Sunday, 11 March 2012

Life's a Drag

Life has a habit of getting in the way of whatever it is you feel you're supposed to be doing. Don't you just hate that? Lately, for me, life has been full of work; not the kind of work that fills your days and makes you content, but the kind of uphill trudge that makes you long for retirement. Or death. Whichever comes first (and at times either option seemed equally attractive).

I have a ‘friend’ who’s been having trouble getting it up lately, so I said I’d give him a hand. Well, as with so many things it was simple, really. We worked up a bit of a sweat with the preliminaries as I checked out his package. It was quite small at first, but once he got it out I could see what a handful it was going to be. Anyway, I watched while he had a go and I could see the problem straight away. Mindful of how huge and unwieldy it was, he’d been yanking away far too vigorously and that’s never going to get you anywhere. So, with my help and a couple of gentle tugs we had it all the way up and he went off like a good ‘un with a big smile on his face.

To relieve the stress and soothe the fevered brow, I like to toss myself off as often as I can. If the weather is nice I will go to a local beauty spot, whip it out, get it up, turn into the wind and gently toss myself off in full view of the gathered crowd. Oh yes, sometimes there’s an audience. Just as with dogging, there are only certain places you can do it without being chased off by angry landowners or gawped at by roving bands of rowdy ramblers.

But once you’re up it’s fine and on a good day you can stay up for hours. Sometimes you’ll be up until the setting sun brings you back to terra firma, where you’ll often get a full video debrief of your activities. You do have to be careful you don’t get sunburn though – it’s not normal to be exposed for such long periods.

So, yesterday I got it out at the Long Mynd in Shropshire. It was pretty stiff, but I managed to handle it and tossed myself off for over an hour. It was pretty intense – slowly pushing forward then slipping back, occasionally trying a new position or a different grip (your arms do get tired after a long one) all the way up to the climax, when I embarrassed myself and made a horrible mess. 

It’s a shame when you get dragged like a rag doll after a perfectly good landing. Still, you can’t win ‘em all. So I picked myself up, dusted myself down, packed up my paraglider and went home for a well-earned wank. 

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