Learning to Fly: An Uncommon Memoir of Human Flight, Unexpected Love and One Amazing Dog

Steph Davis, Author
Steph Davis. Touchstone, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4516-5205-5
Reviewed on: 12/10/2012
Release date: 04/02/2013
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4516-5207-9
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4516-9833-6
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Everything in professional rock climber Davis’s world—livelihood, home, marriage—becomes upended in an instant when her husband legally climbs an arch (the famous rock on Utah’s license plate) and gets on the very bad side of a national news story. After the Park Service, angry at the publicity her husband receives for his daring ascents, launches a federal investigation to determine the legality of climbing the arch, they lose their biggest sponsors, their reputations are in shambles, and their troubled relationship falls apart. Davis writes with honesty and bravery about the sudden devastation and her painful and intensive recovery. In the aftermath Davis decides to learn to skydive. She’d tried tandem jumping once, but hated depending on others. Instead she enrolls in a free-fall course on her wedding anniversary and on her first jump feels a lightness she thought had been permanently lost. In a matter of weeks, she goes from complete novice to jumping solo. In becoming a skydiver and realizing how little she can control, she learns to trust herself again, lets go of her need for total self-reliance, and finds renewal. Although there is a fair amount of climbing and skydiving jargon, Davis’s philosophy of facing one’s fears will strike a chord with readers. (Apr.)
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