Choose Your Own Adventure

"Doing scary things is good. There is no reward without some risk. Be brave." 

That's what I told myself as I stepped into the harness and slid soggy, slimy gloves over my hands. The wood was slippery beneath my feet as I pushed myself forward. They clicked me to the safety line and made me pull my hair back into a ponytail so it wouldn't get caught in the gear. There was a hustle of activity as they made me switch sides because my tour guide wanted to be the one who watched me go down. 

She clipped me to the line and unhooked the safety. I turned around, sat deep in the harness, leaned back, and kicked off. My right hand tightened on the rope for a second and then I took a deep breath. I let go. 

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I wasn't supposed to be there. Not really. I was supposed to be in a hotel room in Toronto, working while Lee attended business meetings. Ten days before he was scheduled to leave I turned to him and said, hesitantly, "What if I went somewhere else... somewhere on my own? Just for a few days?" He jumped on that suggestion with an amount of enthusiasm that surprised me even though I knew he would like the idea. 

I've never been on vacation on my own. Not really. I've travelled for business. I've gotten on airplanes alone to meet up with friends when I landed. But vacation? Alone? That seemed... indulgent. And scary. Very scary. 

We went to visit the travel agent and four days away turned into a week. It was low risk. I'd be going to an all-inclusive resort. Transportation was arranged. All I had to do was show up, eat, drink, and try not to get a sunburn. I'd get warm. Soak in some sun. Drink pina coladas. 

But I made myself a promise—while I was there I would take one day and do something that scared me. Something that probably I wouldn't do with Lee. Something I'd want to talk myself out of doing. 

That's how I found myself on that platform, peering cautiously over the edge. That's how I found myself kicking off and letting go. 

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When you rappel there is no moving without letting go. The tighter you grip, the less you move. I think maybe that is what I needed to learn on this vacation. When we try to hold on too tight to something, we get stuck. We can't move forward. I've been holding on to things when I need to let go. 

Letting go is scary. It feels wrong. But if you do it right you'll have one hell of a view on the way down. 

Be brave. Choose your own adventure. 

Be brave. Choose your own adventure. 


Do scary things. Be brave. Choose your own adventure.