This week is one I'm trying to put behind me and move on from! Weather forced my solo from Monday morning to Monday afternoon. After briefing with my IP, we suited up and stepped to the jet early. Everything felt pretty normal up until takeoff. After I got off the ground, my hands and my head just didn't feel like talking to each other. Nothing I did was unsafe, but sometimes I came close to doing some pretty stupid things. All of my landings with the exception of my last one were definitely "firm" which is pretty unusual for me. The whole time I was pretty frustrated with myself wondering why I couldn't fly this jet like I usually do. All my IPs, including this one in the past, have all marveled at my basic aircraft control. But Monday brought along the ugliest flying I've had to date. Nevertheless, after the dual-portion of the solo, my IP told me to sit tight while he unbuckled and sent me on my way solo! I have pics I'll try uploading a friend of mine took of me while I was on the ground. It was quite an experience to take a 4 million dollar airplane up in the air by yourself...gotta say I was a little bit nervous! But despite the jitters, one of my friends later told me he saw me land while he waited to take off and said I "greased it in"...(ie, smooth landing). If I did, I don't remember it, haha!
After landing, post-flighting, and getting thrown in the solo tank (which feels good after sweating for over an hour), I started feeling queezy and cramped up. Our flight soon got released and I went home and went straight to bed after trying to down some chicken noodle soup. About an hour later, I learned how painful it is to throw up chicken noodle soup! If you've never done it, I wouldn't recommend it, haha! I spent the rest of the night traveling to and from my bed and my toilet, "crapping puke and puking crap." The next day I went to sick call and saw a doctor who found it amusing I was "leaking at both ends." Gotta always find the humor in everything.... He gave me an IV for about an hour because my heart rate was slightly elevated from being dehydrated. The rest of Tuesday was much of the same...traveling to and from the bathroom and bed. Wednesday came and I felt slightly better, and by Thursday I was good enough to return to work. I got off of DNIF (Duty Not Including Flying) and was cleared to fly a couple sims. I'm quite a bit behind in the realm of Academics, but my flight commander and I worked out a schedule to get me caught up by the end of this week.
Even though it was a bit of a downer week, God has been really good to me and I've been able to use a little bit of the down time to spend more time with Him. At this point in pilot training, I really don't know what track I should go down (if I were to have a choice in the first place), but I'm confident in the fact God has His hand on my life and will steer me where I need to go. I don't know if it was the illness or something else, but I've been steadily realizing recently that there's more to life than flying in the Air Force (no kidding sherlock!). Don't get me wrong, I LOVE flying, LOVE my job, I love the flight I'm in, and love the fact I get to live out my childhood dreams. But even in doing so, God has been showing me that there's more to life outside of a career. And that is a big reason why I'm not sure what track I should go down right now. Granted, I have PLENTY of time to think about it because we won't actually track select until the end of July. But my decisions now will have an impact on the rest of my life and on my future family's lives as well (God-willing). Plenty of things to think about, but I can rest in the truth that God is in control and knows exactly what I need to do to fulfill His will, not mine.