The truth stripped bare looks like this: I should have accelerated in ground effect as I had the last time I departed Telluride, back in April. Then, I screamed off the end of the runway at 125 kias only 20 feet off the deck. When I pulled back on the yoke I had real authority over the lifting surfaces. Had I done the same here, I would have been comfortably faster than any gust trying to ruin my day. Instead, I was thrown by the sluggish takeoff roll and rotated at normal Vr, leaving myself susceptible to the wild winds. Had I really thought through how the airplane was going to behave, I would have expected the loss of performance. And it is all about expectations. If you know it’s going to happen, you can deal. The surprises are what release the hormonal cascade in our brains during an acute stress response — something that might have once been helpful in, say, a saber-toothed tiger attack. None of it helpful in an airplane.