In 25 years, I had never failed. I hadn’t ever missed air. I had aced every assignment I’d been given, been promoted and given more money and pats on the back. I mean, I’d earned them. Presidential campaigns, the Berlin Wall, Apartheid in South Africa, Tienanmen Square - I’d asked to do new things and harder things and managed to accomplish them.
OK, some of them weren’t perfect at first but I learned fast and would work until I dropped. The point is that I’d never failed. There had never been that stark realization of failure, the feeling that you can’t breathe, that your neck has locked and you can’t figure out what to do with your hands, your eyes. Listening to the echo in your head just to be sure you haven’t made a mistake - that you didn’t misinterpret what your boss just said.
But you didn’t.