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Getting Started

Folks often ask me how I got started in soaring.  I worked part time in high school in a cafe as a waitress.  A regular customer told me I needed a better job, and he would pay me to sit on a chair and meet the people, and see what gliderport work was like on my next day off. 

I tried it on a Memorial Day Monday, and there were 134 flights that day, from 8 am till sunset.  Whew!  Was I overwhelmed with the hubbub, but the people were unfailingly nice to me, and passionate about their sport.

I didn't take an employee discount first ride for about six weeks. Too many fellows wanted to "thrill" the single gal, and I wasn't impressed (nor impressionable) until a quiet towpilot offered a second seat in a 2-33 early one smooth morning.  The soft sell, the quiet steady demeanor, the smooth morning air over my neighborhood, the view and visibility were the combination to addict me.

I fly over a different neighborhood now, still over the desert and mountains, a different machine, with an increased responsibility to provide the smooth steady demeanor for the next newcomer, but the addiction is still virulent.  I strive to infect more future pilots or riders, not by showing off skills in tumultuous conditions, not by exhibiting derring-do, but by interpreting the interests and motivations of each passenger who allows me to take them aloft, and show them my Joy of Soaring, hoping that it will be also become their Joy of Soaring.

see     www.caracole-soaring.com

Posted: 1/25/2007 By: Cindy Brickner

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