How I started hang gliding
The first time I went hang gliding was back in June of 2011 when I was twelve with my mom and brother for a meetup group event. I was put in a "body bag" type harness and then hooked up to the glider. The two options for hang gliding are either flying solo by running and jumping from a hill or ledge or flying tandem where a plane is attached to the glider and flies the student and instructor from the field and into the sky. Once we're high enough, the instructor will unhook the cord disconnecting the plane from the glider and we'll fly around in the sky for a little bit before heading back down to the ground. I've flown tandem all three times. The cost for tandem hang gliding is $100 per person plus an extra $25 for either picture or video. The second time I went hang gliding was last August when my mom and I were driving back home to Georgia from Indiana and I decided that I wanted to go hang gliding since we had to go by the flight park to get home, so mom called the park to schedule a reservation for on the way home and she paid for a 15,000 ft flight on my debit card along with pictures, even though I didn't see any pictures of me actually flying.
Making this story happen
I turned nineteen back in January and mom wanted to know what I wanted for my birthday and I said hang gliding, we had to wait for the weather to get warmer, but we eventually made it happen. Once I told mom that I wanted to go hang gliding for my birthday, I messaged yoocan on instagram back in May and asked if anyone had done a hang gliding story which they said no and that I should, so I did and I kept them updated leading up to it. My grandparents sent me a notepad and I started writing down basically just simple details and to get my thoughts and ideas for the story organized like the adventure, the title, and the date for the adventure. When my mom started planning a road trip vacation to go kayaking in Tennessee and North Carolina, we decided to add hang gliding to the trip since we were staying in a cabin for two nights in Tennessee before driving to North Carolina. When we got to the flying field, mom explained to the front desk that we didn't get all of the pictures that we had paid for when I flew back in August, so I got free pictures to make up for it along with a video that mom paid for.
Why I like hang gliding
I like to go hang gliding because like kayaking, hang gliding lets me get out of my chair for an hour and fly around in the sky. I love being able to actually fly the glider. My first time flying back in 2011, I think I just laid there while the instructor flew the entire time. The second time I flew with Ozzie, and he showed me how to fly the glider. Ozzie showed me where to put my hands on the bar, how to go fast and slow down, how to turn the glider, and how to safely land the glider. The third and most recent time I flew with Joe and the video link shows me actually flying the glider in the sky from takeoff to touchdown. The video also proves that I don't let having cerebral palsy and being in a wheelchair stop me from doing fun, expensive, crazy, and dangerous things that I love to do like tandem hang gliding.