2009/9/2 + Starting 2011/8/4
by Jérôme Daoust.
Because I don’t want to leave without a goodbye…
Paragliding, what a fun game. My score: 20 years, 1450 hours and 3200 km of XC. But like a video game that is played too much, now I seek other interests.
At this time I feel as I gear up for a day of flying, that it is “more of the same” waiting for me at the mountain, with low expectations of doing more than was done before unless I am dealt an extraordinary hand by the weather. So the magic slowly got replaced by technique and a feeling of normalcy. Then, what used to be ignored (drive time, costs, strain on loved ones) became more obvious. I think that it is when we observe this, that we need to stop and do something else.
I’m such a bad quitter that I won’t promise never to paraglide again. Long time ago I also quit motorcycling and today I’m tempted to get another cool ride. So I will just say I’m putting it “on the shelf”. Selling my gear, because it is easy to gear-up again later. I could see myself paragliding again if I move very close to a flying site or something revolutionary happens. I’m keeping an eye on electric PPG progress for example.
One thought was to restart hang gliding or fly sailplanes, but my favorite flying device remains the paraglider if I kept flying. But give me a rocket belt with good range and I would like to try that because it is completely different. Not sure if we really need to glide through air to be happy, or if moving about in any which way to have great points of view, wouldn’t be just as good.
When I look back at these 20 years of paragliding, what I’m most happy about are the good friends I shared time with. Flying with friends is already more than half the fun. I’m also happy about making a contribution through Tips for Paraglider Pilots. A few pilots told me a tip saved their lives and that right there made it all worth it. And it’s great to see it translated into so many languages by other pilots.
Ask yourself: How will I know when to stop? I wish everyone stops paragliding on similar terms as me. It’s cool that when I think of my last few flights, they were really fun ones like this one ending at Lake Annecy, and took pictures like this one. Ending on a good note is sweet. Still, I can rationalize all I want knowing the magic is already gone, I feel heartbroken for leaving something that brightened up my life for so long.
Ride the waves of your passions,
Related: Discussion on Paragliding Forum.
Call me a bad quitter, but I'm starting again.
Something has changed since I decided to stop: I plan to live near a flying site in the not-too-distant future.
With that imminent change, I may as well get back into flying and enjoy again this great passion.