Friday, October 11, 2013

Driving, Flying, and Throwing My Comfort Zone to the Wind

And "The 40 Do-Over" adventures begin...

Earlier this week the lovely folks at Lexus invited me to the reveal of their new 2014 models and a preview of the Great Georgia Air Show.
Test driving hot cars against the backdrop of clear, blue skies and vintage aircraft treasures was an ideal way to spend a Monday morning.

I enjoyed speeding around the winding roads of Peachtree City behind the wheel of the oh-so-sexy Lexus IS350.
Any opportunity I get to shed the carpool-sticker-clad minivan for a little while, I am all for it!
And the frumpy stigma that goes with it... gone in sixty seconds.
Riding like the wind...
Testing the boundaries of acceptable overages of posted speed limits...
Feeling feminine and free...

And that was just the beginning...

When I first arrived at the event, I was asked did I want my name to go in a drawing to get opportunity to fly in one of the planes on display.
"Sure, why not," I shrugged because, usually, I don't win.
My name went into the bowl.
Moments later... my name was drawn.
A few moments later... I was shown what plane I was going to fly in.

Sure... it's a classic!
A real-live World War II fighter plane... with the machine gun in the back and everything.
Cool, right?
Cool, hell!
I have put my name in drawings for exotic trips and new iPads but THIS???
THIS is when my name gets picked?
To meet my death by ancient crop-duster???
Needless to say a little fear... well, terror, started to creep in.

Before it could completely overtake me and persuade me to chicken out, my inner Wonder Woman stepped up.
You are all about adventure, right?  Stepping out of your comfort zone... living your best life... doing epic shit, right?  Well what could be more adventurously epic than this?  Not to mention your little "40 Do Over" thing...

Dammit! She gets me every time!
And she had help...
Ushering me into the wild blue yonder... the "Maverick" to my "Goose" was none other than the very same "Maverick" to Robin Robert's "Goose" who took her (literally) for a spin in a fighter plane a few years ago on Good Morning America!
The Universe knows Robin Roberts is one of my heroes.
It was a divine order.  I had to do this.  It was meant to be.

Propeller spinning... engine rumbling... I waved goodbye to the spectators and the safety of solid ground.
I never had a fear of flying until 9-11 happened.
On normal, commercial flight... where I am surrounded by a "complete airplane" with a roof and safety mechanisms, I kinda grip the armrests a bit during taxi, take-off, and landing.  Don't get me started on turbulence.  I guess watching "Lost" didn't really help either.

There I was.. taxiing to the runway in an antique flying machine with a drop-top, no parachute, and no armrests to grip... and I am completely fear-free.
All I felt was blessed to be right where I was at that very moment and completely thrilled to be doing something that I may never get to do again!

It was an amazing ride!
Believe it or not... the smoothest take-off and landing I have ever experienced!
Don't get excited... it was a very tame ride...
No barrel rolls or nose dives... but for a civilian in that type of plane... a complete thrill from start to finish.
I felt completely safe... probably because I wasn't afraid...
Not afraid of dying... not afraid of living...
And this was one helluva way to feel alive!

Going all "Top Gun" was never on my bucket list but I can see why others have put it on theirs.
I am in the infancy stage of thrill-seeking and definitely taking baby-steps with it.
Events like this are the very definition of life beginning at the edge of your comfort zone.

I wanted adventure, and now I've had one.
I've tasted it... and I want more...
Bring it ON!