Sitting behind me was Christy Henderson, chief meteorologist at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, South Carolina. We struck up a conversation. She said she had always wanted to learn to fly, but never followed up. I assured her that becoming a pilot requires neither superhuman intellect nor strength–just a committed desire.
The conversation went on to topics like weather web sites, plus of course AOPA’s web site. We swapped business cards, and I thought, well, that’s that.
A week ago I got an e-mail and a phone call from Christy. My few words of encouragement had apparently had an immense effect. Christy soloed!
So never, ever underestimate the power of even the slightest encouragement. As one of my meteorology professors once said of the dangers to the brain of acquiring bad weather analysis practices, “be very, very careful what you put in there, because it may never come out.”
The same can be said of the power of positive suggestion. “Your life will change in ways you can’t now anticipate,” I told her. Here’s a shot of Christy shortly after her solo. Those of you in the Spartanburg-Greenville-Anderson SC–and Asheville NC–areas can see her live on Channel 7.