A lost season

I am supposed to sit on a train right now, heading South, from the flat fields to the Alps. In just a bit more than an hour my flight instructor is supposed to pick me up at a little town that translates into “overseas”. But instead of the beautiful landscape of Bavaria passing by my window, I’m staring out at the leaves falling in my backyard and the raindrops sprinkling my window.

“I’m not coming”, I wrote at 22:30, 8 hours before my train was scheduled to leave. “The weather is too bad to give me a fair chance to really improve my flying.” No response. I knew I had upset him. We had been planning and looking forward to this trip for weeks. And now I was not going because it’s raining.


I’d travel across half the world to prove my point – or learn to fly in the first place for that sake.


Yet, it’s not quite as simple. Yes, the weather forecast is not promising. It might not pour down for four straight days, but neither was anyone at the soaring school expecting thermals or rising hang winds. “I’m not giving you a prediction, I just can’t”, my instructor told me on the phone. “If you are not willing to take a risk, well then don’t come.”

That hit me hard. That was not fair and I told him so. He should know me well enough by now to expect me to jump on almost any occasion I get challenged. I’d travel across half the world to prove my point – or learn to fly in the first place for that sake. The difference  was that I had made acquaintance with the limits of my energy and they have been troubling visible to my colleagues, family and friends.


Rationally, it was the right choice. Emotionally, however, it haunts me.


I needed to realize that I could not take this risk, not at the expense of my work, my studies – and eventually my health. I could not travel across the entire country to be sitting in a holiday flat waiting for the sky to clear, while I work made me pace from one high level event to the next and I tried to finalize two master seminars on the side. So I decided to stay at home.

Rationally, it was the right choice. Emotionally, however, it haunts me. I had so desperately wanted to go solo this season. Now it was over and I had made no advances. It was a lost season and my deepening love for flying was forced to be put on hold for another long winter.

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