Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fifteen Years of Great Memories!

My dad called me this morning and asked if I remembered what happened fifteen years ago today. Let's see, fifteen years ago I was 14 years old. What was I doing when I was 14 years old, besides learning how to use the potty like a big boy???

He reminded me that I took my very first flying lesson on May 22nd, 1993. I can't believe I've been flying airplanes for 15 years already, it makes me feel....well....old. If you asked me back then if I thought I'd be working for a major airline in fifteen years, I'd probably say, "No, I'm going to be running a major airline in fifteen years." Okay, so I was a little....we'll say, over confident.

I've met a lot of great people and had a lot of wonderful experiences along the way. Some of my favorite experiences include pumping gas and mowing the lawn at our local airport, flying 100 miles just to have breakfast with friends, flying skydivers (and jumping out myself), flying a corporate jet while I was in college (which is a pretty good gig for a college kid), my first airline job (followed shortly by my first airline furlough), and the day I got hired at a major airline. I have had the chance to meet some celebrities such as Matthew Perry, Bill Cosby, Sly Stalone, and Bruce Willis. I've even had the opportunity to fly some "famous" people incluidng the Secretary of the Treasury, the governor of North Dakota, George Forman, and even Miss Brazil.

All of those memories are wonderful to look back on but the best thing about my aviation career is all the friends I've made along the way. Aviation wouldn't be such a close knit community if it weren't for all the great people.

It's been a wonderful journey getting to the point I'm at now. All I've wanted to do is fly airplanes since I was a kid and I am still able to do what I love. I have to say that I wouldn't have been able to do any of it without the help and $upport from both of my parents, without them I'd probably be a bum wandering the streets of Minneapolis looking for a handout.

I'm looking forward to several more years of good flying, great memories, and even better friends.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hey Doc, Is exercise okay?

I've been spending a lot of time at the gym lately, trying to get into "the best shape of my life." I love it when people say that. I think anyone over the age of 10 will never be in the best shape of their life because when you're 10, you're in the "best shape" of your life. You could fall out of a tree, stand up and brush yourself off and keep on playing. You fall out of a tree today, you're done for the day.

When you're 10, your whole life is exercise. "Hey, let's chase each other around the yard until we can't stand anymore, then we'll eat a cookie and bike to the next town." Not when you're a grown-up (which I'm not, but I know some grown-ups), you have to schedule time to exercise.

One thing I've noticed on almost every machine at the gym are little signs that read, "Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program." Is that a special appointment you're supposed to make? I can just picture that phone call:

Patient: "Yes I'd like to schedule an appointment to see Dr. Smith."

Operator: "Okay, what seems to be the problem?"

Patient: "Well, I was going to start exercising but I wanted to check with the doc first."

Operator: "You want to check with the doctor to see if it's okay to exercise?"

Patient: "Yes."

Operator: "Okay, he's not available until a week from Friday."

Patient: "Well, I guess I won't start exercising until then."

It always makes me wonder, what doctor in his or her right mind is going to tell someone that they shouldn't begin an exercise program? "No Bill, I think you should continue to sit on your couch and eat potato chips, that seems to be working well for you. Your arteries are only 90% clogged and your blood pressure is 800/345."

I've actually been doing a lot of biking lately in preparation for a bike ride this summer in Glacier National Park. I guess I never asked my doctor if it was okay that I exercise, hopefully it's okay....after all, I'm trying to get into the best shape of my life.