It’s hard to say “no”

I confess that I am experiencing a new feeling: I tend to be stubborn. Yes, I am willful and I want to reach my goal; especially, when it is so close!  I’m also a real perfectionist, but not always in a positive way. I wanted to do my stuff again; however, I didn’t know that I shouldn’t have sat in a glider.

“It is prohibited to fly when you are ill.” – everyone knows this. The person in charge for the soaring operations for the day always asks us if we are fit to fly – and not by accident.


I have already made this mistake before in July, 2013. I just thought that my tonsillitis could not cause any harm when I fly. Okay, I had a sore throat, but this fact should not affect my flying abilities. Anyway, the weather was as perfect as you can imagine and I wanted to finish my task. (1 hour flying without the instructor)

I did succeed in the task and you would think that I should have been happy but I felt miserable. During the winch my ears were popping. It seemed to me that it almost impossible to concentrate on my task. I was streaming with perspiration, but somehow I got down. Finally, I told my instructor what was the problem. At that time I started to understand that nothing is more important than health. Even a 1 hour flight can be postponed. I should learn to say “no” which is not easy for me. Being a perfectionist can simply be dangerous!

This season in March I had problems with my tonsils again. I stayed in bed for 2 weeks, but after that I took a turn to the better. I set me mind to fly a 3 hours task. Yes, 3 hours! A long time, but not impossible. I MUST do it.

Unfortunately the weather in May was too rainy and cold, but June seemed to be promising.


So, my opportunity arrived on the 7th of June. I wasn’t that hopeful when I saw the weather forecast: hot day, blue sky all day long. I took off at 11.30 am and I was prepared to be patient. My speed or the height does not matter when I have to fly 3 hours. Just the duration is important.

At first everything was OK.  After the winch launch I found a thermal; not the best, but it was enough.
Thirty minutes later, around noon, I started to feel nausea. I was thirsty, sweaty and the seat was uncomfortable. It was difficult to concentrate, but thermals surrounded me.  I tried to calm down myself: no problem, it will help if I stick out my hand through the window. Cold air will help me.  I soon realized that it didn’t help.

I whimpered and my body trembled.  Then, there was a red sign in front of my me: “an internal error occurred.” I couldn’t continue flying–it was time to say NO. I said to myself that I must focus to find thermals–so, I will act as though nothing happened.

This was a bad idea! It’s I made a decision and I opened the spoilers. A good landing but I could not cheer. The instructor didn’t understand what the problem was since it is not typical that someone feels nausea because of tonsillitis. I found shelter in the dining area but I didn’t feel better. Cold water and wet cloth didn’t help. That night I was awake until midnight and very sick.


I was thinking a lot about my possible mistakes and the decision: it was great that I could say NO. However, I should have said it before taking off. To me defense, I should say that I didn’t feel any pain in my throat but it was red again. Now I am waiting for the operation to have my my tonsils removed.

I have enough plenty of time to fly 3 hour duration task. I now know that I have the skills to do it.

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