My most vivid memory is from my 4th birthday party. A number of us had confined ourselves to a long narrow hallway which sliced my family’s single level home, reminiscent of the Caribbean houses of that era, in half. We had commandeered a large red rubber bouncy ball and were alternately taking turns rolling it down the hallway and trying to jump on top of it as it rolled.

I remember the laughter and the high pitched squeals of delight. I remember the thick oily petroleum smell of the ball and how the gritty dust clung to it. I remember feeling parched and sweaty from the heat of the day, but not enough to take a break and lose my place in line. I remember the adults shushing the kids, but not really meaning it.

What I have never forgotten was the feeling of exhilaration as I landed on top of that ball and rode it down the length of the hallway. It happened only once. It was magical. It was impossible.

I was flying

It was the most profound feeling of joy I had ever felt in my entire little life.

And 35 years later, I am still chasing it. I find it mostly in intense physical activity like skiing in fresh powder, horseback riding, or training for a race. There have been a few times in the dark room or white boarding…. moments of deep flow…. where I have been able to invoke it, although never as intense.

Flying. I was. I will to again.

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