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Oct 16

Written by: Jeff Shapiro
10/16/2009 11:37 AM 

Ever since we have decided to go "full on" with getting a premium harness done and available to pilots internationally, I have been sleeping and waking, eating and drinking harness design. I'm at the stage where every element of the harness; textile choices, manufacturing methods and construction sequence to create efficiency is constantly running through my head and are being defined and refined almost daily. It's been a cool process and has been yet another opportunity to meet and develop relationships with people from around the world related to "gear manufacturing". I have to say, it has been a great and educational experience working with and seeing the results of Steve's (Pearson) level of skill and experience. Working with him and seeing what he can do (and the resource he can provide) has not only made for a solid foundation for the success of this project but has been a constant class room for me to educate myself about the process and numerous people involved in developing the latest in hang gliding equipment. I'm certainly thankful.

With all of this dominating my life lately, climbing in the home "cave" and running have provided a relaxing shift in focus. I have been into running distance for the solitude that it provides. I can think clearly when alone and miles away, with the cold, crisp air filling my lungs. I went for a moderate run the other evening and was running home just after dark. Something caught my eye and I recognized it as a Great Horned Owl. It landed in the flexible, top branches of a tree just off the gravel road and the tree bent and swayed under the massive bird's weight. I ran slowly, breathing through my nose, past it and as I said out loud "hey brother" the bird cocked it's head, blinked it's large yellow eyes and hooted at me. I ran away into the darkening evening smiling.

This reminded me of something. It reminded me of the days that followed Hawkeye's death at King Mountain. As Lisa V played her tribute to him on her trumpet during the closing ceremonies, a Great Horned Owl landed in the tree overlooking the pavilion and watched us all in the sun filled morning. When her song was done it flew off. That was, for me, a moment in time that had impact. I tumbled and had a hour of "difficulty" the following year which cemented a few things in my life as defining lessons and as a reminder that our lives are strewn with opportunity and inspiration. Inspiration comes from all directions if you pay attention. It comes from everything and everyone and most importantly, it comes from deep within.

There have been people in my life that have inspired me. Inspired me to be better, to try harder, to be more tolerant of the difficulties and occasional suffering necessary to accomplish grand things. The world around us.... watching a huge, semi trailer sized piece of ice break off and fall silently to the slopes below while high on a route. The sun setting over the horizon while flying a tandem with the "newest" of passengers. The energy gained by sitting in fresh, green grass early in the morning. Listening to the unbelievable silence while sitting in the snow watching silver dollar sized flakes fall to the mountains slopes. These things inspire.

What remembering Chris's death and the retrospection that came from it, accompanied by the satisfying experience of returning from a 20 mile run that night did for me was to remind me of those important moments of realization and personal enlightenment. Inspiration and the ability to inspire is inside you. We all have a daily opportunity. The opportunity is different for each of us but can be equally categorized as the opportunity to make the choice to be live life in a way that feels positive and positively effects those around us. Be inspired by your friends, teachers, the physical world and all that's in it but remember to be inspired by your own dreams and aspirations. Live each day with the recognition that along with inevitable change, there is inevitable opportunity. Today maybe your day. Go!


6 comment(s) so far...

Re: opportunity

You and OB are two of the most inspiring people I know. I met you (briefly) at Santa Cruz Flats last year. Not only are you gifted and skilled HG pilots, but you find ways in your *everyday* life to inspire others! You guys would put most "life coaches" to shame! LOL!

Keep up the great work! I ALWAYS look forward to reading your blogs...part of my daily routine! I've always believed in surrounding myself around positive, life loving folks!


By Bouchi on   10/16/2009 3:19 PM

Re: opportunity

thank you.

great inspirational thoughts to reflect on.

I completely agree with Namaste (above), and I have never even met you guys!

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