Ritu Chopra is an artist from Noida, NCR. Her husband and her wanted to enter their 50th year with a bang. They decided to step outside their comfort zones and signed up for a solo paragliding course. Five years later, Ritu now owns her own glider and goes on regular flying holidays with her husband and son. The Flying Family, as they have been nicknamed, is truly one of the most unique families of India.
As Ritu flies the blue skies in her glider, she feels that the biggest thing she has realised is that it is never late in life to learn something new.
AP Quick 4-
1. The first place you paraglided - Kamshet, near Pune.
2. Your go-to place for paragliding in India-
Bir, my favourite place for Paragliding. So much to learn here about thermals.
3. Your dream destination in the world - All the possible European flying sites.
4. Your favourite Instagram account related to the sport - Fly bubble
AP: What got you first interested in the sport?
Ritu: Since childhood, I had been interested in sports. I was an athlete and had won many prizes in 100 mtrs, 200 mtrs running and long jump. Paragliding came very late In life, the year we both husband and wife had entered into our 50s. We both wanted to celebrate our 50th year with a bang. So we decided to push our boundaries and step out of the comfort zone. I was not sure of Paragliding and Ashutosh, my husband was not sure of open water Diving. But we both did the courses and realized that we love it.
AP: How did you start out? What was your first experience like?
Ritu: We did our P1 and P2 course. The first solo flight was very liberating. But then we were not consistent with our flying for 3 years. We were paragliding only once/twice a year. For long, we did not develop good flying practice. I had issues with landing. Full flares were not happening and some times asymmetric flare would make me crash land.
AP: What changed in your life after you started paragliding?
Ritu: I have overcome my fears. The challenges of flying at different sites have made me understand the sport. And the biggest thing is, it is never late in life to learn something new. Now I am 55 years and I enjoy paragliding. I may be slow in comparison to the younger people, but I motivate mummies of my age.
AP: Who do you usually go paragliding with? Ritu: I go with my husband and son:- My family.
AP: What are some of you favourite moments while playing the sport?
Ritu: The excitement of meeting other paragliding pilots, whom we have become friends with at different flying sites. Each time I am getting better with the sport is the biggest satisfaction. I don't have to compete but yes learning the sport to be a safe pilot is my best effort.
AP: Any good stories to share?
Ritu: I can talk and discuss paragliding with my Family is the biggest satisfaction. For we are the Flying Family.
AP: Till when in the future do you see yourself paragliding?
Ritu: Till the time I am physically and mentally fit.
AP: What would be some advice you’d give someone who’s just starting out?
Ritu: Go ahead and challenge yourself. You will feel like a bird in the sky.
Follow Ritu's paragliding adventures on Instagram at @ritu.chasing.inspirations
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