Death defying acts of bravery or How not to look like a wimp in front of your kids

We recently spent a weekend in the mountains, Interlaken to be exact, and I kind of, a little bit, lost my mind and allowed my husband to convince me to go paragliding. I have a confirmed, long standing fear of heights, as well as an aversion to anything that might make me vomit. You can see how this was a difficult decision for me. However, upon learning that my nine and eleven year old children were fearless enough to do it, I signed up. There was no way I was going to let a kid who still likes being tucked in at night out-brave me.

It was glorious, just a wee bit scary, and definitely nausea inducing, but worth every moment. I nearly cried on the way up the mountain when the pilot informed me he had only been flying since May. E turned to me with wild eyes, as I silently devised a way to fling us from the vehicle while not falling off the cliff. After a very awkward pause, he said ‘May of 1996’.

Never let it be said the Swiss don’t have a sense of humor.

We reached the launch site, and after a running start down the mountain, the wind lifted us above Interlaken for breathtaking views. The currents blew us above alpine forests, lakes and the town below. Just above us, two eagles circled and we followed the pattern of their flight for a true bird’s eye view.

I don’t know that I would do it again, as it took me about 45 minutes on land to gain a sense of equilibrium back. But to drift to the current of the wind beneath eagles wings was the chance of a lifetime. I’m glad I took it.


PS Photos from the air were taken by husband. I would not have had the presence of mind to do so, nor was I about to release my death grip on the safety handles.