How I Made the Bold Decision to Fly in a Small Airplane…

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How I Made the Bold Decision to Fly in a Small Airplane…

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Making bold decisions can sometimes change your life.  How flying a small airplane has changed mine.

I’ve partnered up with LISTERINE® Brand to share this adventure with you!  As always, all opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting Running in a Skirt and letting me share these posts with you.

Inspiration for Overcoming Fears including flying a small airplane. / Running in a Skirt

Hi everyone!

I talked a little last week about being bold in life and how I thought it was a key to a happy life.  I encouraged you to make bold choices as well.  I shared a recent hike I took to the top of Lookout Mountain as something I recently did that was bold.  Today I want to talk a little more about being bold and one of the boldest parts of my life, flying in a small airplane with the Hubs.

Inspiration for Overcoming Fears including flying a small airplane. / Running in a Skirt

So how did flying a small airplane happen?  The story goes like this….

The Hubs and I met 7 1/2 years ago.  Mutual friends introduced us at their house party.  We hit it off instantly and bonded at the appetizer table talking over our love of good local food and our favorite restaurants.

I told the Hubs about my brand new running hobby (I had just run my first 5K) and he told me about his flying hobby (he had been working on his private pilot license for months.)   He was super nice about my new running adventures, but I told him point blank I didn’t understand small airplanes and I would never fly in one.  As a TV news reporter I had covered too many accidents of reckless general aviation pilots and I just wasn’t interested.  Big commercial jets seemed so much better to me.

Inspiration for Overcoming Fears including flying a small airplane. / Running in a Skirt

Lesson one… never say never.

I stuck to my guns for awhile and didn’t go up with him, but I could see how excited he was about it and how it was his passion.  He felt the same way about flying as I did with running.  It was hard not being a part of that.

The turning point was when my Grandmother in Chattanooga got sick and the main road over the mountains to get there was closed.  My Mom was already there with her and I wanted to be too.  It would take 6+ hours driving OR we could fly there in 45 minutes.  By that time I had known the Hubs long enough to understand what a smart, methodical and non-reckless person he was.  If anyone should be a pilot, it’s him.  I also wanted to share his joy with him.

So over the mountains we went flying a small plane.

Inspiration for Overcoming Fears including flying a small airplane. / Running in a Skirt

I was so nervous, but it actually surprised me how peaceful and calm it was.  The Hubs explained what turbulence actually was and how it was not dangerous, as long as you stayed away from the severe stuff.

Inspiration for Overcoming Fears including flying a small airplane. / Running in a Skirt

As a meteorologist I loved feeling so close to the weather.

Inspiration for Overcoming Fears including flying a small airplane. / Running in a Skirt

We got to see my Grandmother and Mom and I was pretty grateful for that little plane that day.  The bold move to finally get in really paid off.


We got back home and I still wasn’t completely sold on flying as more than an emergency thing.  I did some research on my own and talked with the Hubs about safety.  I learned that as long as a pilot is smart and not a risk taker, flying can be safer than driving.

Inspiration for Overcoming Fears including flying a small airplane. / Running in a Skirt

I then learned about all the places we could go flying a small airplane and how fast we could get there.  Suddenly my family in Florida was only 2 1/2 hours away instead of 12 hours.

And the beach?  Only an hour.

Things to Do Hilton Head-15

My love of family, travel and adventure (and especially the beach!) won over my fear of flying in a small plane.  I figure you only live once so you might as well live the biggest, boldest life possible.

As time went on flying a small airplane became a hobby both of us enjoy.  Those first few bold decisions to fly changed my life.

Inspiration for Overcoming Fears including flying a small airplane. / Running in a Skirt

We’ve been to countless places including Hilton Head, Pittsburgh, Orlando, the Outer Banks and even a day trip to Charleston.  One of our favorite adventures was making it all the way to Key West.  We had such a great time that we went back last year.


We’ve even flown our small plane to the Bahamas twice.

The Abacos Bahamas-61-2-31

This flight and trip was a bucket-list destination for the Hubs who compared flying yourself to the Bahamas to a runner’s marathon.

He knew how to get me to say yes. 😉


We are just regular people who happen to have a passion for aviation.  We share ownership of our older airplane and it’s not fancy at all.  But it’s safe and allows us to travel, dream and be bold.

Inspiration for Overcoming Fears including flying a small airplane. / Running in a Skirt

If you would have asked me walking into that party 7 1/2 years ago that general aviation would be a big part of my life I would have laughed at you.  But I also would have laughed at you if you told me that night that I would run a marathon, quit my job at the tv station and run a blog.

