There’s a few things in the history of humanity that have gone up and never come down.

But I have to admit, sometimes in paragliding, it’s best to come down with a packed backpack and your body in tact.

I’ve been dragged a few times and always learned from the experience. Despite my obsession with paragliding and a dream to fly off large mountains, I’d rather be para-waiting than a paraplegic. But when the waiting is for nothing and the wind is only getting stronger, it’s time to go.

I reckon in the short time I’ve been doing this sport, I’ve probably walked back down off the hill maybe a dozen times and it seems that it’s just part of whole experience. For me, I like to look on the positive side and be thankful that I’ve had a day outside, improved my fitness and taken in some great views.

Thinking back to my parachuting days, there are close similarities in that sometimes you have to descend in the plane because the wind has gone over the limit and it’s not safe to jump. This maybe happened to me half a dozen times in 15 years of skydiving and mostly during my student years when I was jumping round canopies.

I do remember one time when I was forced to stay in the plane because I was the most inexperienced jumper on the load and everyone else got to jump. I was the “intermediate” guy and the Chief Instructor radio-ed to the plane that I was to stay on board.

Disappointed? I certainly was, but on reflection it was probably the right decision.

Which ever way you look at the two sports of parachuting and paragliding, we’re really just leaves in the wind at the full mercy of Mother Nature…

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