Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or enjoy adventures, this will take your breath away…and your stress too
Feelings of excitement, fear, happiness and “I want to go again” rushed through my body all in about 20 minutes.
I’m the kind of person who likes having both feet on the ground, so paragliding at 3,000-meter high isn’t something you’d often see me do. Yet I gave it a go and would do it all over again.
Paragliding is has become an adventure sport, or so-called “free-flying”. It’s when you sit in a harness suspended below a fabric wing which is maintained by suspension lines. You launch off of a mountain top running against the wind so it can lift you up. Then you fly for about 20 minutes (more experienced paragliders can soar longer depending on the strength and direction of the wind. Eventually you land on a flat surface.
Before I dive into this, just wanted to mention that it was tandem paragliding, so I was flying with someone who’s had a decade of experience in dancing with the clouds. I was safe yaaay!
Besides the adrenaline rush there’re several reasons why paragliding should be on your bucket list.
Looking down at your surroundings from thousands of meters above is a magical experience. Much different from when you’re looking through a plane’s window. The scenery is spectacular and you get to appreciate nature on a whole new level.
When you’re so far high up sitting in a harness and being held by only a couple of dozen strings (which are by the way strong enough to hold your weight several times over), there’s nothing else you’re concerned about but being there. You’re not thinking about what you have done in the past or what you’re going to do when you land, but the only thing that matters is the present. In addition, there’s that adrenaline rush keeping your body and mind heavily focused on the task as the excitement releases endorphins (the happy hormones), melting all your stress away.
Sense of freedom
You know the expression “I’m free like a bird” right? That’s exactly what it feels like. Just spread your wings (well, arms), breath in the sense of freedom and enjoy the ride.
Face your fears
Our biggest limitations that hold us back from living life to the fullest are our fears. It’s that comfort zone we’re so afraid of leaving because the unknown can be scary. But what we often forget is that the unknown can also be exciting and an adventure, and when you do find the courage to face what you’re afraid of, you’ll realize that you’re so much stronger than you’ve ever thought. And, all of a sudden you feel empowered, strong and there you are flying above the French Alps enjoying every second along the way.
Here’s how I see a connection between the practice of paragliding and life: There’re four main parts: run, jump, fly, and land.
Run = take the first step
Jump = take the risk
Fly = get higher than you’ve ever been
Land = you’ll be fine
If you steer well and trust yourself, you’ll land where you want just fine. There may be a few sharp turns and turbulence along the way, but it doesn’t mean you should give up and let yourself fall down.