How to practice "being present at the moment"? Fly a sailplane

Bruno Rigolino on

Sailplanes have a calm design. They fly only with a clever combination of atmospheric conditions and aerodynamics.

There is no engine.

They look simple, and when flying, you only listen to the noise of air moving through the fuselage and some instrument beeps.

When I was 18, I went to the nearest airfield to fly a sailplane for the first time. When my time to fly arrived, the instructor came with the emergency parachute. When I took the parachute, I wondered about the "if situations," and a tiny fear seed began to grow.

But, before that tiny seed rooted, we entered the cockpit. The instructor explained what we would do step by step, and when I started following the procedure, I stopped wondering.

When we were ready to go, a tow plane lifted us to around 600 meters. Then we disconnected and started to search for ascending airflow to gain altitude and keep flying. The sailplane is always going down.

Because we are always going down and we don't have an engine, all we can do is enjoy the flight. If you start wondering about all the worst-case scenarios and thinking that you only have one chance to land, you will probably panic.

So the trick to enjoying the flight is to do conscious actions and look around for opportunities to gain altitude take the best of the present moment while keeping it safe: always know where you are heading and have a place to land in case things change (it doesn’t need to be the field you took off).