In 1990, whilst I was training for the hotel trade, I saw four of the six lifts at the annual Bristol Balloon fiesta, one of the biggest events of its type in the world. One highlight was reknowned hang glider pilot, Judy Leden, being taken up below a balloon and released some distance away, then flying back to the launch site at Ashton Court, all of this being captured on video and relayed on a huge screen.
There was only one thought in my head: I WANT!!!
Four years later, working at BT, one of the guys walked in and said, "Hey Reg (it's a long story!), do you want to come paragliding?"... "Er, what's paragliding?"... "It's like hang gliding but different." I went once; I went twice; I was hooked; I trained, got my Student Pilot, went to Spain and got (eventually) my Club Pilot rating and have been flying whenever I can ever since.
Paragliding has, quite frankly changed my life. If you want to find out more, have a look at the Avon Hang Gliding and Paragliding site, of which I'm the webmaster.