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The fourth time is the charm

Four years. It’s the amount of time between leap years, Olympic games, and the soccer World Cup. It also happens to be the length of the average high school experience, although to some students, it probably feels a lot longer than that.


Did you know that it also took the Wright brothers four years to achieve the world’s first powered flight? I had the good fortune recently to visit the site of that famous flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. It’s a National Memorial that’s both fascinating and straightforward, a spot that really shows the challenges the two bicycle makers from Ohio had to face.


Even on the day of that first flight, the two pioneers didn’t give up. Their first attempt, for example, covered about 120 feet and lasted only twelve seconds. Of course, they didn’t give up, and made real history on their fourth flight, which lasted about a minute and went 852 feet. Good thing they didn’t give up after the first one!


To me, the Wright Brothers Memorial is all about pursuing a dream. Those four years the brothers spent perfecting engines, propellers, etc. showed that success isn’t always overnight. To go from making bicycles to aircraft was a certainly a big leap, but it’s one they were willing to make. Ideas can be wild and totally “out there”, but they can eventually lead to something revolutionary. Don’t give up if your first “flight” only goes 120 feet!


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