Fear of flying

I know people who have a fear of flying. They’d do and risk almost anything to stay off an airplane. When they are forced to fly, they have a white-knuckle grip on the armrests during take off and landings. Their blood pressure is elevated even on a smooth flight. A little turbulence and they begin praying to any and all deity.

I have a fear of flying, but not for the common reasons. I fear coming down with a migraine while in flight. I have written a few posts about my struggle with migraines. My Imitrex medication works, but only if I take it at the first sign and immediately lie down in a dark room for at least an hour. That’s not practical on a plane. I tried just popping the pills and closing my eyes on a trip to Phoenix in April. The migraine only increased in intensity. Fortunately that flight was only two and a half hours.

It’s not surprising that I was more than a little concerned about my Alaska Airline flight to Orlando. My itinerary was to fly out of Portland at 5:30 a.m., land in Seattle about 30 minutes later, then fly to Orlando at 8:55 a.m. I wouldn’t land in Orlando for five hours. If a migraine attacked any time within the nine hours I would not have access to a dark, comfortable place to rest, I was going to be in a lot of pain – maybe even to the point of vomiting. Fortunately, I was migraine-free during the flight. I had taken my injections just in case, but I’m not sure if they would have worked any better than the pills.

Why risk it? I guess I’m only willing to let migraines have limited control over my life. They caused me to resign from a job I loved, and have robbed me of time (sometimes days), so I wasn’t willing to let them rob me of a chance to travel with the husband.

Am I concerned about the flight home? Absolutely, but the only other option is to not travel, which is not living life as I’d like – with *finesse!


*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)

Rider with Finesse

Last week I featured a lady biker named Bonnie, so to continue the theme this week I’m featuring another rider – sort of.

My friend Carol (a first grade school teacher in Phoenix, AZ) doesn’t operate a motorcycle, but she does ride one. When her husband bought his Harley, she seriously considered buying one, as well. One little problem – she’s rather short. A custom bike to fit her would be pretty spendy, so she opted to enjoy motorcycle riding as a passenger. She and her husband have logged thousands of miles and in true *finesse-style, she loves it! In fact, she’s so comfortable on the back of the bike, she’s been known to fall asleep! Hang on, Carol!!!

Q: What’s the best thing about riding?

A: The best thing is the feeling of being an active participant in your surroundings rather than just passively looking at things; the sights, the smells, etc.

Q: What’s the downside of riding?

A: Crazed drivers in cars who don’t respect a motorcycle’s space on the road

Q: What are your top three tips for riding?

1) Always be aware of your surroundings and what is on or near your path (think a bison herd in Jackson Hole!)
2) Make sure you have a map and LOTS of water
3) Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

My riding finesse level: 
Novice     Advanced beginner (lots of rides during my dad’s biker days)    Competent        Proficient        Expert     

What’s your riding finesse level?

*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)