Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I Own the Runway!

     I am currently in Mexico for a yoga retreat. Yes, I said yoga. Although I love to fly swift and drive fast and careen a little crazily through life, I also live fully and slowly in the present moment, something that yoga teaches you. This particular retreat is more focused on internal yoga, rather than contorted-body-position yoga. In one of our recent sessions, we were asked to recall a moment that was transformative in some way for us. Many things came to mind, but I decided to tell this story:

     During one of my private pilot flight training lessons, I was performing touch-and-gos with my instructor, Marla. It was a sunny Saturday, and the airport pattern at Arlington (KAWO) had become rather busy. I had just landed my 152 and was trying to quickly do the things that were required before adding power and taking off again. It felt like a lot to do (hey, I was still pretty new) and I knew another plane was not far behind me. I must have forgotten something (maybe left the flaps down?) because Marla wouldn't let me add power and go. In a panic, I said to her, "But I need to hurry, someone is right on my tail!" 

     I'll never forget, Marla turned to me and said, in her inimitable, navy-nurse, gruff way, "No! You don't need to do anything but fly this plane. When you're on the runway, it's your runway. You own it. And everybody else can just damn well go around!"

     And to this day, I remind myself of that truth, whether flying or just trying to live my life on my own terms:
I own the runway
and everyone else can just damn well go around if they don't like it.
Of course, some airplanes REALLY own the runway!
And I would love to hear your memorable moments, either on or off the runway . . . . 
xo, Cate

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Today, on my birthday, I have decided to claim the coming year to be a Mustang year. I am naming this year of my life for the famous P-51 . . . yes, perhaps some of you can guess at my age now, but it is something I've never hidden. In fact, I claim that every decade has been better than the last and each year I get better. This is not a personal boast; it is something I think we can all celebrate for ourselves - the beauty and wisdom and grace and humor that comes with age.

So, this year shall be the Mustang year, for "Powerful" 51. A great age to be.