The Air Out There

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My back hurts, my shoulder hurts, and everything seems to hurt at the same time all over my body. Maybe that’s the price to pay for loving something so much. I’m not regretting anything but jeez, I should have stuck that landing perfectly with my eyes closed. I have done it many times before that last one, all of them textbook landings and then there was this. Maybe I just got complacent about things and forgot to remember the basic ones. Maybe I was just too engrossed on the spectacular view from above that I didn’t notice land closing in on me, or maybe, just maybe, I am just plain old stupid.

It happened the other day when we were out hang gliding and stuff. It was such a marvelous day for it and we could not have picked a better day to enjoy our hobby. The breeze was superb but not that strong and the visibility was for miles, which eventually also got us so worked up, that we even forgot to setup camp, instead heading straight to assembling our gliders and what-not’s. We trekked towards the edge of a cliff and launched ourselves to the mercy of the wind and Mother Nature, one by one, like little birds on their maiden flights. It was an uneventful launch and soon we were airborne, all five of us.

It’s tranquil out there, up in the sky. There is a kind of silence that I only experience the times I hang glide. Just you, the hang glider and the air, wind rushing at your face, cold, sometimes biting, but always calming. You see only the tops of everything, trees, houses, cars, and people scurrying around like ants. You see rivers and pass through mountains, you just get lost in the moment, hoping it will never end and you don’t have to land for anything, ever.

I knew I was close to landing, or did I. My friends say that they saw me eventually slowing down as if to land myself or something to that effect, but to their great surprise, I never did get my feet out of the harness to support my landing, instead landed myself still clutching at the bar, somewhat superman like. They rushed to me, fearing the worst and expecting injuries, instead they found me smiling sheepishly at them.

Let’s just say I got lost in the moment and keep it at that. Anyway, whatever lapses in training I did I eventually paid for big-time. I got the elbows of my suit thrashed as well as my pants, control bars of the glider bent, flying wires snapped, plastic battens ripped as well as several contusions and pain between shoulder blades to round it all off. I forgot to mention shoulder instability close to shoulder subluxation because of the way I landed which, as my friends would say, got perfect ten’s in form but all zeroes in function.

Doctors said that I managed to hyper stretch several tendons and ligaments located in my shoulder thereby causing undue stress on the said socket joint. They said I was to refrain from any physical activity requiring the use of my shoulders as they may cause further instability in the area.

Although I was sad by the turn of events, if I were given the chance to do it all over again, I would still do what I did. The feeling I experienced out there would last me for a long time, injuries and all.