So I decided to take the leap (literally!) and try out hang gliding for the first time whilst in Rio. I’m feeling pretty used to being in the air now but contained in a tin can shooting through the sky, you’re so far removed from the experience of actually flying. I wanted to see what it would feel like to be a bird. Who knows why these crazy ideas come into my head but I felt a real desire to try this for myself. And I absolutely loved it.
To cruise through the sky like a bird, gracefully flying through the sky without a care in the world, felt unreal. The light breeze across my face, the incredible scenery beneath me. Glistening waters of the Atlantic stretching out endlessly before my eyes. Whilst the rugged rock face from our take off point drifted into the distance.
The take off is an interesting concept. Run as fast as you can with a triangular shaped glided strapped to you, off of a sloping ramp, with a huge drop into the abyss beneath you. And you quite simply, run off of the mountain.
To do this without such equipment as a glider for example would evidently mean certain death so to run off of this platform in the first place requires mentally removing yourself slightly from the situation. It’s quite unnatural to jump off of a very high mountain!
I didn’t have any trouble with doing this which astounded me as I was always quite fearful of heights and falling, and to some extent, flying itself, as a child. But I didn’t feel scared at all. I felt safe and confident. The thing that holds most people back from experiencing hang gliding I suspect, is the fear of the unknown. You don’t know what is going to happen when you leap off that platform. Heck, you haven’t a clue whether you have the ability, the mental strength, to actually leap off of the platform in the first place!
But trust me, it is worth it.