Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015--An analogy.

Last winter, my extended family and I took a trip to Mexico. My husband is not a "beach sitter" like his wife. I could waste a week on a chair, in the sun under a palapa, drinking icy drinks and reading. This man needs adventure. 

We decided that we would spend an "adventure" day--zip lining. Sounded like a good idea-the kids were excited, Mr. was thrilled, and Grandma + Grandpa agreed. 

We arrived at the park, waited in line to get harnessed up, and were given direction to choose course A or course B. We chose Course A and skipped off to get our adrenaline rush for the day. 

The thing about zip lines, that I must've temporarily blocked out, is that they are really high up in the air and this little harness and a steel cable are all that prevented us from plummeting to our death. I don't like risk or heights. Why would I ever agree to this?

We started the climb to the first tower, a spiral staircase millions of miles (or so it felt) up in the air. With each wind of the steps, I heard that voice in my head. The one shouting, "ABORT. ABORT. Turn around NOW. No. NO.NO." (My palms are sweating even now re-telling this story.) 

We continued to wind our way up--the voices still shouting and me, practicing taking deep breaths. We made it to the entrance of the tower. We had to get in line. (Which allowed additional time to think about what I was about to do AND the ability to watch others take their turn.) 

I lost it. The moment I realized I had to step out onto a platform beyond the walls where I was currently standing, with nothing in between me and the Mexican air. There was a half a second of time where you remained untethered and outside the safety of a barrier wall standing at an angle with wet shoes. Lord God help me, I cannot do this. 

I took one look at my husband, and started sobbing uncontrollably. "I'm turning around, I'll meet you at the bottom." "I can't do this." He started to giggle and told me, "You'll be ok." I insisted I wasn't ok. (Meanwhile, everyone in line is staring at me wondering what my problem is. A few random strangers even offered their advice. "You're going to love it. You'll be ok.")

Still convinced that these were my last minutes on earth, and with my children ahead of me in line looking so excited to be here, I focused on watching their expressions when it was their turn to go.  

Be brave. You can do this. I was going to show this family of mine, that I wasn't the "fun killer" they often accuse me of. Shaking in my boots, I stepped over the wall. (Every expletive was screeching in my head and repeating itself over and over again.) The tower guard stopped the voices when he said, "Sit down and enjoy your ride". I sat, and he gave me a little push off the platform.

I looked out above the trees into the sunny Mexican sky, smoothly sailing down this steel cord, and thought to myself. I was terrified of this? I lived. Enjoyed it. and proceeded to do Courses A and B. 

This is me: Tower 3. 

Smiling. With the ability to say, " I did this. I survived. I kicked Fear that day."

This is how I want to feel in 2015. Brave. Fear cannot be the excuse.

I can't remember the movie I was watching, but this story and this quote is a good reminder for this year. 

"Danger is very real. But fear, is a choice." 

Happy New Year!