Thursday, 18 August 2016

Janine's story

This is a true story of how Janine, one of our team leaders, beat her own fear of flying.... Hope you like it...You will often see Janine helping out on our courses now, helping others to beat their fears too.
I think my fear of flying must have started when I was a child. I went on a flight at the age of 5 to Jersey for a family holiday, although I remember the holiday like it was yesterday, I don't remember anything about the actual flights.

My mum didn't really like flying, so as a family we never went abroad, my Dad would travel for business and managed to get Mum on a few trips, but not until I was much older. By this time I had grown up with Mum telling me how much I hated flying as the flight to Jersey had apparently hurt my ears and the longer this went on, the greater my fear of flying became. What I was afraid of I don't really know! 

I was happy holidaying in Cornwall and doing the 12 hour train journey to the south of France, I didn't even have an interest in travelling that much as I never challenged the thought that I could fly. After my Dad died I looked at a few aspects of my life and my apparent fear of flying was one of them. A friend pushed me into attending a flying without fear course. I didn't really want to go and spent most of the morning telling myself and anyone that would listen that I was not going to do the flight at the end of the day.

As the day went on, the team were great, really caring and I didn't feel any pressure to do anything I didn't want to do. The course has a psychology session that was really helpful, they even sat with me and took time one to one to talk things through. (Although I didn't manage to get on the flight that day, I was able to get right to the aircraft before it all got too much and I was taken back to the terminal to wait for the others to return).

I went away with determination that I hadn't really had before and re thought my plan, by this time, the course had done enough to actually change my way of thinking, this wasn't any way to live, there is so many amazing places to visit, so many things I have been missing out on, trips with My late Dad, friends and family.

My next move involved visiting a local flying club Take Flight Aviation in Warwickshire with the thinking that I might feel more in control in a small plane. The boss of the business happened to be there and took pity on me and suggested he take me on a five minute circuit to start with. It actually took the guys two hours to get me in the plane, but we went off and did a circuit it felt OK so we ventured a few miles further and went off around Stratford upon Avon. In the following weeks, I went back and did a few more local flights.

My next step was booking myself on the flight only part of the next flying without fear course in Birmingham, this time I went on my own, of my own choice, I was more relaxed and managed to do the flight, it was an amazing feeling to have actually done it, after so many years of not even being able to look at an aircraft, to actually starting to enjoy it. I then booked the shortest flight I could find from Southampton to Jersey, and then back to Birmingham. 

Eventually I started being more adventurous Geneva then Greece, gradually building up to longer and longer flights. Along the way I even joined the flying club and started to have some flying lessons, and was able to go away with the flying club on some amazing trips in light aircraft, including island hopping in Greece and Ibiza, something that I had feared for years I was actually enjoying, so many great places to visit. 

You can see that my fear was quiet real and had been instilled in me over many years and the fact that I had overcome something that I thought impossible. This made me want to help others the way Virgin had helped me, so when I was sure I was over my fear, and there were a few hiccups along the way, I offered to help out on the courses. I think that having been in that situation, that other people who fly regularly may not appreciate fully, really helps me to help others. I understand their situation and how they are feeling, although everyones fear is different, because I'd been there myself. 

The Virgin course was the best thing I have ever done, it has literally changed my life and I would recommend it to anyone.

Janine Wheeler
Sintra Hair Plus

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