Have you ever wanted to try something that is just completely out there? Something that pushes you out of your comfort zone, or makes you so excited that you get slightly nauseous. Maybe its skydiving, or bunging jumping or something as simple as public speaking. Whatever it may be, do you have the guts to do it?
Your reason for doing it might be just as easy as saying, i did it, or wanting to have a possible once in a life time experience, or maybe you are the type of person that lives life each day as it could be your last. For me it was a milestone birthday, 30 to be exact. For Ryan it was doing something that was just out there, something he has never done before.
Eagle Hang Gliding out of Lake City, Minnesota was brought to my attention by a coworker who showed me a video of a local gal's experience. Instantly I knew I had to do this! I texted Ryan the link to the website and said I want to do this. Initially I think Ryan thought I was crazy, but to my surprise he said he wanted to do it to.
I called them up and spoke to Josh, one of the instructors. After I explained the situation about Ryan, Josh said he had instant chills and knew that he had to make this possible. He was so excited to meet Ryan and to be able to give him this experience. He said he would talk to the owner Dave and figure out how to make it happen. I later spoke to Dave and expressed my worries about how this would be possible with Ryan. Dave told me that he was used to being around people in wheelchairs his whole life and that one of his good friends was also paralyze so moving him would be know big deal. So the date was set for July 8th.
Friday morning came and we headed down to Lake City with our friend Carol, who also had a flight booked. They chose to take Ryan first and had a strategic plan on how to get the harness on him while in his wheelchair, getting him attached to the glider and everything that would entail. Before I knew it they were off and I found myself at the edge of the beach asking God to please bring my husband back safely. Once they got to the height of 2100 feet they released the cord that was attached from the glider to the boat and they were off, gliding. From that far away he looked like an Eagle flying in the sky. Soon enough he was down and a big smile on his face giving Carol and I a thumbs up! I was so proud of him for stepping outside of his comfort zone. The winds had really picked up so my flight along with Carol's got canceled. Mine was rescheduled for the following day in the morning.
Saturday was perfect, not a cloud in the sky, sunny and just a slight breeze. After the boat finished towing me up and they released the cord we were flying, What an incredible experience! To be up with the Eagles and see the beauty of the bluffs and Lake Pepin below. I was instant smiles! I was fortunate enough to even have a minute or two to be able to fly the glider myself.
Two years ago I took a trip to Vail, Colorado to visit my friend Kristie. She is the type of person that has that laid back personality, always having fun and always looking for adventures. That trip reignited my love for the outdoors. When I returned home I remember struggling with the fact that I may never have these types of experiences with a spouse in a wheelchair, or with a spouse who at the time was not willing to try new things. I was worried about my life, what it would be like. I knew very well when I married Ryan the things I would have to give up, but at the time it didn't seem to matter to me. Fortunately we were able to work through these issues and emotions and Ryan has changed his outlook on new experiences and I have realized that some experiences I will have to have on my own, but thankfully not all of them.
This experience was so amazing and even more amazing that I was able to do it with Ryan by my side. We even talked about how "walking" Ryan would have never done that. So would we recommend Eagle Hang Gliding, heck yes we would!! We even plan to eventually go again. Maybe hang gliding is to out there for you, but I encourage each and everyone of you to try something new or step outside your comfort zone. When you are pushed outside of your comfort zone thats when you learn more about yourself and when more experiences or opportunities open up. As for Ryan he learned that he is able to do more then what he thinks he can, and that he is able to have more experiences even while being paralyzed. For me I learned that risks can be a good thing and that God is answering my prayers when it comes to having new adventures and being able to do it with Ryan by my side. So here you go enjoy the pictures of our Eagle Hang Gliding experience! Im currently having some issues trying to upload our videos, so when I do I will sure post the links to them. The videos are worth seeing to get the full experience.