MJ MARGGRAFF
Being Brave

Being Brave

Bravery does not describe me. I’m too imperfect for that. Learning to fly, twelve years ago when in my forties, was a dream to follow, not a dream feared. My biggest flying fear—my biggest dragon—was fearing that I would not be perfect enough at it. The next biggest dragon: my impatience to be perfect at it. All the other dragons I met head-on: bad weather, failed alternator, failed avionics, lost…

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When Being Busy Isn’t Enough, Embrace Your Dream and Do What You Love

When Being Busy Isn’t Enough, Embrace Your Dream and Do What You Love

My day planner was filled—line by line, day by day. Each morning I consulted it and prepared for the list of duties it dictated about how I would spend my time. Blank lines on its future pages didn’t wait long for ink to fill them. My corporate days as a manager were behind me, and in their place were days filled with PTA meetings and carpools, managing an eight- and…

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Tips from Space  — Feb. 20, 2015

Tips from Space — Feb. 20, 2015

  Mount Diablo Pilots Association: Tips from Space — Feb. 20, 2015 This was a lot of fun. Right outside was the airfield where I had first soloed in 2004. The sky was clear (pilots have a habit of looking up) and the control tower had its night-time beacon on, green and white blinking across the runways at me. Addressing this group of pilots, most of them having decades of…

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Entering “The Beast”

Entering “The Beast”

My classmates and I before we enter “The Beast” behind us. This centrifuge is the world’s best to simulate leaving Earth’s gravity hold–making the weight of Mach 3.5 acceleration feel up to 5 times the weight of my body. Once in the gondola, it’s up to us to apply what we’ve learned so we don’t pass out!