Flying in Formation

A fellow blogger, Nikki, from Flying Through Water wrote a great post on balanced health. As I read her post I was inspired to, once again, get myself on track. My weight has gotten totally out of hand. Between my medications (weight gain, increased appetite) and trying to put weight back on Mr. Comfortable I’ve gone off the rails. And while I was reading Nikki’s post I realized that when we inspire others we’re like geese flying in formation.

We can learn to help each other the way geese do!Image courtesy A Lean Journey

When I was a little girl I asked my daddy why geese fly in that V formation we’ve all seen. I thought it might have been because they can all see if they’re spread out like that. Daddy told me there’s a much more complex and wonderful reason.

As geese fly in formation they’re actually helping each other out. The birds in the rear are “drafting” off the ones further up in the formation. It’s conserving energy. National Geographic explains it this way

“As a bird flaps, a rotating vortex of air rolls off each of its wingtips. These vortices mean that the air immediately behind the bird gets constantly pushed downwards (downwash), and the air behind it and off to the sides gets pushed upwards (upwash). If another bird flies in either of these upwash zones, it gets free lift. It can save energy by mooching off the air flow created by its flock-mate.”

Geese help each other while flying Image courtesy www.geol.umd.edu

But it’s not really “mooching” because the geese will change their positions in the flock allowing other birds to take the more restful positions at the rear. Birds at the back have lower heart rates and flap their wings less. When they’re rested up they move forward. The birds that have been working harder move back.

So what does that have to do with living a more balanced, healthy life? Well, I realized that Nikki has taken the very point position in the formation. She’s the one who has already started the work. The rest of us can follow her lead. Then we can take the lead. We can research things that will help all of us and share that information.

As we fly along our route to better health we can spell each other and make things easier for each other. After all, if geese can do it we humans should be able to fly in formation!

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