I had AN OPPORTUNITY, this weekend, to do something that I really, really, wanted to do...but that I was scared shitless of.
Actually, I have a long list of things that qualify. Skydiving, for instance. I want to, but the idea of it makes me want to vomit.
The idea of never trying it, however, makes me want to vomit more. (Blurp)
Seriously, who on their death bed, thinks, "I sure wish I'd never tried anything, my entire life." I mean, unless their deathbed arrives shortly after their parachute failed to open.
I'm moved to do a lot of crazy things with that one thought: Would I rather be someone who DOES, or someone who DOES NOT?!
I have a tattoo because of it.
I intend to get a motorcyle license because of it.
I just went 4-wheeling because of it.
Yeah. I did.
I actually intended not to. I thought about the circumstances of my life: Mom needs a lil extra help these days, Sisser's still barely up and around, her family's energy needs to be with her...seriously...it's not a good time for me to risk, say, dying. The timing is bad.
So, when I was asked, Saturday, "are you going to try it?," my mind said "NO! Hell NO, I'm not going to try it!!" While all graymatter was clearly justifying the causes why I would not go, my big fat mouth calmly blurted, "Well"—sip of bottled water, pinkies up—"of course."
A helmet was smacked on my noggin, a 2-minute lesson (front brake, back brake, accelerator) ensued, everyone raised their hands and swore on The Bible not to laugh, and I was off, on a Baby Trail, around a soybean field. That's not even the Beginner Trail. It was like that antique car ride at Six Flags, where, when you're a kid, you're tricked into thinking you're actually driving, but if you take your hands off the wheel...you still get back safely.
Round and round the baby trail I went. I learned a lot. I learned that if you chicken out and decided you'd rather follow than lead, you end up coming back looking like this:
You can't tell, from this photo, how much actual dirt was in my teeth. 4 hours and several bottles of water later, and I still had dirt in my teeth.
Later, when I was asked if I'd like to take another spin, I asked if I might be ready for the Beginner's Trail.
Everyone in my group went off into an actual football huddle to decide if I really was ready, and which was the beginny-est beginner's route. Then they re-helmeted me, and led me back out.
Beginner, my butt. There was water, and some ups and some downs, and a hairpin turn or two that had to be taken quickly enough to make the next hill, but slowly enough not to tip over and tumble down a hill into the lake. I nearly gave myself whiplash by accelerating too quickly and I screamed twice, thinking I was going to run into trees or leave the trail.
When we emerged back on to my trusty Baby Trail, I was hyperventilating, and had decided that my role as camp photographer for the afternoon was secure.
I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
It's good, sometimes, to shake the dust out of our lives (and into our teeth), and conquer something that rattles us.
It doesn't have to be as big as sky-diving.
It can be a road-trip, a dinner, or a movie, alone.
A trip to a foreign grocer, in which we might have to ask for help.
Big city traffic.
Making that first invitation to someone you think just might end up a friend.
What's on your list of yet-unconquered fears and/or dreams, big or small?
While you're talking, I'm going to go taste a chocolate-covered grasshopper. I hear they're a delicacy in some countries, and I don't want to look back and think "I never tried one of those."