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LifeExperiment: Paragliding

March 13th, 2010 20 Comments

I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy the outdoors. On my last trip to Santa Barbara in January, a friend took me paragliding.  I was scared, but after being tasered, I thought, this should be a piece of cake.

We used this company, but I’m sure a quick google search will direct you to several companies wherever your travels take you.


FlyAboveAll, the Santa Barbara based company we used in the video, charges $200/day per person.  If you mention MTM, the owner (Chad) will give you a 15% discount.

(Full Disclosure: No media discount was given in exchange for the video.)

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  • darla k

    oh lord, mary, stop working out. or give a small break. your body looks a bit horrifying in this. not because you’re skinny–i’d say i’m probably naturally skinner–buy your upper bod looks downright steroidsy. overdeveloped shoulders for sure (i am a phys therapist). you look like a little east LA gangsta boy in your wifebeater. try to get a sexy –and yes, thin! thin is fine!–girl body. whoever is advising you on that front is making you look awful. between that and botox you are not looking the way a healthy beauiful girl in their 20s would look!

    • Unbelievable how critical you are on my looks. I can’t imagine you would go off on a friend like that. Let alone a stranger in a public forum.

      I advise myself on my body and I do what I feel is right for me.

  • ABR

    That looked like SO much fun!

  • Sammy

    Mary u r so damn hot!!

  • Sarah

    Mary I think you look beautiful as always! Ignore those awful people! I love you!

  • kate

    How much did this cost? Would you say it was worth it?

  • Jo

    Raisin Face Darla, exactly who the f*ck do you think you are? One thing that drew me to Mary’s blog is her commitment to fitness and (realistic) clean eating, etc. She looks f*cking phenomenal and nitpicking on someones SHOULDERS (?!) is absolutely ridiculous. I urge to to take a peek at this fabulous Nike ad to give you some clarity on your views on fitness/aesthetics vs. mine and I am assuming, Mary’s:
    I won’t even touch your other close-minded & critical comments since it’s pretty evident Mary looks bomb.

  • darla k

    mary would rather die than have “thunder thighs” as in that ad. we share some friends and I know folks who have first-hand heard all sorts of really awful anorexic things she and her friend adrien have said when they try to fit in as fashion hags in nyc. and anyone who has followed her sites knows that the #1 complaint mary gets is that she provides anorexia thinspiration and totally plays into the absurd botox-fad-for-babies trend of 5 years ago at least. she is not a posterchild for health. it’s really transparent that these are mary’s personal friends because on any given day mary gets tons of criticism in the same areas from all sorts of people. just look at some recent posts or any of her old posts that had her constantly chastising her readers and then monitoring her comments.

  • darla k

    In any case, I’m sorry for getting nasty here. I’ve really thought about why Mary seems so offensive to so many of us. I happen to have friends in common with her so I know her true colors. But I do know any time Mary asks for reader feedback she gets hate and why? I started thinkng about it. Well, Jordan Reed Berkow is even thinner than Mary and prettier. SHe gets very little to no haterade. I think it has everythign to do with personality–you can’t hide who you really are on the internet. Jordan’s site shows women to be happy with themselves–and Mary’s tells us were’ not good enough constantly, because that’s her personal battle. Any girl who’s been through high school can sniff out someone with an eating disorder. Plus Mary has these Republican values a la Cindy McCain–Botox? dieting? Houston hot-spots? Fur? Really, she seems out of touch with what smart, hip, beautiful, edgy young bloggers are like–see Emily gould too.But when she says “I only advise myself” etc at the top there, it’s a joke, because then keep all your fitness and beauty crud to yourself then and don’t act like you have wisdom to dispell. Talk about something else? I’d be curious to hear what Mary majored in, what her passion is, what her back up plan is. . .is it all “nutrition” and “fitness?” Well, then why not go to school for it like the rest of us and actually do that real hard work instead of pretending to know about it all on this blog which seems to just be a way for her to get freebies and admission to events and hold a “job.”

    • Darla,

      It seems the real issue here is not that I don’t talk about my passions, but that our interests aren’t aligned. I enjoy being fit, eating healthy, wearing trendy clothes (although I’m actually pretty conservative in terms of fashion), traveling, fun places to hang out, etc. If you don’t enjoy these things, then my content and lifestyle aren’t for you. But that doesn’t mean other people don’t like the content, and it certainly doesn’t make me offensive. I realize my insight is limited in each of the daily themes, which is why I’ve brought on contributors I respect to provide commentary I can’t.

      Not once on my blog have I ever condoned dieting, only choosing to eat healthier things. Plus, anyone who knows me will tell you that I LOVE cookies, and usually have one in my purse. What would life be like with indulging? Or trying to control everything? I don’t know and I don’t care to.

      Which leads me to my next point. If you don’t know me personally, then you can’t say you know my true colors. Relying on hearsay is never credible.

      And furthermore, why do I have to be “smart, hip, beautiful, and edgy” like other female bloggers? What’s wrong with me just being me? You really aren’t saying I’m a bad blogger because you don’t think I’m beautiful? Whether or not I am any of those things, I don’t conceal who I am, try to be something I’m not, or write about things that don’t interest me.

      We are socialized to compare ourselves to others, as you have here with Jordan and I, but people are starting to see beyond comparisons and appreciating themselves for who they are.

      You’re right about comments; they tend to be negative. Technically I shouldn’t have posted your comments because they have nothing to do with paragliding. All that I ask is that your comments be relevant to the content. If you’d like to comment on me personally, don’t you think it’s more appropriate to send your anorexic accusations in an email with a tone of concern instead of on my public website in a disdainful voice amongst thousands of people who visit because they enjoy it?

