Hi there! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.
When I was 12 years old, a friend of mine’s dad got his private pilot’s license and a plane. He took his son and I flying one time and we flew from the Tacoma Narrows airport (KTIW) to Puyallup (KPLU). It’s a relatively short flight, 15-20 minutes or so once you’re airborne, but during the flight he let me take the controls and I “flew” for the first time.
Ever since that inaugural flight, I’ve wanted to be able to call myself a pilot.
Out of high school I worked for a number of years at The Boeing Company, now just called Boeing. I had the opportunity to be around aviation every day. I considered joining the Boeing Employee’s Flying Association (BEFA) but making just barely above minimum wage, I couldn’t justify the cost of flight training.
I left Boeing in 1998 and went to work for a small software company called Adobe. I really enjoyed my time there, but they had different plans and laid me off in October of 2002. I still have many good friends from there and love the company. My salary climbed while I was at Adobe, but unfortunately life got in the way and I never made time for flying. While my salary climbed, so did my weight. I always knew it was going to be pretty impossible for me to fly in a Cessna 152, I’ve never been considered “skinny” by any stretch of the imagination.
After being laid off from Adobe (a blessing in disguise) I started my career as a Real Estate Agent and Realtor and haven’t looked back since. Starting Real Estate in 2003 was a blessing and a curse because I was pretty successful my first three years in the business and was able to even surpass my previous salary at Adobe. But my weight continued to climb. I don’t think I ever saw 370 on the scale, but I’m pretty sure I hit it, maybe even went past it.
In 2007 the market changed (tanked) and since then I’ve been rebuilding my career and am thankful that in 2011 I matched my production of 2006. In 2012 and since then I’ve surpassed my income from 2006.
I’ve always told myself “When I get back down to 250 pounds, I’ll start flying”. In 2009 I went in for Lap Band Surgery. My official starting weight was 363, but as I’ve mentioned previously I’m pretty sure I was at or above 370 at some point. After the surgery I got my weight down to 276, but that’s where I bottomed out. I always knew the Lap Band would be a tool, not a solution. For the previous 4 years I’ve been hovering between 295 and 305. The steadiest my weight has been all my life.
I’ve spent an entire year (2012) running three 1/2 marathons and didn’t lose an ounce. I spent an entire year being a sloth (2013) doing nothing and didn’t gain an ounce. I’ve found it’s not necessarily the number of calories for me or how much I eat, rather it’s all about WHAT I eat. Anyway, this isn’t a weight loss blog, but I WILL touch on that from time to time.
So in January of 2014 I finally said “F it, I’m going to get my Pilot’s License”. So I started ground school. I completed that in March and took my FAA Written exam in April. I passed!! I started my flight lessons about that time as well and as of this writing, have about 10 hours of logged flight time in a Cessna 172, my trusty training aircraft that you see above, tail number N1151M or “Five One Mike” as I refer to her. (Yes all planes are female, get used to it)
This blog will mostly be about my adventures in flying, assuming I ever get my pilot’s license. But more esoterically it’ll be about my life in my 40’s and beyond and learning what it means to actually be ME. I’m learning to fly, both literally and figuratively.
I hope you enjoy reading and I welcome any comments or questions. (As soon as I get e-mail set up for this domain)