The People's Chemist

Losing: The Lesson Nobody Teaches

It was 4 pm in Idaho. My son, Blair, and I crawled into our 1962 Mooney to fly south toward Phoenix. Door locked, we tightened our belts in anticipation of the turbulence. We were already sweating.

Headsets on, we strapped on our oxygen masks. We’d soon be at 12,500ft to clear the mountains south of Salt Lake City, UT. The extra oxygen was going to keep my head clear for the 5 hour trip.

That was a safety precaution for the last hour. It was gonna be dark. I envisioned a bright, moonlit night and a smooth, cool breeze pushing us home under the stars…But nothing went as planned.

Blair had just finished his 3rd and final day of wrestling. He passed his “test” with flying colors. Placing 3rd at AZ State, I wanted him to get a feel for competing on the big stage, with the top kids in USA.

Could he remember how to fight even when losing? Could he bounce back and just keeping looking ahead until victory was achieved?

His first two days, he took four losses.

For two years, I’ve been teaching him how to wrestle his ass off against the best. And how to lose.

Losing isn’t a lesson most parents teach their kids. They’re always pushing to win. And when there’s a loss, everyone’s dizzy with emotion and learning comes to a halt.

Most people quit…it’s the same in life.

If losing can’t be mastered, nothing can be learned.

It’s either “win or learn.”

And when you confront that, you toss out losses like old shoes – you bounce back and only look ahead until victorious. You become fearless…and that’s who people fear the most on the mat (and in life).

Fearless people are always imposing their will on the world around them to be victorious – win or lose. That’s true success. And nothing teaches it better than wrestling.

Blair knows this.

On the third day, he bounced back to win 3 and take 2 more losses. He was departing a new and improved wrestler and person.

We were ready for takeoff.

We crawled to 12,500 ft.

At 10,000 ft Blair was already asleep. I checked our oxygen. The tank had malfunctioned. We were solely on our lungs.

It was gonna to be a long flight.

Weather reports put us clear over small fires on our path. We would also narrowly miss thunderstorm activity near Phoenix – by 40 miles to be exact.

The turbulence felt like we were being pushed around at a Slipknot concert.

Two and half hours into the flight, the small fires grew to large ones. The smoke stole our view of Lake Powell. Our noses took in thin, smoky air…in the bumps. The sun was setting.

Designed by Lindbergh, Winslow airport peered out from the desert floor like a refuge. I pulled the power way back and dove in for a quick fuel stop. I keyed the runway lights…nothing. I tried again. No lights.

I could see good enough…”you good Blair?”

“Yea, we don’t need the lights, do we?”

“Nope, I got the runway numbers in site.”

I opened my eyes wide for a quick wake up and took a deep breath for richer air.

Touchdown…still no lights lining the runway, LOL.

A quick fill up at the self-serve tank, we lined up for departure to Phoenix. The heat made my engine think it was taking off at 8,000 ft. My nose was pointed to the darkest region.

We climbed like a wounded duck. I imagined Lindbergh had experienced the same type of climb out. For a brief moment, it felt great to be in his shoes – two guys problem solving their own fate in the same conditions, different times.

(He built the runway extra-long for times just like these…)

“Gonna be a slow climb, Blair. Don’t worry about it.”

We inched into the hot, dark mass at 200 ft/min, not our usual 600ft/min. It got darker every 100 ft.

I keyed the mic for flight following so Phoenix tower could back me up on navigation. Our ship was too low for them to receive our transmission.

We were solo. And a lot closer to that thunderstorm than anticipated. Wind sheer followed the darkness and the heat bumps. Like a boat motor fighting off waves, you could hear my prop wrestle the swirling wind…

“How are you at night flight’s dad?”

“I’m awesome at night flights Blair. We’ll be home soon.”

I had a good laugh…

He pushed his glasses up and looked at the black wall in front of us. I adjusted the lights on my panel and just kept looking ahead, so to speak. My sweaty palm guided our ship homebound.

The orange lights of Phoenix looked like a spark compared to my usual LA lights. The moon and stars were still hiding. We touched down like a butterfly with sore knees.

I crawled out a much better pilot, regardless of “losing” most of my comforts in the sky…

Dare to live young,

The People’s Chemist

P.S. My plan B for oxygen was CardioFX. I popped 3 in the first hour and washed them down with a Dr. Zevia ( Lea-Ann had a big glass of Italian wine waiting…chilled, nearly frozen.

Learn how Cardio FX controls blood pressure, busts clots and increases oxygen and nutrient distribution for a bulletproof cardiovascular system:

About the Author

My name is Shane “The People’s Chemist” Ellison. I hold a master’s degree in organic chemistry and am the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded Edition (SourceBooks). I’ve been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman’s World, US News and World Report, as well as Women’s Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a medicine and health expert. Start protecting yourself and loved ones with my FREE report, 3 Worst Meds.


The People’s Chemist provides these articles for information only. They are not meant to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and do not replace professional medical advice from a medical doctor. I am not a doctor and would only “play doctor” if I was with my wife. In fact, I have not even read Grey’s Anatomy.

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