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When the Wind Leaves Your Sails?

Posted by bartman, 20 June 2012 · 672 views

It may be the weather (endless rain, cold howling wind or no wind) or it may be exhaustion (on-going basement renovation, garage being built and more landscaping using up every spare minute of my days) but lately I've found it extremely difficult to even work up the desire to put a kite in the air let alone actually do it.

I went out once in the usual crappy breeze for about an hour and really felt no love for it. I was just doing the motions, in a swarm of mosquitoes, planning what I had to do next when I got home.

Our local kite festival is coming up in days. It's normally my favourite local event. This year it feels like an obstacle in the way of more important tasks and I'm already planning how I can minimize time there to maximize time elsewhere.

WSIKF is a real dilemma for me. It is 11 days out of my life when travel time is accounted for and it's just two months away. Even worse than sticking to my plans and going is going only to find I'm there is body only, not spirit or mind. I could easily end up resenting the whole festival especially if a perfect storm situation evolves with bad weather and general lack of enthusiasm from me. That is not a winning combination.

Am I alone feeling this way? Does anyone else ever get to this state? What do you do? I must assume rolling up the kite bag and shoving it to the back of the closet is not the answer or you wouldn't be reading this in the first place.

For me flying is 90% a solo activity. I've beat the drum to death trying to get even one more local person interested in flying. It's not going to happen and I've accepted that if I continue I will need to continue doing this by myself.

Yes, there are the two festivals a year I had counted on as a boost, but at the end of the day I'm still out standing in a park on my own with horrid winds. Not very social and not a whole lot of fun after having a taste of team flying and good winds the previous two years.

So sadly this may be the end of it for me. The sport is on life support. I'm not sure how much time to give it before pulling the plug. Maybe I'm not a kite guy anymore or maybe I never was to begin with.

Bart





<snip>

So sadly this may be the end of it for me. The sport is on life support. I'm not sure how much time to give it before pulling the plug. Maybe I'm not a kite guy anymore or maybe I never was to begin with.

Bart

</snip>

Bart,

I fly the kite every week precisely in order to avoid all those daily pressures! Switch off and do something completely different and potentially constructive at the same time.

I appreciate that I am lucky to have other fliers locally who are able to meet up most weekends to assist in the project.

Best wishes

Felix
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When you're alone long enough, it's easy to forget the profound joy of flying at a great location with a ton of really great people... Get through the mental stuff now, you can't control the weather... The reliable factors are a full week in which to find good flying (odds in our favor) and your attending friends, everything offers challenges, but the benefits are absolute in this case.

Don't make me come up there and kiss you again. :)

Love ya Bart! :kid_content:
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Bart, you have had SO MUCH going on lately! It would not surprise me in the least if you were feeling burnout. I can relate all too well. It's easy to get uninspired when you fly alone. It's been a VERY stressful year or two for me, and many times when I go to my park of choice it's locked up due to budget cuts. :( When I was able to hit the Wildwood Festival last month I was feeling burnout as well... but being among friends and pleasant surroundings was such a shot in the arm for me. Just GO with no expectations. I suspect that you need the mental break.
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Bart,

Distinguish between personal burnout or depression (they happen to all of us, and need to be dealt with) and dissatisfaction with some particular activity. You might need to put the kites away for a while until your feelings improve. You will know when your mind-set is ready to fly kites, but it isn't the kites that are making you feel this way.

However, I suggest that you do NOT give up on meeting with friends. I haven't flown many kites at the last few festivals I have attended, but I wouldn't have missed the companionship for anything. Friends (in person, as well as mediated by forums and the internet) are essential to your well-being. (But bring the kites anyway - you might be surprised.)

You have a great support team, including all your kite-flying friends. Take advantage of this blessing.

Finally, don't forget what John told you a while back: "The universe is uncanny at serving up what we need the most, in the guise of things we fear the most." (Perhaps it is not fear at this time, but a sense of pointlessness.) It is still true: things which seem hard to face, may be exactly what we need.
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On reflection we can see a pattern here.

Perfection is not immediately attainable.

I cannot fly the kite perfectly in difficult wind conditions by myself or with other fliers.

However, on pursuing the activity in adverse or not perfect conditions we can achieve a certain level of success.

I hope to fly with you again after our initial meeting at WSIKF.

Best wishes

Felix
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Thanks for the encouragment. I've been doing a lot of soul searching as to why I have been feeling this way. It may strictly be the hellish schedule I've been keeping since February however I do know for a fact that I am bored with standing in a park here by myself almost every time I go out. I do not find it relaxing or refreshing to be alone with my thoughts and the kite all the time. I find it boring. Period. I live alone so have all the time in the world to be alone with my thoughts if I want to be.