Life is full of choices.  I’ve chosen to make some bold ones along the way, and my life is richer, crazier and more colorful because of it.

Things to Do Hilton Head-2

I told you last week about the new way LISTERINE® is celebrating the BOLDNESS of users like you and I by launching the Bold Percent program. Did you know LISTERINE® users are actually much more likely to do bold things than non-users?  <—Maybe that explains my bold streak?

Lookout Mountain Montreat Hiking - Gorgeous views near Asheville, NC / Running in a Skirt

The new Bold Percent program will reward consumers for their boldness by giving away a range of fun, bold prizes.  Between now and December 7th you can visit Bold Percent to join and win rewards and earn sweepstakes entries toward bold prizes.

Lookout Mountain Montreat Hiking - Gorgeous views near Asheville, NC / Running in a Skirt

Being bold doesn’t always mean something huge like flying a small airplane.  It can be as simple as living beyond your fears and expectation in life.   It is as simple as having a passion for life, new experiences, knowledge and people.  Your personal bold may be something very different than mine.

I encourage you to join LISTERINE® Brand’s new Bold Percent and find ways to live your life to the fullest everyday.  See below for prize information and how to enter.

Lookout Mountain Montreat Hiking - Gorgeous views near Asheville, NC / Running in a Skirt

I understand that flying may not be an attainable hobby for everyone and I’m not suggesting it should be. As I mentioned before, our plane is nothing fancy and glamorous.  I know how lucky I am that it is part of my life.  Remember bold is relative to how you want to live your life.

The moral of this story is dream big and never say never.  With bold choices the sky is the limit.

Inspiration for Overcoming Fears including flying a small airplane. / Running in a Skirt

And don’t forget to join the Bold Percent.

Sweepstakes prizes includes:    

  • 1 Grand Prize of a trip to one of six bold destinations (Australia, Zambia, Alaska, Hawaii, New Orleans, & Spain)
  • 15 Level 2 Prizes of bold excursions – from surfing lessons to racecar driving
  • 30 Level 1 Prizes of bold-themed packs of high-end gadgets and gear in themes such as “Outdoor Adventure,” “ Bold Fitness,” and “Tropical On-The-Go”
  • Bold Percent members can be even bolder by uploading a receipt showing the purchase of LISTERINE® Mouthwash to receive an additional 50 sweepstakes entries to the Bold Grand Prize.

Enter HERE! Good luck everyone!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of LISTERINE® Brand.


Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Come back tomorrow for a pretty awesome announcement and introduction!  Trust me… you want to see this!

I’m linking this post with Marvelous Monday,  Jill Conyers for Fitness Friday & Inspired to be Fit, Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday, Fit and Fashionable Friday and Annmarie for Wild Workout Wednesday.

Your turn!

What do you do that is bold?

Have you ever overcame your fear of something?

By | 2017-08-15T14:03:56-04:00 September 26th, 2016|Fitness, Flying, Healthy Living Tips, Travel|80 Comments


  1. Lucie Palka September 30, 2016 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    EEEK, I’m terrified of flying in a big plane, no less in a small plane. I hope I can get over my fear. It seems to make the word smaller when you can fly somewhere quickly. I love the photo where you are approaching the landing!

    • JulieWunder October 2, 2016 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      Yes! The world is a lot smaller. I hope you can conquer the fear as well.

  2. Nicole @ Fitful Focus September 30, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    I’m so happy you were able to get over your fear and doubts and can now enjoy your husband’s hobby with him. It really is great how quickly you can get everywhere, too! I’ve only been in a tiny plane once when I got Will a flying lesson for Christmas one year. It was nerve racking, but I think I could get used to it if I did it more often with a good pilot :).

    • JulieWunder October 2, 2016 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      You def get more used to it! I often fall asleep these day. haha!

  3. Annmarie September 30, 2016 at 8:43 am - Reply

    Oh man, I would be scared for sure but it would be worth it to see all those sights!

  4. Sonali- The Foodie Physician September 28, 2016 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    How wonderful! Personally I’ve never flown in a small plane, but if the opportunity arose, I’d be excited to do it! It’s awesome how much freedom to travel it’s given you guys!

  5. Tami Qualls September 28, 2016 at 9:19 am - Reply

    I was terrified of flying but had to when my father-in-law was on his death bed. Flying ended up being so much fun and the best adventure.

  6. Laura September 28, 2016 at 9:03 am - Reply

    What a wonderful thing…to overcome a fear and have an amazing experience!

