By Mallory Sherwood, Managing Editor
Face the Facts
Steve Fossett broke the world record Saturday for completing the longest nonstop flight in aviation history, traveling 26,389 miles around the globe in 76 hours. He stopped only because of mechanical problems.
The 61-year-old millionaire adventurer left the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Tuesday, despite losing 750 gallons of fuel during take off; he had a mission to fulfill. The 109-time world Recordsetter spent the latter part of his life overcoming challenges by land, sea and air after a successful financial marketing career.
Fossett set goals that many would call unrealistic and often worked years to accomplish those goals.
In his most recent record breaking attempt, Fossett flew his lightweight experimental plane around the world despite fuel loss, weak winds in the Atlantic Ocean, heavy turbulence over India and a ventilation malfunction midway through the flight, causing him to drink most of his water supply because of 130 degree temperatures in the cockpit. Fossett’s life sets a standard for living that many would be wise to follow.
In May, more than 600 students will graduate and head their separate ways for greater things in life. Some have their lives planned out, some are banking on finding the perfect job and some probably don’t have a clue about where they’ll live or what career path they’ll take.
Don’t paralyze yourself with fear about the future. Set goals for yourself and do whatever you can to achieve them.
In 2004, Fossett went to great lengths to beat the absolute airship speed world record by traveling to Germany so he could fly a Zeppelin plane. Once there, Fossett had to become certified to fly not only a German aircraft but also the Zeppelin. When he completed his training, he was one of 17 certified pilots in the world who could fly a Zeppelin. He completed his flight and set the record at 115 kph.
Goals don’t have to be something as outrageous as Fossett’s, but you have to set a few to go anywhere in life.
As for me, I want to travel around the world and visit countries on every continent. I want to ride in a gondola in Venice, Italy, ski in the Swiss Alps, capture the people of the world with a camera, open my own restaurant, learn to swing dance and tango and design my own house. I want to graduate with honors, work at a small-town newspaper in a management position, marry my best friend and own a black Labrador. I want to be a leader in my church, I want to send my kids to college and buy a brand- new car.
Without these goals, what would I do with my life?
In August I accomplished one of my goals with my fiance when he surprised me with a hot air balloon ride across the Ohio countryside at sunset. Although I’m afraid of heights, the view was breathtaking, the ride quite slow and the landing unexpected. As our ride came to an end and our operator was searching for an open place to land, we began to race time to land before the sun hit the horizon. Little did I know that our crash-landing into a midget Amish farm would be one of my favorite memories with him.
Set high goals, do anything to reach them and enjoy your crash-landings. You never know where they may take you.