I find Felix's last comment interesting since it sort of suggests that if I can't be perfect I don't want to be anything. Not sure how to take that since it couldn't be further from the truth of my character. I would say that if anyone wants to try and fly a Rev 1.5 in 50 kph winds with gusts to 80 kph and have a good time doing it then come on over! I'll make time to go out and watch the fun, but I won't put up one of my kites in it. Last fall the Xtra managed to curl up and die in less wind than that when a wicked gust folded one wing over and managed to pop the rod out. A moderate, enjoyable, breeze is seldom seen here. Extremes, though, happen all the time. Look at it this way, if I need to fight the kite for control in those extremes then why would I care to when I could be doing something more relaxing? This shouldn't have to be a fight. It shouldn't feel like work. I already work.

It's not that I don't want to see my friends. I love my friends. I have lots of non-kite flying friends who also would like to do things with me so that's not the case at all. I can't be everywhere.

In any event, I'm waiting to see how this weekend goes at the local festival. I'll either remember what I liked about it and love it or I'll be counting the minutes until it is over and I can find something more productive to be doing. I'm keeping my mind open to just letting the work aspects of my life slide for two days and focus on something else.

Bart
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<snip>
I find Felix's last comment interesting since it sort of suggests that if I can't be perfect I don't want to be anything. <snip>
Bart


Bart,

Maybe we do not understand the extreme conditions that you experience over there,,,

Felix
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Yes, the extremes and the lack of any interaction with others is what is killing it for me. I do not have time to fight the kite most times I go out. I want to enjoy myself not have to work to just keep the kite in one piece. I can never get comfortable in the extreme ranges not to mind it so much because I do not like being out in those extremes - especially when the wind is really nuts which is a lot of the time. I'm sure there are those that don't mind and can handle the high end of the scale, just not me. It takes time to get used to flying in that and I never have enough of that.

As for the social interaction. Well no need to really explain further. Two or more make it fun.

Bart
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Hi Bart - It's always interesting to hear about your how your personality interacts with rev flying.
Kites are like bikes in as much as once you've stopped falling off you never forget how to ride. So perhaps now is the time to just allow yourself to do other stuff and find the balance in your life that suits you. The revs will still be here and when the time comes (and it will!) you'll feel the urge to fly again.
I bought my first rev 18 years ago but went for 4 years at one point without touching a kite. Loved them when I got back into it again.
Enjoy your journey
David
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The verdict is in. We had our local festival this past weekend. I found it really hard to get my butt to that field the Saturday morning. I worked like a dog the day before so I would not have a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I should be home finishing something in the basement or garage. For the first hour it was hard to feel it, but the temperature was nice and the winds were generally good just variable and after the initial hour of my mind being all over the place I started having a good time. By the afternoon I was really having a good time and had completely put the garage and basement projects out of my head.

Sunday the winds raged and with the exception of one or two lifter kites most everyone was grounded except for Egan Davis, Team Too Much Fun, myself and a handful of foil and dual line flyers. Egan and Too Much Fun had to carry the show at the demo field running almost non-stop demos for hours. It was amazing to not only see them step up to the task, but also how the rather large crowd was happy to sit and watch them for hours repeating just a handful of high wind routines.

I was using my xtra-vent and they had full vents. I could handle 5 or 10 minutes at a time before needing a break. The pull was strong even on the xtra. I talked with Mark later about how they were able to handle the wind with the full vents and not feel like they were going to be dragged down the field and still be so precise with their moves and he said that they were fighiting it every step of the way, they were exhausting in it and had lots of things not work out when the gusts would hit. So I learned that it wasn't all in my head - the winds here were a challenge even for the pros.

Egan cut more holes in his "swiss cheese" kite to deal with the wind and he loved it since he had never really encountered winds like it before. It was something new to him, same old extreme for me.

So my battery got a charge. I still know that there is a problem with too much solo flying here which taps my desire. By mid afternoon I was mostly alone on the south end of the field. There weren't enough Rev flyers attending to fill that area and those that were there were already busy running continuous demos. I still do not like the extreme winds.

I am going to attempt one last time to get something going for a regular fun fly. I'm going to team up with a local guy from the art gallery who likes single line kites and we'll use the gallery connections with local media to really push for monthly or bi-weekly fun flys. Bring a kite, doesn't matter what, and fly it. We're going to set up a meeting with whomever we can convice to come out for it and plan an attack, set up some dates for the advertising and get the ball rolling.

WSIKF is still logistically difficult this year. I have a major basement reno going on that that is not going to change. It has to be done. There are also a couple other factors in play that make a trip this year very had to do. The difference is, I remembered this weekend that I do like doing this when I'm not overwhelmed with everything else so it's not that I don't want to go to WSIKF now, just probably can't.

Lucky for you guys. I'm back! Posted Image

Bart
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Good news indeed...

EDIT A result even!

Looking forward to flying with you again.

Felix
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