A few weeks ago, I was at Raiders training camp, waiting to interview a couple players after practice. I visited four teams during the pre-season, and the Raiders were the only organization with closed practices. This day, however, they had invited about 100 boosters to attend practice. These folks were also waiting around in nearly 100-degree heat for the players to emerge from the locker room and autograph their football/helmet/jersey and pose for photographs. While standing there, I overheard a guy say he had paid $20,000 for the opportunity to come to Napa and attend camp. He was the highest bidder in a silent auction and coughed up $4,000 each for him, his wife and their three kids to have the chance to attend the very same camp I was being paid to attend.
Once again, I was reminded that whether I’m sweating it out on the sidelines at football practice, shadowing a world surfing champion around her hometown in Peru, blogging away at the Super Bowl or taking a snowboard lesson from an Olympic medalist … I am living out someone’s make-a-wish. And I’m getting paid to do it.
I try never to forget that fact.
So I want to share those experiences here—the moments that happen behind the scenes and off the field and when I get to have the most fun. They are often the most memorable for me, but rarely make it into the stories I write. I think it’s one thing to read about what it’s like for the best stunt pilot in the world to spin, flip, toss and tumble in a 400-pound plane. But it’s another to experience flying in that plane from the POV of an average Jane (me!) whose stomach may not make it through the next five minutes. That’s the point of this journal. To bring you all with me on my journeys.