Gliding Vertigo

IT Prof. Ricardo Perez flies in a glider to overcome his fear of heights.

The parents of Cuban writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante used to give him the choice of either having a sardine for dinner or going to the movies. He loved the cinema so much that he always opted for the movies. Later in life he wrote a book with the title “Cinema or Sardine”.

Fortunately IT Prof. Ricardo Perez did not have to make such a choice, but he does share that same passion for movies, and in his case he used it as an effective way to conquer his fears.

He confessed to me that he has had a fear of heights for a number of years now, to the extent that he couldn’t even look out of a window. He finally decided that at this stage of his life it was high time he overcame this fear, and he had a plan to do just that. First, he was going to fly in a glider, which is what you are going to see in this video. Then, if he didn’t wet his pants (I am quoting verbatim) in the glider, he would do a parachute jump. He still has to make that jump, but I won’t be surprised if we see him do it in the near future. Anyway, every time he overcomes his fear of something he gives himself a reward, and yes, the reward is a trip to the movies. In this case, he went to see Django, and so did I. It’s a really good film by the way!

P.S. Prof. Perez also recommended the book “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, about what the author calls “optimal experience”. Research shows that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. It’s always a pleasure to work with Prof. Perez because he has the knack of making you feel that life is good, and that’s all that matters.

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