Okay, so I admit that I slept with a toy gun under my pillow when I was a young child. It made me feel better to know I had protection from potential burglars. After all, I lived in a ground floor apt in New York City on the UWS (upper west side) where anything was possible! My father was often called upon to check under the bed for anything lurking, with plans to come out once the lights were turned off. Ben was good-natured about this and always there to be my protector from the boogey man, I could breathe a sigh of relief knowing a thorough check had been made.
My fears were many and included some very serious and mature musings, such as “Does life go on after I die?” (I wrestled with this one for a long time!) and what was that sound coming out of the radiator in my bedroom? Though my protector, Ben was also an overly anxious father, who hovered over me and watched my every move — which made me a Nervous Nellie.
So it is no wonder, with this back drop, that I would be the one on the ground watching in an amusement park or, worse yet, the big kid on the turtle roller coaster ride!
Nevertheless, on vacation this past week on the beautiful Oregon coast, I decided to face my fears and try sand dune buggy riding. This is a popular sport in one of the many beach towns on the coast where sand instead of dirt fills the preserved parkland. These dunes look like they could be on Cape Cod and are not found in any other part of Oregon, so I had to go with the flow.
With goggles, a scarf around my face to prevent sand from going in my mouth and an anticipated speed of 60-65 miles per hour, I was mentally psyched to conquer my queasy stomach and risk averse persona. If former President Bush senior could sky dive at 90, a little sand in my face was a day at the beach!
The buggy climbs these giant hills and wait, there’s a huge drop down to the other side, which I could prepare for by swallowing hard and concentrating on getting through it.
It was a half hour in length, so even if I was uncomfortable, it would be over before I knew it.
It was only a couple of weeks earlier that I asked (yes, asked!) to ride on the back of my neighbor’s Harley to celebrate a very big milestone birthday. If not now, when?
Bottom line, I faced my fears and lived to tell the tale. I’m certainly not a thrill seeker or an adventurer, but sometimes, you just have to woman up!
I’m taking a whole new approach, within reason of course. Visualize what it might feel like, understand the risks, real or mostly imagined, and then make a new memory! It was actually quite fun to experience a sand dune buggy ride with friends and it’s a memory that goes into the scrap book of life.
-Grab hold of your fears before they take over your life.
-Differentiate what’s real from what you’ve built up in your mind.
As always, enjoy the ride!
xox Barclay & Joy