Twitter inspired and me just loving the landings.  I wrote this in inspiration of a habit I once had, of Tweeting ‘wheels down’ when my flight landed. After a while I found nothing unique about it but I actually get an adrenaline rush when my flight’s wheels touch down on the runway! Almost every time. After traveling for over 2 decades, I didn’t recognize this until recently. I could be making this shit up but trust me, I started writing this after my first flight’s wheels up. Feature photo by Ichiro Murata.
October 29, 2018
Someone recently asked me if I think I could inspire them too, my answer, “I don’t think I’ll inspire everyone or you for that matter, but inspiring is what I do. Whether or not my words inspire you is up to you. My content is not click bait, so numbers are not my concern. However, I trust that one will be inspired. It only takes one to inspire another. I live a lifestyle where I trust enough will. 

It was usually at random when my world seemed to drift off. Many people couldn’t read me, a lot like my father was. He was often in my peripheral however, after my world would drift off in church. Back when I was younger, he was always sitting up front to the left in the pews where the Brotha’s sat during service on Sundays. And we often caught eyes as I sat next to Mom.

But I don’t think he realized that the high ceiling above my daydreaming head in church was actually the overhead bins of a Boeing-747. I thought I knew my aircraft’s at the time from reading his World Book encyclopedia collection that was published in the 1980’s.

And church was like in-flight, just waiting for wheels down.

My first time flying on a Boeing 747 I realized immediately that the ceiling wasn’t high like I had daydreamed back in church. Or at least the JAL aircraft I flew on in 1996. I assume today I flew on a Boeing 747-300, for a 9- or 11-hour flight round-trip with a layover at SFO from PDX.

In-flight, I had no watch to tell time accept to tap the screen in front of me. Meaning, if I can recall this, I had to pause what I was watching on my front screen. Maybe back then it wasn’t touch screen, so I missed some of the movie? Regardless it was such a head-ache at times, like the one I gave my Dad when he would see me in church checking for time.

But it didn’t matter after wheels down.

It was Chris Paul who I first saw announce on Twitter that he was wheels down in a city. It was also an afterthought to me because I may have once read the same tweet elsewhere. I’m not sure if he still tweets that every time his flight touches down, but I occasionally did.

Back then the tweet had a different meaning, not because it was my birthday weekend, but the tweet almost smacked of a mimic. As if I wouldn’t live to see the days when I’d be wheels down more often. Maybe not 5 days a week like Chris Paul, because I had that dream during church too. That’s why I was in the Boeing 747 with a high ceiling.

And when I found out the NBA didn’t charter their teams in large interior Boeing 747’s, I was done! I began studying for college instead.

I thought about the tweet like an outsider millennial. As if I’m avoiding the typical selfie seen from our peers on Instagram, Facebook, or SnapChat of them arriving at a destination they don’t often frequent to.

A millennial thing or not, it could be generational.

#PDXCarpet made it’s novel mark with simplicity. Yet for someone who’s seen that damn carpet time over time under social anxiety and “you fly too…?” looks, the idea has an appreciating drive. Blissfully simple but only in the eyes from above.

Back in February, my flight’s wheels touched down in Boston, MA and smoked the runway. I was finally capitalizing on a ‘thought’ I once had. I didn’t tweet wheels down at Boston Logan International because I was too busy scouting the land I was preparing to run on.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I went straight to Hertz, meanwhile nervous about driving and then going for a long run in Boston’s snow and ice. But if you have the ability to compartmentalize fear and anxiety, you’ll start to notice that you can progress toward your goals more effectively than others. I showed up to Boston to run. I had no choice.

By noon that day, I had ran the fourth corner of this country’s coastline. This run completed a thought I once had and now written with true meaning for the world to read about.

Going back 2 years, the idea originated from me wanting to have property in the four (4) corners of this country. So, I began running in the first corner that could make that possible.

Santa Monica Pier (2016)

Santa Monica, CA (2016)

Fort Lauderdale, FL could’ve been first but hurricane Hermine caused travel disruptions.

I was fortunate to go back to Fort Lauderdale 6 months later to make sure I ran that beach! My father would’ve been proud, because 2 months prior to that run he showed the world his last smile, or at least my world. And it changed my world forever.

But I thank you all at ShiftWise.

On the flight home from Fort Lauderdale I thought about how close I was to him, only because I was 35,000 feet in the sky. And it sure felt so as we caught eyes up there. And being wheels down meant back to reality. Another journey without my father. Like the the one home from Boston – yet that time he saw the overhead bins above my head in-flight!

I never planned to run the Oregon coastline, because the third of the fourth corner I ran was in Seattle – accompanied by my love, Leina’ala. And in the wake of my career transitioning, the Alki Beach run was just after an emotional ending to a highly stressful and anxiety driven time in my life. But in reward, I was going into my aviation career that following Monday.

So, I thank you all at FlightGlobal.


Alki Beach Park – Seattle, WA (2017)

I often don’t frequent the baggage claim after my flight touches down, but whether its home or away, I leave the airport into a new journey. Like I should have been doing leaving church service. And we all know the feeling doesn’t last long because we forget, so we go back. Payment is in the journey itself. I’ll just have other means of a baggage claim going forward.

And since yesterday was Sunday, I trust everyone who attended church left the ‘in-flight’ service into a new journey.

But in closing, to avoid conversation during travel I recently started to upgrade but it never made a difference because people still wanna’ talk race. Often with little regard to those below us, like myself who used to wonder where those upper class travelers are going until I became one. Not to mention, some of us fly high, high enough to think we’re closer to the dead. But that’s how I managed until wheels down.

And today, like the Tweet below…


I was done with those NIKE’s after my Hauula highway run in Hawaii.

Because I wasn’t gunna’ run Forest Gump across the country, although I probably would of had more followers by now. Instead, I hit the corners of this country like I used to in my 98’ Pontiac Grand Prix.

But more importantly I was done daydreaming in-flight. After I was wheels down in San Diego from Honolulu, I noticed my father handed me an overhead bin when I got my own in the front of the planes this past summer.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Budd writes to encourage readers to explore the depths of their inner ocean, an unexplored self, because its fun once you get through the emotional part... “The world around us is our vehicle, what you'll read is how I digest it.” -Budd

11 Comment on “Wheels Down

  1. Pingback: War & GOD III: the People |

  2. Pingback: She’s a Good Girl… |

  3. Pingback: BMW Driver: 1792 |

  4. Pingback: December’s Story, Told Up Hilltops of Glory |

  5. Pingback: Leaving New York City Again |

  6. Pingback: Why Budd’s Bike Is Back At The Airport |

  7. Pingback: Ever Met A Black Man Wanting To Visit Antarctica? |

  8. Pingback: This Is What Happens When The Plane Shows Up |

  9. Pingback: It Would Be Airplanes Behind A Camaro: Day 12 |

  10. Pingback: How A Good Morning And I Woke Up This Tuesday |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: