The Need to Eat an Airplane
What? That’s Impossible! Exactly. The desire to do the impossible burns within each of us. Over last summer, I had the pleasure of reading a fictional story of a man who proved his unrequited love to his high school sweetheart by eating an airplane that had crashed in his cornfield. Laughed at, negated, and maligned, he continued, believing that if he ate the entire airplane, she would finally believe how much he loved her. As farcical as the story is, it became transformational, reminding me of the need to do the impossible and difficult.
Beginning with a dream that slowly becomes a vision, the impossible becomes reality when the first step towards the goal line is embarked upon. The passion encourages a methodical routine such as a stone carver slowly chipping away at the enormous rock each day for months and years only to finally create his lifelong image of beauty. It is meant to be filled with failures and challenges because they inspire better solutions and create a fortitude of strength and persistence.
Each part of the plane that this man consumed became strength to consume the next part. In real life, each fear that was challenged and met; each disappointment that was overcome becomes the strength and backbone to go on. Personally, I can look at my own pursuit of the impossible and know that my shoulders are squared and my chin is held high because I know what challenges I have overcome to be here.
What does pursuing the impossible do? It reminds each of us that we are alive and that dreams are possible. The risks are high. The rewards are amazing. Throughout the story, there was one person who continuously believed in him. To do the impossible, no one entirely alone. As he persisted, the airplane gradually became smaller; the girl began to take notice; and the doubt throughout the town ceased.
Pursing a goal often means going against the status quo; stepping outside the established boundaries; and defining who and what you are. It is daily training, methodical routines, and unwillingness to let go of a dream in spite of inherent roadblocks that are necessary tools. Along the way, you learn more about who you really are, fostering acceptance of what’s important, and letting go of what’s not. The journey helps you validate the lingering question as you approach the goal, ‘Do I deserve this?’ The answer eventually is ‘Yes’.
It is easy to stagnate. There is a burning passion within all of us that challenges us to be more. It seems impossible, improbable, but the dream is alive. How do we eat an airplane? One bite at a time.
Michele Dubel is a Wellness Educator and author; certified Arthritis Foundation exercise and self-help trainer with nearly two decades of experience as a geriatric and stress management specialist. She is has a Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership, Geneva College; a Master’s in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health; and a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Slippery Rock University.
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