June 9th was a HUGE day for me.
At thirty-seven years old, I boarded a plane for the first time ever and flew to Calgary with my boss on a business trip.
It shouldn’t have been a big deal, but it was. I was nervous and full of fear – mostly of the unknown.
We flew out of the Waterloo Airport. It was small and calm. It made everything seem a little less big.
As we were walking outside to board, I took a couple pictures for my kids, who have also never been on a plane. I was nervous and my hands were shaking while I took them. I didn’t even notice how cool the plane was. As it turns out, we were on the WestJet Disney plane, and my kids thought that was awesome.
We boarded, and sat down. We were some of last stragglers to get on the plane, so the wait for take off was minimal. I was nervous, but okay until we started to move.
Then my stomach started doing gymnastics. There was no going back now. I was not talking much, and just watched out the window while the plane taxied to the runway. It felt like this part of the the flight took forever.
The plane turned on to the runway and started accelerating. I immediately froze and went as stiff as a board. I couldn’t hear anything except the sounds of the plane and I watched out the window as the ground got further and further away.
I don’t know how long it took, but I’m sure a good five minutes passed before I realized the ladies in front of me were still carrying on conversation like they were sitting in a restaurant. Just a normal day for them. I looked over and saw my boss watching me, and I started laughing at myself. It was at this point I realized was okay.
I started to enjoy the view and took pictures of the wing (I know so cliche) and the clouds to show my kids. I watched as we flew over Lake Huron and was amazed at the number of wind generators are along the shoreline now. I read a book, played on my iPad and took more pictures.
It was an incredibly smooth flight, until we got into Calgary and started to descend.
The cloud cover was thick, and the turbulence it caused was so unsettling. It was really cool to watch though, because we were flying through layers and layers of clouds. Sitting right beside the engine, I could see the clouds we were hitting and feel the resulting shake of the plane.
The landing went well after we passed through the cloud, and that was it.
I made it. Unscathed. I never once left my seat during the 4 hour flight, but I made it.
When we flew home, the takeoff barely bothered me, and even the turbulence we could feel much of the flight wasn’t a big deal. It’s funny how irrational fears are eradicated with a little bit of experience.