The claps and cheers reverberated throughout the dining hall as I rang the solo bell for the very first time. This defining moment is one which I have waited a very long time for and I will forever remember this day. Although it is not the first time I have gone solo, the difficult circumstances that I had to go through this time round, made this experience especially sweet.
I could hardly contain my excitement as I made the ready call at the holding point. For the first time since I set foot on Jandakot soil, I was on my own. I kept my focus steady as I calmly took off. As my survival instincts kicked in, my sense of awareness increased. In comparison to my very first solo experience, this is a slightly different ball game. I had to be a lot more disciplined to stay on of the situation at all times. Thankfully, I did not have to deal with any additional drama except that I rolled onto finals a tad to high and had to make quick but deliberate corrections. All these small changes were necessary to make a stable approach. At the same time, I kept the finals work cycle going, and once I am certain I was going to make it, I throttled the power back a fraction. As I rounded out over the threshold, I idled the power and arrested the sink by doing a straight and level while simultaneously pulling gentle back pressure and keeping the nose straight. The stall warning horn sounded just before I felt a gentle thud.
The entire experience was out of this world and I could not stop smiling as I shook the hands that were extended to congratulate me. It is only when we do not achieve something easily that we can truly appreciate and savour the moment. Needless to say, the mixed emotions kept me up half the night.
This is the first hurdle and there are more to come so slacking up is not an option. I can only hope that I get better and better and continue to persevere because it does pay off. I am only defeated if I give up so I must develop the right attitude and hang on by the teeth if I have to. The actual work has to begin from within, only then can it manifest itself in my performance.