“Any woman with sufficient self-confidence and a cool head could fly across the English Channel as easily as I did.” –Harriet Quimby
Unstoppable Person of the Week: Our Unstoppable Person of the Week is Ms. Harriet Quimby, the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel in 1912!
“Any woman with sufficient self-confidence and a cool head could fly across the English Channel as easily as I did.”
The Obstacle: Fog, Freezing Temps, and Swirling Winds
Have you ever heard of American Harriet Quimby? Me neither. In 1911, at age 36, Ms. Harriet Quimby earned her pilot’s license. That year, 100 pilots were killed. Her flight over the Channel began at dawn on April 12, 1912. She soared over the Channel navigating by compass, for the frozen fog never cleared. A stunning, stylish person (she sometimes piloted in high heels), she successfully flew over what was then the most dangerous 22 miles for pilots. Alas, the grand Titanic sank two days later, and Harriet Quimby was relegated to the cloistered annuals of history.
The Win: Plot Your Own Flight Path
Ms. Quimby forged her own path both as a pilot and a writer. In her mid-twenties, she moved alone from San Francisco to New York and became the drama critic and editor of the women’s page for Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly. Describing her first year, Ms. Quimby wrote, “for hard, grinding work,” which, “with some ability and plenty of the spirit called go-aheadativeness, will after a year of discouragements mingled with occasional lightning flashes of success, more than repay one for coming to New York.” Hard work. Discouragements. Occasional success. That is the path, and one could do worse than follow her sound advice. She encouraged women to pursue men-only careers. One article she penned was titled: Can Women Run Automobiles? Harriet Quimby died in a plane crash near Boston less than a year after crossing the Channel, and just before she was scheduled to be the first female pilot to deliver U.S. Mail by air.
The Challenge: If you are pursuing a goal, I encourage you to gain courage from Harriet Quimby’s story and take one step a day to make your dream come true. Progress can be painful and you must not let discouragement beat your bravery. There are no shortcuts, just “hard, grinding work” and the only failure is quitting. One step a day.
Now go be unstoppable!
Author of Destination Unstoppable® and soon-to-be-released, Win Like a Girl®
Source: I read about Ms. Quimby in a June 13, 2022, Wall Street Journal book review of Fearless: Harriet Quimby, A Life Without Limit