Tag Archives: Aviator

Top 10 Hobbies

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A lot of people ask me what my FAVORITE hobby has been. I usually answer that piloting a plane was my favorite hobby–and that I’ll be looking to earn my pilot’s license after this year. That’s 100 percent true, but ranking hobbies at all is incredibly difficult, because each one has done an incredible job in helping me to overcome fears, build courage and manage both my mental and physical strength. Additionally–for several of the hobbies, friends joined me–and being able to watch some of them overcome their fears was more often more rewarding than anything else. AND one of my favorite parts of the year outside of the hobbies that I did–was watching a friend complete her own challenge: Tears came to my eyes as Rena completed her 100th Bikram Yoga class in under 100 days. What I can’t drive home any more is that it’s not until we try everything–that we realize just how capable we are of anything. I hope that these posts do nothing more than inspire you.

If I had to answer “the top 10” questions, this is how the activities would play out from 10 to 1 (1 being my absolute favorite):

10. Ziplining 

“At 650 feet in the air going that fast, let me tell you something,  you’re not thinking about falling to your doom–you’re thinking about living. You’re thinking about how free you feel–how amazing of an experience you are having, how you don’t want this 3,200 foot zip to ever end, and how your smile is going to be plastered to your face for the next few days after completing this. No, you aren’t thinking about falling–you aren’t thinking about landing–You are indeed doing nothing but living.”

9. Subway Singing / Dancing

“It’s great to see what makes people really crack a smile.”-Grant Ryan

8. Chess

” The truth is, when a stranger has faith in you—after only moments of knowing you—it is an incredible feeling—and it makes you wonder how you’ve ever doubted yourself.

Checkmate.”

7. Pon De Flo

“Halfway through class, I had a hobby breakthrough: As I began giggling to myself while I messed up another dance move (sorry Heather!), I noticed that I didn’t care if people thought I was America’s next best dancer–I didn’t care if people saw me mess up–and I didn’t care if my right foot accidentally went when my left foot was supposed to. Eventually, I felt tears begin to fill my eyes. I wasn’t in pain–and I wasn’t ready to run out of the room screaming. No, instead the tears had developed because a great amount of pride had come over me. I realized in that moment, that the fears and worries that I had carried with me just 11 months prior had now dissipated completely. While it may sound insignificant when written down, it was one of the highest points of my hobby year, because it had meant that the hobby year was coming full circle–revealing bits and pieces about myself and how far I’d come, without me realizing that it would.”

6. Surfing

“As I surfed closer to shallow waters, I splashed off the board and was congratulated with a nose and mouthful of salt  water. When I surfaced–I fist pumped into the air, and yelled “I did it.” Joel looked at me and smiled from a distance, though I’m not sure he actually heard me with the crashing white waters. But it didn’t matter. I didn’t do this for him–or for anyone else–I did this for myself.”

5. Meditation

I had escaped–I took a quick short vacation, a brief leave from the world. I spent time sitting still in a moment of ultimate calmness. What one could consider a thing of beauty.”

4. Chalking Happiness

“And what I learned most about happiness–aside from where to find it (ahem, again, everywhere): was that much like my chalked out versions of the word: Happiness doesn’t always come in a straight line–in one swoop–or even in one size–but it always, always feels good.”

3. Trapeze

In the end, all that matters is having the courage to jump.”

2. Hang Gliding & Skydiving (tie)

“I open my eyes back up, and I take in the world around me. I don’t want to lose this feeling–this feeling that nothing can knock me down, this feeling of being able to hold the entire world in my arms and hug her tight–this feeling that I am flying–this feeling that I am living. “

I’ve learned this year that the more you let yourself “just do” the less you try to stop yourself–the more you go with your heart’s desires–the more your fears subside–and the more fun you have. And life is supposed to be about having fun.”

1. Piloting a Plane

I enjoyed piloting a plane so much that I just had to do it twice…There is absolutely nothing more freeing than using the plane to paint the canvas of the world down below.

“No fear. No looking back. No hesitation. I was–and still am–on top of the world.”

“I don’t believe that I’ve ever taken on a challenge of such great magnitude before–one that set me off into the world to tackle my fears, overcome my personal issues, and become an all around go-getter. This flight, now, gave me the time to see that.”

Picture 9

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The Hobby Hoarder Ziplines

The Hobby Hoarder Dances her Pants off

The Hobby Hoarder Flies a Plane

On Top of the World

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“I’m through accepting limits–cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change-but till I try, I’ll never know”
-Wicked

The sun is beginning to set over Manhattan, but the plane I am piloting is just rising over Jones Beach. The sky is a mix of blue, red, purple, orange, and yellows too. It’s beautiful.

