Went for a morning flight. The weather calm, clear and cool.

I have 14.9 coming into this lesson.

Every time I’m getting ready to go for a lesson I think about how I can improve. I review footage, think about how I’m going to nail approaches, watch videos on the youtubes… then I get up in the air and it doesn’t go as planned. I approach with too much speed, I’m out of trim, I’m not on the damn pedals soon enough. I. Can’t. Keep. The. Nose. Straight.

FRUSTRATING. I am a toddler that is only allowed to practice walking a few times a week.

Then – suddenly without any warning – magic happens. Halfway through the lesson things are clicking. I’m keeping the descent rate I want, I’m can feel when I’m in ETL, my pedal turns are not choppy. I’m not sure why it takes me a few minutes to warm up but it does.

This post isn’t about how to do decent pedal turns or how to hover exactly where you want to.

This post is about grinding. I was up for 1.4 hours today and did 10 approaches, 11 quickstops, 2 autos and 1 pedal turn. Three of those quickstops were keepers, the rest were dogs.

When you’re a toddler you grind because building that muscle memory is almost impossible but the only way to improve is to keeping doing things over and over and over.

Someone was asking me how hard it is to fly a helicopter this weekend. I’m not qualified to answer that question yet. I’m still a toddler and I think I will be for a LONG time. However, I tried to describe the coordination it takes and came up with this terrible analogy. Imagine having a bowling ball in your hands, now try to balance a marble on top of that bowling ball. Also, you’re on a unicycle on uneven ground. Maybe that’s dramatic or maybe I’m a slow toddler…The point is that after every hour in the air I’ve learned a million things.

Things are getting easier though, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When I started this I remember trying to figure out which was the collective and which was the cyclic. What?

This is by far the most rewarding thing I’ve done. 1.4 more hours in the books!