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Life and Airplanes

Posted on April 14th, by Mike Sherbakov in Life and Wellness. 3 comments


Picture this.  You’re sitting in the co-pilot seat of a little Cessna 2-seater airplane flying from the island of Oahu to Kauai.  The pilot looks over at you with a huge smirk on his face and asks, “Wanna try something crazy?”  The rational side of your brain is screaming, “Are you kidding me?! You’re 10,000 feet in the air without a parachute on board!” but for some reason there are only two words that leave your mouth. “Let’s go” 

The pilot nose-dives the airplane and proceeds to whip it back up and around, barrel rolling the entire aircraft.  Let me just preface the story by mentioning Cessnas are not designed to be upside down!  The way the aircraft is made, if it becomes inverted the oil will drip out immediately stalling the engine.  A stalled engine and no parachutes make for quite a predicament.   It takes incredible precision and an understanding of the centrifugal force to keep the oil inside the aircraft when inverting. 

Fast forward several years; the co-pilot is still here today and writing the story you’re reading.  The pilot on the other hand, left us yesterday leaving behind memories and a lesson to be learned by all.  On April 12, 2012 the world lost an amazing person.  A friend, a brother in arms, and an inspiration to all he met, George Mellone reminds us life is meant to be lived. 

Most of you have probably seen the picture at the top of this blog.  Most of you have heard “live life to the fullest” or “you only live once.”  It all sounds great, but how many really adopt the mantra and embrace this amazing gift we are given, known as life.  In an attempt to steer away from a cliché preachy speech, be truthful with yourself as you answer the following 5 questions in your mind:

1) Are you where you want to be in life?

2) Are you doing what makes you happy?

3) Do you wake up every morning with the same excitement you had as a child, a fascination for everything that you will encounter?

4) Are you satisfied with your current relationships?

5) Are you the person you want to be or on a path that will get you there?

If you answered yes to all the questions, congratulations and keep doing what you’re doing!  If not, the beauty of life is that it is never too late to change.

An amazing quote I received from a friend: “It is so, so simple: We get what we give. If we respect our bodies, they will be our vessels for transformation. If we put forth honestly, sincerity, and love, we will receive them in return. And if we don’t like what we’ve been doing, then the beautiful thing to remember is that we can always start over again. Just as the meditation practice teaches, we simply begin again. This is a journey with no end, with many paths and many turns along the way. If you find yourself walking down the wrong path, simply change direction and begin again.”

I find it unfortunate that it often takes a death to remind us about life.  George reminds me to take chances, try things that scare me and live with no regrets.   That is how he lived and that is how I choose to live.  Between finances, family and busy schedules we all have responsibilities and obligations to keep up with; it is impossible to live completely care free. It is possible, however, to make the most of every situation. 

Intimidated to tell someone how you feel?  Afraid to quit a high-paying job you can’t stand for a lesser-paying job that you are passionate about?  Is your bucket list just getting longer without any forward progress?  I urge you to embrace the present and make the most of what is right in front of you.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed; all we have is right now.  Life is short.  Live your dream and share your passion.

-Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow-


-Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow-


Mike Sherbakov, CSCS, CPT, RYT

3 responses to “Life and Airplanes”

  1. A-pain says:


    I heard this quote from a friend when I was living in Fiji and it completely changed my outlook on life. More importantly than outlook however, it change my mentality. I believe it is important to “live your passion” as it were, because the people who do this inspire change. People follow those who live for what they believe in and that it a beautiful thing. I send my sympathies for your loss and I am happy that he was able to touch your life.

    -Alex Warneke

  2. Im actually currently making a personal manifesto similar to the one in the photo, I will post it on my about me section when its finished! great post.

  3. elena says:

    sorry, Mik, i didn’t get if George died in a plane crush and you were with him??
    sorry about the loss…

    as for the questions 1 -5, i would have to honestly answer ‘no’ to all
    and don’t even feel that anything needs to change
    i call this life
    does this go under ‘an ultimate failure’ in your classification?

    i have hard time understanding self-assertive blogs stuffed with self-improvement advices (although i am glad to see you thinking and writing so well)
    self-self-self, find yourself, succeed, isn’t it always dead-ended, by definition?
    no one is interesting per se, but is tremendously interesting as a part of something bigger, bigger than self – group of friends, army, family, god
    not because he carries an imprint of this bigger thing or higher being
    but because through them a person himself is revealed to the fullest
    (and this you can neither plan nor predict nor self-improve, just give yourself)
    it almost would make more sense to say ‘don’t find yourself’ , rather
    lose yourself
    lose yourself in something bigger

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