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Learning to Fly

An Uncommon Memoir of Human Flight, Unexpected Love, and One Amazing Dog

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.



World-class free climber Steph Davis delivers a “thrilling and infectiously interesting” (San Francisco Book Review) memoir about rediscovering herself through love, loss, and the joy of letting go. The paperback includes a new epilogue in which Davis shares how her husband Mario’s tragic accident has affected her relationship to climbing and flying.

Steph Davis is a superstar in the climbing community and has ascended some of the world’s most challenging and awe-inspiring peaks. But after her first husband makes a controversial climb in a national park, the media fallout escalates rapidly and in one fell swoop leaves her without a partner, a career, a source of income...or a purpose.

In the company of only her beloved dog, Fletch, Davis sets off on a search for a new identity and discovers skydiving. Falling out of an airplane is completely antithetical to the climber’s control she’d practiced for so long, but she perseveres, turning each daring jump into an opportunity to fly, first as a skydiver, then as a base jumper. As she opens herself to falling, she also finds the strength to open herself to love again, even in the wake of heartbreak. And before too long, she meets someone who shares her passion for living life to the limit.

With gorgeous black-and-white photos throughout, Learning to Fly is Davis’s fascinating account of her transformation. From her early tentative skydives, to zipping into her first wingsuit, to surviving devastating accidents against the background of breathtaking cliffs, to soaring beyond her past limits, she discovers new hope and joy in letting go.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 10, 2012 – Everything in professional rock climber Davis s world livelihood, home, marriage becomes upended in an instant when her husband legally climbs an arch (the famous rock on Utah s license plate) and gets on the very bad side of a national news story. After the Park Service, angry at the publicity her husband receives for his daring ascents, launches a federal investigation to determine the legality of climbing the arch, they lose their biggest sponsors, their reputations are in shambles, and their troubled relationship falls apart. Davis writes with honesty and bravery about the sudden devastation and her painful and intensive recovery. In the aftermath Davis decides to learn to skydive. She d tried tandem jumping once, but hated depending on others. Instead she enrolls in a free-fall course on her wedding anniversary and on her first jump feels a lightness she thought had been permanently lost. In a matter of weeks, she goes from complete novice to jumping solo. In becoming a skydiver and realizing how little she can control, she learns to trust herself again, lets go of her need for total self-reliance, and finds renewal. Although there is a fair amount of climbing and skydiving jargon, Davis s philosophy of facing one s fears will strike a chord with readers.

Customer Reviews

Good perspective into climbing and jumping

As a climber who has lived in his car for 8 months last year and now find myself traveling and anticipating the day I can start jumping, I found this book very captivating. It could do with out some sappy chapters (dog/love related ones) but these were clearly important to steph so they still weren't bad. Great read, probably the quickest I've even finished reading a book since I really enjoyed it.

Learning to Fly
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Apr 02, 2013
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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