably be a drop out right now, working full time, trying to keep my head above water. I will admit I’m trying to keep my hed above water right now as it is, but for completely different reasons. This time, I’m fighting for everything I’ve ever wanted and I’m not about to back down.

So here I am. Happy. Alive. And blindly chasing after this crazy dream.

Thank you is not enough and words cannot describe what my training has meant to me.
Thank you Regal Air, thank you Justin and thank you Ryan.
You guys gave me what I needed to fight for what I've always wanted.
I look forward to finishing my training.

Total cost invested thus far: $6124

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