Alana Holland, adventure reporter

Have you ever been in a slump? Down in the dumps? Stuck in a rut? Or some other similar cliche about being in somewhere icky.

Yes, I said icky.

My point is, sometimes when things are going really, really well, we forget why they are good. Routine can be a good and a bad thing. It’s great to be in a routine of brushing your teeth, praying, and working out. But never let your life become so play-by-play that you stop striving.

I’ve noticed something about myself. Whenever I am going along my way, doing well, I begin to resent it. I begin to get tired out. Knowing this is what typically happens… I continue to do it.

It was just the middle of my “rut time” last week when it took defying heights to beat it.

Working for Michigan Radio, I’m loving every minute of reporting, gathering sound bites, writing stories and attending events. I’m becoming more and more comfortable with introducing new ideas, asking questions, writing, and being able to work hard. That’s what I am getting most from all this.

But somehow I fell into my routine rut last week. I began rushing the idea of moving back to Grand Rapids, of giving up and running home.

I said it took defying heights to change that. Enter my trip of the B17 WWII Bomber, the “Yankee Lady.”

DSCN0387 2

As much as I want her to get better, I’m slightly secretly happy Tracy Samilton broke her leg. This is because she offered up her seat on this baby to me.

We were at Willow Run Airport near Ypsilanti. Willow Run used to be a factory that made the B24 bombers. In fact, this was the home to the original Rosie the Riviters. The women that took to the “men’s work” while their husbands and family went to war worked at GM Willow Run to build parts.

Now, the old factory needs to be a little… updated. It’s falling apart, quite frankly.


Their plan is raise $4.5 million dollars to turn the space into the Yankee Air Museum for WWII planes and artifacts.

Oh, in less than 10 days.

But this post is not about the Yankee Lady or Willow Run. The best part of this day was watching the other reporters in action. I chatted, interviewed, and got right up in their faces. In fact, I was the only girl who rode the bomber. Can you say legit? And yes, I was in heels. I must keep to my true fashion.

But the one phrase that got me, straight to the core, was one reporter after stepping off the bomber.

“You’re an INTERN!? Wow… we all thought you were an on-air personality for a TV station maybe out of state because we didn’t recognize you.”

Alright, let’s go.

Its because sometimes, you have to learn to be harder on yourself, put in extra hours, and be willing to go up in life. Quite literally.


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