This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Posts tagged ‘fear’

Fear and the Adventure

I am not sure if I have become more adventurous as I get older or if it has always been there and I just didn’t act on it as much. This morning I have been putting together the details of my next big adventure and this part is always so exciting and fun. I am visionary and love to dream, and dream big. When it comes time to live out the adventure it gets much more challenging. I really want to do these things, but if I were completely honest, I am scared. Packing is one of the hardest things and I leave it to the very last minute. Packing means this is real.

I have had an anxiety attack once on the way to the airport. I have never had one before, or since then. I think the more I ignore my fears and go anyways, the easier it gets. At least that’s what I am hoping! I sometimes feel like people think I am so brave but really if that’s true it’s not because of a lack of fear. I am scared of all kinds of things, I just don’t make decisions based on those fears. Do you know people who do? I do, and I think they are very nice people, but I don’t want to be like them. They get trapped and never learn, never grow and never experience new things. They never challenge themselves.

I can think of so many things I would have missed if I had listened to my fears instead of ignoring them. Don’t get me wrong it’s really awful to walk through it, but the other side is worth it. Maybe it helps that I can’t let my fears show most of the time because it’s just my kids and I. I need to be strong and appear fearless when we hit turbulence on a flight – they need to be assured everything will be ok even though my guts are turning inside out. Did I mention I hate flying? Oh, I HATE flying. This doesn’t mean I am fake with my kids but there are times when they need to feel confident in me and so we talk about how scary that was after the incident is behind us.

The adventures seem to keep getting bigger each time. 2016 I plan to actually fly over an ocean, which has been a fear of mine for a very long time. 2015 is a bit of a precursor for that, though I am still remaining on our continent. There is so much to see and do in this world and we have such a short life. I can’t even begin to do a small fraction of it all or see it all, but I want to do what I can.

I think it boils down to three kinds of people: Those who are scared to do things and don’t, those who are scared to do things and do it anyways, and those who have done it so much they aren’t cared anymore. I am working my way to the third category one fear at a time.

Yes that is actually me in a harness extremely high in the trees on a single wire. Not my favorite experience.

Yes that is actually me in a harness extremely high in the trees on a single wire. Not my favorite experience.

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I’m afraid

I spent Christmas with my best friends, and it was amazing. I commented that I have been doing things that I never would have done before and I think that it’s part of a rebellious phase I am in, to which Alex replied that I am not in a phase at all – I have rebelled my whole life. He’s so right. That being said I am pushing my own limits.

Last weekend in Whistler I sled down the fastest, steepest and most technical track in the world – head first. It’s this crazy thing called the skeleton. Before my first run I tried not to think much about what I was doing. Then on the  run I just about peed myself. It started out slow and gentle but in seconds I was traveling at 94.8 kms per hour. In the orientation their safety tip was to “act like a sack of potatoes” – I am totally serious. Who says that?

I am going to admit tears escaped my eyes that were in addition to the ones produced by the 3g force of turn 16.  When it was over I had to sit down.  I was in shock. This was like a roller coaster on steroids and then some. I don’t like roller coasters.

You pay for two runs and the staff wondered if I would do my second. Everything in me said walk away (I was not capable of running), turn for your life and escape! And I said of course I am going to. I am sure my body face palmed on the inside. They asked if I liked it and I said no, they laughed.

I was terrified to do that again but I realized that given the current season of my life, I am not holding back for anyone. I make the decisions I want and it’s all up to me. The only thing holding me back is myself. It was exactly this situation here. I really didn’t think I was going to die, possibly get very hurt if I did something stupid but for all intensive purposes this was a calculated risk. The only reason I would have said no to the second run is fear. I just would not let fear win.

I have made, and stuck, to some of the hardest decisions of my life in this season. I will not let fear hold me back.

It doesn’t mean the fear leaves once I make the decision, it just means I don’t listen. The time I had to wait for my second run felt like an eternity. It was awful and I felt like I was waiting for the executioner. We had to change out my sled because it just didn’t feel right, which was probably more me than the sled. Then I started sliding down.

The second run was very different than the first. I knew I would pick up speed quickly and I was ready for it. I knew what the turns felt like. I left some of my fear on that track. I still had tears when I finished and I still had to sit down after the run – I don’t think my body likes g force. skeleton

That moment will encapsulate what I want for 2014. I’m going to be afraid. This is not going to be an easy time but I have proven to myself that I can, and will, still make the decision I need to in spite of my fear. It will not shackle me. Maybe from now on, every time I am afraid I will just keep repeating to myself “sack of potatoes.” The irony of it is that thinking of a life lived not limiting myself from fear makes me a bit afraid – what more crazy stuff can I get into now? #bringit

If you have read this far in this post here is some fun:

A helmet cam from the skelton track in whistler

My first run