      Per your request, here are the answers to your questions:

      I majored in Entertainment Communications and minored in film at The University of Southern California. I graduated in three years, cum laude.

      Not sure what you mean by my backup plan. That means you are assuming I can’t survive with this blog. It just so happens your are right, I can’t. So I am exploring other options in terms of creating videos for other sites and marketing positions.

      As I always say, blogging as a career is HARD WORK. It means being savvy in many different fields and is a true test to your entrepreneurial skills, especially in a recession. If this blog only demanded I create content, I would be a happy camper. But instead I’m also building a brand, reaching out to possible sponsors (which you must know is hard since you haven’t seen any new ones yet), networking within an industry I know little about, developing and optimizing the site (which I know even less about), producing and editing videos, and managing the nuts and bolts of the business. Not to mention doing all of that while leading a life worth writing about.

      Basically to have a successful blog you need two things: compelling content and optimization. Most of the time I try to be compelling, but search engine optimization, linking, etc is far more complicated than meta tags and is truly an art. Sites you love like HuffPo are built on a foundation that is hyperactive in terms of generating traffic instead of building the audience organically.

      And finally, if you would like to continue the negative commentary, please either email me personally or visit http://www.getoffmyinternets.wordpress.com. Alice publishes a blog that keeps up with what she considers the blunders of “web-celebs” and hosts a comments section that is truly snarky (while not being overly offensive). I often laugh actually, those guys keep me on my toes.

  • Jo

    Mary, great response. However, I have a feeling it will fall on deaf ears as I get the impression lovely Darla is a few grapes short of a fruit salad.

    Sweet Darla, your social awareness needs some work. I can see you are trying very hard to put together a well thought out post that will successfully articulate your bitterness towards mean old Mary for making you feel not good enough and I appreciate your passion. I myself wrote a negative PMS induced post on Marys site last week so I am not all rainbows & kittens when it comes to comments. The difference is mine was actually relative to the content on the page. Let that soak in…..try real hard….get it?

    You failed to provide any real evidence that supports your idea that Mary promotes any sort anorexia thinspiration, you spelled Jordans name wrong, and you actually penned the sentence “we share some friends and I know folks who have first-hand heard all sorts of really awful anorexic things she and her friend adrien have said when they try to fit in as fashion hags in nyc” (words can be anorexic???) which makes me question why I am even bothering to argue with you as its pretty evident that you are, in fact, an idiot. I just don’t understand the point of coming and sh*tting where Mary sleeps just for the sake of ripping apart her appearance or comparing her to people she has nothing in common with other than the fact they are blond and at one point broke cupcake with the same self absorbed twat in NYC.

    Point being, DARLA, not everyone will fit your personal life cookie cutter, so quit being such a bitch.

  • jj

    Jo, I’m sorry, but that was just. . . weird. I mean, I read that and thought, that girl needs needs to get fitted for a leash. Way to make the comments section ghetto on a whole ‘nother level. Why get mad at other commenters (esp if you yourself recently went off)? Mary is a big girl and can handle responding. To her credit, she responded fairly decently, though I do think it’s catty to pretend to link to a site that is critical about you, Mary, when really it features a post pretty much praising you and many posts hating on “that self absorbed twat in NYC.” LOL! But like, really, really, classless, Jo. You must be one of Mary’s friends in disguise, as they’ve always been active posters here and elsewhere. Why else go to such pains and appear so rabid all in her defense?! That did nothing for her. And honestly. . . what is there to say about paragliding? Um, “yay!” The post about her site and its content or lack of, got 46 comments.

  • Jennifer

    Mary, this was a fun and informative video. I think these videos are where you really excel. Even though you provided a link to the company, I would have liked to have known how much it costs for a lesson (even if you got it comped). Anyway, great job :)

    • The cost is $200/person for the day.

      The company in SB is offering MTM readers a 15% discount if you mention the blog when you make a reservation.

      Glad you enjoyed the video. It’s a really cool experience I hope to have on future trips.

  • Jennifer

    See, this is why I like Mary folks. You ask her nicely what you wish she would do differently and she gives it a shot. Thanks for listening to your readers Mary.

    • I try Jennifer.

      And just so you know, I am working on all of the suggestions that were made on my toothbrush post, I just need to find a programmer who has the time to do it.

  • Tim

    This is pretty damn cool, Mary! I’m proud of ya. I’ve made 174 skydive jumps over the years, but have always wanted to try paragliding too. One of these days I’m gonna get up to the place near me just north of Austin and do it.

    Another one I want to try is the paragliding where you wear a small motor and prop on your back that allows you to stay up for much longer. Looks like a raging good time! :)

    You did good. Thanks for sharing this with the rest of us.


    • Tim,

      Wow 174!! I’m working up to one!

      They were talking about the motor gliders, but apparently if you’re in a good spot with a lot of thermals, you can stay up for at least an hour.

  • franchesca

    this video was really cute! i’ve been saying all along that video is where you excel. you really can see how much you’ve grown as an on camera personality. it’s pretty awesome.

    as for the “haters”, i’ve always been critical of your content, but i give praise where praise is due. i think you did a great job handling darla as well as taking constructive criticism from some of the commenters on other posts. this blog is a learning process and i think you’re on the right track towards having a great site.

    • Thanks for the support Franchesca.

      I’m working to make it a place that the readers love as much as I do. But you’re right, it’s a learning process and all of the feeback – good, bad, and even small notes of support – are really helpful.