-Photo taken by Kimberly Manley

I try to reflect on how I got here, 2,000 feet altitude on a pilot lesson that
will take me up the Hudson River, back down the Hudson River, around the Statue of Liberty, up the East River, and back out to Long Island.

The answer is simple. Because I said “Why not?” 

The first time that I ever felt on top of the world, truly on top of the world, I had just reached the top of a chair lift on the side of a mountain in Bolzano, Italy. By the time I reached the top of the mountain, I couldn’t tell you if I was still in Italy or if I had crossed the border into Austria. No one spoke Italian, and everyone seemed to be speaking German. I hadn’t an idea what anyone was saying, but I didn’t care–I was simply on top of the world.

I should have known in that moment how adventurous I was willing to be–but it didn’t hit me then. In fact, it took me until my second flying lesson, on September 23. And to be more exact–it took me until the plane I was piloting was sitting parallel with midtown-Manhattan. 

“This is amazing,” I just kept saying to myself. “Amazing.” I took in the views, I managed the controls, and I reminisced on my first flight, and the year of activities that had taken place behind me–and the rest of the year that would be culminating ahead of me. As the sun continued to go down, my visions only became more clear. Tears even filled my eyes.

-Photo taken by Kimberly Manley

I don’t believe that I’ve ever taken on a challenge of such great magnitude before–one that set me off into the world to tackle my fears, overcome my personal issues, and become an all around go-getter. This flight, now, gave me the time to see that.

I look to the back of the plane, and I see my friend Kim. I ask in the microphone on the headset how she’s doing. I can hear her smile as she says she’s doing great.

And I know in that moment, we were right where we needed to be–on top of the world.

______________________________________________________________

Special Thanks

Global Aviation Corp.
http://www.globalaviationcorp.net

An Update, a Thank You, & a Challenge

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Ciao readers, followers, acquaintances, strangers, and stumble-uponers:

Thank you. Thank you for every pass-by, every read, every click, every motivating comment. Thank you for supporting me. I am happy to announce that on July 24th, I hit the halfway mark of my yearlong quest to become a professional amateur and completed my 26th NEW hobby (activity)—two weeks ahead of schedule. I guess you could say I’ve been on a Hobby High!

In New York City, it is extremely difficult to find a significant other who will stick around for much more than one or two dates—and with each of these significant others we learn something new about ourselves. On February 17, I began my one year love fest with activities—and what I’ve found now, one half of the way through the year, is that I am much more content “getting around” than I ever was standing still.

Since starting the Hobby Hoarder project, I have become more confident, more ambitious, and more versatile as a blogger, vlogger, writer, and speaker. In taking on so much, I have actually become even more focused than I ever was. I have become less judgmental of myself. I have stopped using the word can’t. I have developed new friendships with people who now join me on my adventures, want to document them, or really just want to hang out on the weekends. I have found that I am more open and willing to activities that I never imagined myself trying–like Jedi Light Saber training–or samurai sword fighting–or stunt jumping–or break-dancing—or pole dancing.  And for the first time since picking up a field hockey stick in 8th grade, I have felt passionate about something–and that’s what living life is all about–passion.  Most important, I’ve learned that my adventure is much bigger than ME just trying to do something new – it’s about inspiring others to do something new too.

And honestly, you’d be amazed at how much you can do when you try something new every week. You really become incapable–of being incapable.

This year has taught me, thus far, that time is short but full of opportunity. So often, in the past, I found myself whispering “I want to do “that” some day” about a whole lot of “thats” and then never doing any of them. Now I am.

Additionally, this year, so far, has been about human interaction–meeting new people each week–hearing stories–spreading their stories–and building new relationships. I have found many times that the hobbies I am trying–are made that much more enjoyable because of the people I am meeting and spending time with.

In the past I found myself following a routine of waking up, working out, going to work, eating, and going to bed. And then by the time the weekend would roll around–I didn’t want to do anything–but sit–and then complain about how I accomplished nothing all weekend. I don’t think I am the only one who’s done this–repeatedly. And who the heck decided that work days should be 9 to 5 anyway? Why is it that living has become such a rare hobby in itself?

Here’s where I call on you:

 If you have a hobby—have tried something new—or are dying to do a new activity, reach out to me—send me a video—a blog post—photos—whatever, and I’ll feature YOU on the site. I want to know what OTHERS are doing. THAT’S what this is all about—pushing ourselves to try new things, take risks, and jump without knowing where we will land.

I challenge you to start your own quest–and try something new: Remember- we can fly anytime we want, because life’s accidental blessings will be there to catch us. Nothing like a bit of sweet serendipity.

Ciao for now,

Libs

The Hobby Hoarder

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