Just Consider Me High Risk

Every time & I mean every time we go visit my brother in Tampa we engage in high risk behaviors.  He for sure wants us to step out of our comfort zone.  I'm boring and safe.  If you don't believe me, just ask my children.  But, when I'm with my brother, risks abound.  :)

In the past, we have:

  • Canoed with alligators.  I was scared to death especially when one swam under our canoe & bumped the boat.  I may or may not have squealed like a little girl.  It was scary.  Um, have you seen me?  I would be a tasty snack.  I think of a juicy steak that is marbleized in all the right places.  :/   
  • Had trapeze lessons.  Swinging on a trapeze is a lot harder than it looks.  Arms and core are used a bunch.  The trapeze artists (and they are artists) make it look so easy.  They are incredibly strong, very nice and have to wear incredibly tight belts.  I mean, they squeeze the air out of you, but it was so worth it.

This year's high risk behavior was hang gliding.  We went to a place called QuestAir in Groveland, Florida.  It's about an hour from Tampa.  I want to thank first: my brother & sister-in-law, Cotton & Leah, for coming up with this crazy idea and second: Mark, Spinner & Kim for a great time.  Mark was our tow pilot; Spinner was our instructor and tandem pilot; and Kim who made sure we were all strapped in correctly, set the GoPro camera & was encouraging and bubbly the whole time.  They could not have been sweeter!  Especially when we were signing our life away.  Just kidding, we only had a few papers to fill out.

Because I'm the mom, I like to go last.  I like to make sure all my little chicks are back safely before I go to try something risky.  When we go snow skiing I'm the last one down the mountain.  How can I help them if I'm at the bottom (or in this case on the ground) and they are at the top.  Cotton talked me into going second to last.  Believe it or not, I was not nervous or scared.  I was excited.  I was going to get a great indication of what it felt like to fly.  How many times have I wanted to soar like an eagle?  More than once.

So I get in the body bag thingie, and get the talk that Spinner gives before take-off.  It was the 6th time I had heard it, so I probably could have given it to him.  We were pulled to 3600 feet.  Can I tell you that Tampa is hot.  Not just hot, but very humid.  At 3600 feet it is so nice and cool and no humidity.  It's quiet and beautiful, but not that calm.  For 3/4 of the trip I was great.  You could see 40 miles away.  Beautiful.  But then, the cool air went away & I was hit hard with the heat & we were kinda circling, and I thought I was going to barf.  On the video my family laughed because they could tell that from my face that I was not feeling well.  Yeah, I was just trying to not barf on Spinner's head.  How gross would that be?  They told us funny stories about people who did throw up midair.  Yuck.

The only real disappointment I had was that I didn't get to see a phenomenon called Pilot's Glory.  You see it when you pass over clouds.  You look down into the clouds & will see your shadow inside a rainbow ring.  My sister saw 2 & Elizabeth saw one.  Just a little jealous, but it's ok.  I guess that means I'll have to try it again...maybe.  

If  you ever get the chance, try a tandem glide.  It really is a fun and beautiful high risk activity. :)

Celebrating Life!
~ashley
Harry



Elizabeth

Henry






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