Driven by a passion for fast, fun machines, Sharon Chapman faces her greatest fear head on.
Sharon Chapman puts her foot down and the “pop-pop-pop-pop” of her F‑TYPE engine echoes through Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard. As a pilot, motorcycle racer and F‑TYPE owner, Sharon’s daredevil attitude has made her something of a local celebrity. “The first time I got in an F‑TYPE and I heard that engine? I was like, ’true love’.”
It’s clear she loves to have fun in her car but, for Sharon, thrill-seeking is something that came to her later in life. “I’m a mom, and I always have to be safety first.” Driving her F‑TYPE was something of a gateway for Sharon. It gave her confidence to tackle one of her greatest obstacles. “I was terrified of flying.”
Sharon and her husband Chris were unable to enjoy traveling. “I thought I was going to die when I set foot on a commercial plane. When we got married, we were given a trip to Europe by his mother,” she explains. “I said, ’You tell her no thank you’.” Her anxiety had completely crippled her, until her husband came up with a solution. “He suggested I take flying lessons.”
The lessons were a success. Shortly after receiving her pilot’s license, Sharon and her husband took their first overseas trip, to Dubai. “We’d waited 12 or 13 years to go on a trip out of the country – the lessons worked. I felt in control. I wasn’t scared.”
Besides being able to conquer a 14-hour flight, Sharon also bought herself a bright yellow dual cabin plane that she flies at least once a week.
Having come full circle, her fears are now her therapy. “If I’m able to drive my F‑TYPE, ride my bike and fly my plane then it’s been a pretty good day.” A little overwhelmed with emotion, she explains, “To go from being afraid of flying to being a pilot is so important to me.” She beams a big smile. “But you know what? And I did it. I did it all by myself.”
“IF I’M ABLE TO DRIVE MY F‑TYPE, RIDE MY BIKE AND FLY MY PLANE THEN IT’S BEEN A PRETTY GOOD DAY.”