We dream of weightlessness and wish we could fly, but few of us actually take those fearless steps to control the wind in our faces or beneath our wings.
Kim Jochl (pronounced “Yokel”) is one who did. She faced her fear of flying by doing what seemed obvious to her — she earned her pilot’s license. Along the way she wrote down her thoughts, then published them in a book.
But back up a few steps, and you’ll realize Kim was practically born fearless, with wind and weightlessness as an essential part of her childhood. She and her twin sister took to the ski slopes at the age of two in Massachusetts, and later represented this country on the U.S. National Ski Team for six years. She watched her sister compete in the Olympics, while she herself finished her college degree at Appalachian State Univeristy.
At App State she took a job that seemed like a natural for her, at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort. She rehabbed her injured knee, made a few friends, secured a career, and eventually, married the owner. Her husband, Gunther Jochl, an Austrian native like Kim’s father, encouraged her to fly more than slopes. Thus, the fearless girl flying down mountains took to the air as a pilot and author.
“There is definitely a thrill in both,” says Kim, describing the similarity between great ski runs and great air landings. “They have very similar internal rewards that are very very hard to explain.”
Join Kim Jochl at storytellers night Thursday, February 1, at 6pm at Jesse Brown’s Outdoors in Sharon Corners, SouthPark, as she tries to explain the thrill of both. If you’ve ever wanted to be fearless, you’ll be inspired.