  7. Taylor Kiser September 28, 2016 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Way to go conquering your fear of flying with God’s help! He cares about everything in our lives! Now to bring on more adventures, right?!

  8. Mary Ellen @ VNutrition September 28, 2016 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Aw, I love the story of how you met your husband. I’m scared to death of small planes but I can see how it would be so easy to get places that way. If my husband had his pilot’s license (which he wants to get but I doubt he will) I think I’d be up in one too!

    • JulieWunder October 2, 2016 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      How much fun! Watch out… it’s a bit addictive. 🙂

  9. Nicole Escat September 28, 2016 at 1:48 am - Reply

    aww, I’m glad that you overcome your fear, I’m also have fear in flying, I wish I could do what you did. You’re awesome girl!

  10. Sarah Grace Spann September 27, 2016 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Ahh so fun girly!! Lookin cute in that gear!


  11. Elizabeth O September 27, 2016 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    I’m impressed by your flying chops. I love to fly but I’ve not been a pilot of a small plane. I think that is a bold and fine decision. 🙂

  12. jill conyers September 27, 2016 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Julie that is so awesome. I love stories like that!

  13. Kristy from Southern In Law September 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    This just goes to show how making a scary decision can really pay off! How lucky you are to have these awesome experiences!

  14. Allyson September 27, 2016 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    What a great story! You’re very brave. ?

  15. Jaime September 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    I have such a fear of heights and I’ve flown in a couple of small planes for my old job (the whole newspaper/videographer thing!!) We’re going ziplining in a couple of weeks. Terrifying, but I’m sure it’ll be cool once it’s over!

  16. Heather @ FITaspire September 27, 2016 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness – from fear of flying to flying yourself!! That is absolutely incredible, and so inspiring. Face your fears, indeed!!! 🙂

  17. Kayla @ Blondes Have More Run September 27, 2016 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    wow! Beautiful views! Looks like an awesome experience! Way to be bold!

  18. Angela September 27, 2016 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Great job conquering your fears! I am ok in a big plane, but the little planes scare me as well.

    • JulieWunder September 27, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Thanks Angela! It turned out to be a lot of fun!

  19. Wendy September 27, 2016 at 11:39 am - Reply

    I totally have a fear of flying, which is funny because 18 year ago I had a job that required I fly out on Monday and home on Fridays. I think it is so cool that you got over yours.

  20. Clara September 27, 2016 at 11:27 am - Reply

    I’m glad you overcame your fear of flying. Hopefully these tips will work for other people with the same problem.

  21. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables September 27, 2016 at 7:33 am - Reply

    I have a fear of flying so I can totally relate! You’re so brave!!! Logically I know it’s safe but I still get nervous!

    • JulieWunder September 27, 2016 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      I totally agree! It’s made the world a lot smaller though!

  22. Jennifer Lefforge September 27, 2016 at 7:28 am - Reply

    As the wife of a commercial pilot who’s begging to buy a small plane I loved this post! But I won’t be showing it to him;). What a beautiful thing to share and I love how you faced your fears!

    • JulieWunder September 27, 2016 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      Haaaaa!!! I totally get it!!! Don’t have him talk to the Hubs!

  23. Tee September 27, 2016 at 12:45 am - Reply

    I love your take on boldness and am so happy that you were able to get past your fears/dislike of small aircrafts! I live my life as boldly as possible (sometimes too boldly, I’ll admit haha) but I believe that fear prevents living life fully and I want to seize every moment of this life 🙂 The first ever airplane I flew in was a small plane flown by my much older cousin when I was only 14 and it made me dream of being a pilot for many years, in fact I almost joined the air force, yikes! I did neither tho ?

    • JulieWunder September 27, 2016 at 3:39 pm - Reply

      My hubby almost did too! he has a love of aviation! There is something so beautiful about flying!

  24. carmy September 27, 2016 at 12:11 am - Reply

    You are braver than I!! I don’t think i’d do it!

  25. Jenn September 26, 2016 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Flying a small plane is definitely bold! I love adventure and things that most people find scary, but I’m not sure you could pay me enough money to get in a tiny plane like that. Good for you!

    • JulieWunder September 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      It’s so funny what different people find scary! I’ve gotten used to it now and it’s a lot of fun.

  26. Maria September 26, 2016 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    This is amazing! You guys are so cute and that is one bold way to get over a fear! Love it 🙂

  27. abbey September 26, 2016 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    This is so cool!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us <3

  28. Tara @ A Daily Dose of Fit September 26, 2016 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    What a great story! Proof that magic happens right outside of your comfort zone.

