The message is clear: Take a few risks in your life, give it your best shot and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
The Rutan Model 76 Voyager was the first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or refueling. It was piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager. Chances are good you read the story then probably gave it little, if any, additional thought. It was interesting, fascinating, unbelievable and inspiring. At the time, you were probably thinking, “Maybe I should attempt a little more in my own life.”
I’m writing about the fact that Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager astonished the world by flying non-stop around the world – all 26,000 miles of it – in a specially-built airplane with an unusually small engine and extremely large wings. Needless to say, there were months of preparation and many exhausting hours of anxiety as they planned this trip. There were also some extremely anxious moments when an electrical pump, designed to draw fuel from the tank, failed. Unexpected turbulence along the way bounced Jeana against the cabin wall, resulting in minor injuries, but they succeeded and even made it ahead of schedule.
When they arrived there were roughly 50,000 people gathered at Edwards Air Force Base to welcome them home. For a brief time, they were celebrities in the minds and hearts of millions of people – but that was yesterday. Such is life itself. Incidentally, Mobil Oil Corporation provided a synthetic oil for what they described as “the toughest test in history.” Mobil then bought a full-page ad in U.S.A. Today to congratulate the two pilots on their record-breaking flight. The ad closed with these words:
“We believed it could be done, but you, Dick and Jeana, proved it and doing beats talking every time.”
Truer words were never spoken. Here are more true words. Though Dick and Jeana might be out of the public eye and the millions who applauded them for their accomplishment no longer even think about them, the major point is this: They will, for the rest of their lives, remember that they did the “impossible.” Those memories will give them hope and encouragement to do even more. The message is clear:
Take a few risks in your life, give it your best shot and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
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