A Life Changing Adventure.
Have you ever thought about what it truly takes to achieve something that your mind has already determined to be impossible? Whether it’s fear or the thought of failure you’ve already been psyched out from actually attempting to try it.
When I was a child, I was a major daredevil. I would hang with the neighborhood boys day and night. Whatever they would do I thought to myself, I could do that too. I loved the challenge to compete with them. I remember one time a few older boys built a dirt ramp to jump bikes. It looked like the coolest thing ever. As I watched them start far back and pedal their fastest to reach optimal speed to land the jump, it created a sense of adrenaline for me. I just watched for a while admiring their strength and courage. The amount of joy that illuminated the atmosphere, after sticking the landing, was contagious. However, it wasn’t until I saw one of the boys my age do it and it made me even more anxious to try.
So, I built up my courage. As I pedaled far enough to build my speed and strength, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and took off. Pedalling through the light wind. Embracing the moment of fear, excitement, fun, and pure nervousness I launched off the ramp. Hair behind me. Air beneath me. For one moment I felt limitless. As if nothing could ever stop my power to launch and take the leap.
As I crashed short of the landing ramp, the bike intertwined with my body descended flat in between the two ramps in a dirt hole. BOOM! Just like that, the power evaporated from my body, I was stripped of joy, and overcome with embarrassment and shame. I could not phathom why my outcome was different than those boys.
It has been moments like this that occurred throughout my life that eventually led me to take less risk. The daredevil mentality dimmed so low that it was as if it never existed. Don’t get me more wrong, I’ve also achieved much triumph. For example; making a game diving catch at short stop or hitting a walk off RBI to win the game. Nevertheless, after every injury, failure, or mistake it diminished my self belief. The belief I had when I was young that seemed like nothing was impossible. As a young girl, I was capable of anything. I literally laughed in the face of fear, someone telling me ‘no’, or I couldn’t do it. It was those moments, I believed, defined me growing up.
Overtime, my approach changed. I started thinking about the risk and not the reward. I forgot how great it felt to achieve the unachievable. What I’ve learned has been those years where I lived wild and free, were the best years of my life. Gain and lose never crossed my mind. I did not allow fear to limit my decisions, until recently.
A few months ago, I went to Puerto Rico. We searched for fun things to do, but things were limited due to COVID-19. We came across a ziplining adventure site. As we drove up the mountains weaving in and out, I held my breath, tensed up, watching the road. Every curve felt like the last one. I thought to myself, we might not make it to the destination. Fear began to control my thoughts. I could literally imagine us crashing. Everything I knew to practice pretty much went out the window such as;
calm breathing- gone
positive thoughts- nonexistent
It was as if I physically and mentally allowed fear to own me. I had no thoughts toward ziplining. Something I vowed I would never do. When we finally arrived it was a huge sense of relief. Everyone in the car became a little more pleasant and calm. We parked and had to walk up a small hill as it poured rain. I powered walked to gain more strength to reach the top. Not one time did my mind think about ziplining. Again I was focused on the obstacle ahead, which was now to reach the top.
Before I knew it, we were in the front of the line and it was my turn. I gripped the handle bars and clinched over. Into the unknown I went. I barely looked away from the line that was designed to lead me safely to the other side. I braced myself for impact as I approached the landing dock. Glad to be done is the only thing that crossed my mind.
I had no idea what was next.
Little to my knowledge this ziplining station was not just one but an eight course adventure up through the mountains in Puerto Rico. There was no turning back now.
We climbed through trees, broken steps, unguided stair paths to reach each course. As we hiked up and down I knew that I was truly in for an adventure. During each course I learned something new.
I changed the way I held the handle bars
I got comfortable enough to lean back
I figured out the handle bars allowed me to control and stare
I learned how to embrace for impact at the landing dock
We got to eighth and final course which took the longest to climb and had the worst stair guide. We soon realized that this was the longest zipline course they had. Nearly twice as long as the first one we did.
Before I knew it, I was hooked on it with excitement. I took off with the biggest smile. As I zipped through the air, I admired the most beautifullest island. I took deep breaths of the fresh pure air. I glazed over the trees and allowed the wind to speak to me. As the mist from the rain ran off my cheeks I thought to myself, WOW what a remarkable experience!
I write to share that no matter how much we try to live a life without fear, anxiety, hate, pain, etc. we must practice truth daily. It is a moment by moment experience to practice and condition the brain and body to align with the truth. The truth that fear is only what we give it. And I’ve personally given it too much. The best part about this awareness is the fact that I’ve never been fully aware of it, until NOW.
Now is the moment to embrace that fear nor anxiety or any other
detrimental apprehensions will dictate us.
Now is the time to live freely! Live bravely! LIVE!!!