Today, we continue the countdown to the release of my upcoming picture book, BRAVER THAN BRAVE, illustrated by Eunji Jung, and published by Capstone Editions, a Capstone Imprint. I present Days 5-7 of 26 Days of Facing the Chicken Exit!
My husband wanted to learn to paraglide and wanted me to learn with him. So, despite being AFRAID of HEIGHTS and easily MOTION SICK, I agreed.
I kited on the training hill. (FUN!)
I took a tandem paragliding ride off of the top launch of the mountain. (SCARY and MOTION SICK MAKING! NOT FUN!)
But despite being scared and sick, I decided to pluck up my courage and keep trying.
So, I learned how to handle the wing (FUN!) and how wind works (INTERESTING!) until I was able to I fly by myself off the training hill (SO MUCH FUN!)
Then it was time to put all that training to work and fly for real off the middle launch of the very big mountain.
One by one my training partners launched off the mountain. One by one they soared over the trees, navigated the power lines, and landed in the field below.
Then it was my turn. I looked the treetops below and the power lines in the distance. I thought about what I'd learned, and I thought about all the things I needed to remember in order to fly down safely and land. And I knew that the minute my feet left the ground it was all me. I knew if I was too scared I would crash.
And I knew I was too scared.
So I took the Chicken Exit. I stayed on the ground and cheered the others on while they soared through the air again and again. (FUN!)
I'm still not sure what kind of bird I'll be in the future – if someday I'll fly off the mountain or if I'll stay close to the ground forever. I'll just keep picking my brave day to day and we'll see.
Big Sister and Little Sister in WATER MAKES MUD: A STORY OF REFUGEE CHILDREN faced down their chicken exit when escaping war with nothing by creating their own toys and keeping hope alive.
~by Janie Reinart and illustrated by Morgan Taylor
"When I was teaching, we went on a field trip to Rock City. We had to take the “swinging” bridge, walking on creaky wooden slats across the empty space below. My students thought it was funny that I was so scared and made sure that bridge shook. When I got across, a bunch of the kids were already there. “How did you get across?” I asked. They pointed and said, “We took the stone bridge.” If I had known I had the option, I would have totally chickened out!"
In celebration of the upcoming release of BRAVER THAN BRAVE, I've got two giveaways going on right now. One on Twitter, which you can enter HERE. And one on Instagram, which you can enter HERE. They both open through July 23rd, and they are both open to wherever Book Depository delivers. Good luck!
Check out other days of Facing the Chicken Exit:
DAY 1: The Legend of the Chicken Exit