Whats up Fit Fam,
I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Monday 🙂 Great work this morning in the sessions!
I wanted to share with you a story that I was reminded of this weekend as I was talking to my brother. He is currently learning to fly a helicopter and getting his pilot licence so we talked about that for a while – pretty cool and very hard. It reminded me of a lesson I learned while learning to fly.
Maybe you didn’t know this but several years back I wanted to learn to fly a plane – and it just so happened that I had a member in boot camp who was a flight instructor so I asked her to help turn me into superman. She was an Italian firecracker who never failed to make me laugh and taught me all the bad Italian phrases in her thick accent. I was happy to have her as my flight coach.
Anyway, I wanted to share with you a story I learned from this experience.
The first hours of flying a plane are done with your flight instructor as co-pilot – that was Cristina. It was usually suggested that you fly 25 hours before taking your first “flight check” so you can start to fly solo.
Well after only 14 hours Cristina said I was ready – and hell yes I was mainly because Cristina was such a great instructor. So we set up our first flight check, which is comprised of an oral exam and a flight practical with another instructor where you go through all maneuvers like slow flight, steep banking turns, landing in a crosswind, engine failure, engine stalls in a steep ascent, etc.
So there I was, sitting in the office of this older gentleman who I had seen in passing several times. This was the kind of guy who never smiled, all his students were dressed sharp, and several years older than me (I was 24 at the time)
There I was sitting in his office, cut off gym shirt and all, leaned back in confidence – I was ready to kill this test. I was excited to show this dude I wasn’t just some gym rat – I have the brains as well! 🙂
So he proceeds to examine my knowledge of the plane.
First question – Nailed it. In my head I thought “is that all you got old man”
Second question – not so much, couldn’t give an accurate answer. “Whatever, I still got this” I thought.
Third question… Fourth… Fifth… Sixth… Seventh… Eight… Shit. I didn’t know any of these questions! He was throwing way more technical stuff I had not anticipated – Stuff I was told that mattered on the second flight exam, not the first.
He looked at me, scoffed, and said “Do you even know ANYTHING about the plane?”
The next 30 minutes comprised of him asking tough questions, reprimanding me and talking down to me. I was so mad.
Confidence — Shot down
Faith in my flight abilities — Bombed
I was scared and I knew in my mind I failed the oral test.
I was 2 inches tall leaving the office. I went from flying high, so buried 6ft under. I couldn’t believe this was happening.
I pulled out my phone and immediately text Cristina “Dude, I’m screwed, I just failed this shit. I’m sorry for failing you. I literally knew nothing!”
She responded “Are you getting in the plane for the practical?”
I anxiously responded “Yes, but I can’t do this, I just got my ass kicked”
I was shaky, hesitant, and genuinely afraid of being next to this guy in the plane knowing he will scrutinize the hell out of me now. I knew he was going to rip into me for the next hour flying. I was not ready mentally.
What happened next was the instant that changed everything.
I felt my phone vibrate and I knew it was a text from Cristina.
I opened the phone, read the brief statement, and sat there for 30 seconds letting her message envelop my heart and mind.
It was at that moment my mindset changed. Her statement moved me in the perfect way. It was an incredible moment. I was ready. I’m in Go mode now.
From the second I got in that plane to the second we taxied back to the flight school I dominated every maneuver better than I had with my flight instructor.
When we got out of the plane he looked at me, shook my hand and said this “You just flew better than most of my students who are about to take their second flight check. Congratulations, you can fly solo.”
That felt amazing.
I will never forget that feeling.
I reached into my pocket, opened up my phone and read that text she sent me and this is what it said.
“Jon. You are the Pilot In Command. Start acting like it.”
I will never forget that statement, and I have learned to apply it to many other areas of my life.
You must be the Pilot In Command of your life. You must tackle all of your goals with the confidence that you will complete them and succeed. Even through the hardships. Even through moments of weakness. You must always be the Pilot In Command. Never let the fear of failure take over your mind like it had taken over mine for that brief period in time.
A good coach will always steer you the right way. Encourage you when you are down. Challenge you when you need to be.
I challenge you to be the Pilot In Command of your life – from this day forward. Own your actions. Own your goals. Own your Life!
Be Awesome. Inspire Awesomeness.