Summer 1993: I was at a water park, first time as a grown-up. My date’s idea. Sounds fun, huh?! Well, I didn’t want to be there. I had packed all the gear I needed, but I was still in my street clothes and being highly uncooperative. Finally I changed into my swimsuit, and we continued to scope the rides. I kept saying no, no thanks, you go ahead, etc. My date was being very patient – probably more patient than I would have been had we been, say… doing Nia or Pilates and our roles were reversed. We rounded a corner and there was a ride with a raft built for two. I was still diligently resisting, but my date was being beautifully insistent. I got in and I held on tight, wishing very hard I was anywhere else. Down the slide we went.
OH. MY. GOSH. How freakin’ fun was that!!!! The second we landed in the pool at the bottom, I had a mind blowing life changing revelation: I had been scorchingly afraid! Even more mind blowing, I realized how fear had been singularly defining my life and my choices. Until that moment, at the bottom of the slide, I had been completely ignorant how much fear had been strangulating me. All the risks I’d never taken flooded over me, all the places I hadn’t gone, all the people I didn’t meet: MY. WHOLE. LIFE. I was clueless until we hit that water.
Changed my life FOREVER.
Today: Fear still creeps in… OFTEN (old coping skills die hard). But now I simply remember how much fun I have when I am willing to take the risk. I learned VISCERALLY how much anticipation can be so paralyzing while execution can be so liberating. A few times I have risked and got a big fat FAIL. But even a big fat FAIL never feels as scary as the anticipation of failing.
I am especially grateful that one of my life changing moments was SO fun!
In the comments below I can’t wait to hear about some big (or not so big) risks you’ve taken and what fun gifts they brought you 🙂
Great love and big risky hugs,