  29. Alicia @Bridges Through Life September 26, 2016 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    So my fiance just got his pilot’s license, literally this month. Oh and he bought a plane almost a year ago. He didn’t tell me until about 5 months after he bought it. I still don’t think his parents know he owns a plane. It’s crazy because his plane insurance is less than my car insurance…
    Anyway I don’t have a fear of flying so much as I just hate small planes because you feel the turbulence so much more. I have been in little island hopper planes in Hawaii and over to the Bahamas and not a fan of the stomach drop motion. I never liked roller coasters. He is convinced to get me up in his plane. I do think it would be cool to fly so many places as you mentioned. I definitely have that travel itch.

    • JulieWunder September 27, 2016 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      How exciting! I hope you two learn to love it as much as we do!

  30. Kimberly September 26, 2016 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    The views alone would be worth overcoming that fear! Congrats. What a fun things to do with your loved one.

  31. Blane Sherer September 26, 2016 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Such a sweet family connection between you
    and the hubs. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Leah Goldglantz September 26, 2016 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    That’s so cool! It’s definitely something I’d love to do one day!!

  33. [email protected] September 26, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story with us about being bold with flying! I have to remind myself every time I fly that it is the “safest” form of travel because I always get nervous. Here’s to being bold in life!!

  34. Liz September 26, 2016 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    Loving this partnership you have- it totally gets my juices flowing and want to be BOLD! I once traveled on a helicopter in Australia and it was epic- this makes me want to fly again on a small plane!

    • JulieWunder September 27, 2016 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      How much fun! I’m dying to go to Australia!

  35. Neely September 26, 2016 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    WOW that is very bold! I would be terrfiied to do it. My husband however would love to!

  36. Melinda September 26, 2016 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    I’ve never done anything so bold. This looks like an amazing adventure. You’ll be reliving at thrill for a long time.

  37. Divya @ Eat Teach Blog September 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    I definitely travel a lot but I continue to have a fear of flying. And I would never never never neverrrrrrrrrr go in a small plane like that! I’m so paranoid!

    • JulieWunder September 27, 2016 at 1:08 pm - Reply

      I used to feel the same way, but now I love it!

  38. Dan Steadman September 26, 2016 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    all that is so neat….my bold….is working with 5th and 6th graders…when we joined our current church they are big on you being involved so my wife suggested I work with 5th and 6th grade, the preteen pastor said ‘i’ve got just the job for you’ to which I gave the standard Baptist answer “I’ll pray about it” after a couple of weeks, I signed up all in and was nervous thinking “my kid will convince people I am uncool, the kids will hate me, they’ll think I’m that uncool grown up who thinks he’s cool” but being all in, just being me, God has used me and has had some students move up to 7th and 8th grade come back and see how I am…

  39. Jolina September 26, 2016 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    This is very cool. We took helicopter “lessons” once and all it really was was they made us sit in front haha! I’d love to learn to fly. Well done you for conquering your fear!

  40. [email protected] September 26, 2016 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    Being a flight attendant for a commercial airlines I have to say I am not a big fan of small planes but I haven’t really ever experienced it though. It would be great to have access to so many great places in a short amount of time. And best of all no wait in security line right?

  41. I am super scared of flying in general but the small planes really scare me. Good for you for conquering for your fears

  42. amanda -runtothefinish September 26, 2016 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    It would most definitely take someone that I had complete faith in to get me up!! I wouldn’t ride a motorcycle with a friends dad who was a cop…but for the man I love, well I’ve tried a lot of crazy things!!

  43. Sarah- A Whisk and Two Wands September 26, 2016 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Such a cute story and great reminder… never say never!

  44. Diane norris September 26, 2016 at 9:24 am - Reply

    I love this !

  45. Emily September 26, 2016 at 7:35 am - Reply

    Wow, I agree with Heather; I didn’t know you were afraid of flying; that’s so wonderful that the Lord enabled you to conquer that fear and see His awesome creation from up above in such an up close way that you couldn’t experience on a regular plane. It’s so true that you can get places so much faster. I love that you get to fly together with your best friend.

  46. heather @Lunging Through Life September 26, 2016 at 7:27 am - Reply

    I had no idea you were terrified of flying at first! That’s huge to be ok with and get over your fears! God knew it would take a little bit to get you to trust HIm and that it did. So glad you are able to go on more adventures with the hubs!

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