The Adventuress In Me

Some things are a challenge for me. Quit my job in a recession to become a writer? No problemo. Go on a hike in the mountains? Terrifying. But when two of my friends suggested a hike, I just assumed it was a nice leisurely thing that didn’t include the edges of a mountainous terrain... why? Because they were bringing their children. I was wrong!

Any other time in my life and I would have literally gone running from the hills. When there are two children involved, though, the last thing you can do is lose your cool and go running and screaming from something. So onward I hiked with sweaty palms remembering how just the day before I had been afraid to walk over a glass block bridge in the mall. I know... the mall.

I swear it seemed like we climbed on and on forever, and I kept wondering how in the heck far we had to go until we reached the top. It reality, it was only a 40 minute hike. I tried not to think about plummeting to my death over the side of the rocky mountain. I tried to imagine anyone else falling, either. Instead, I held the hand of a soon-to-be three year old who was, by all accounts, braver than I was.

When we reached the top, I hung back not wanting to venture to the ledge where everyone else was gathered, chatty, and having a great time. My husband was annoyed  with me for not enjoying the ledge more because, obviously, he isn’t afraid of heights. And in my place in the woods, I looked down through the trees and the view really was breathtaking. I saw little highway ramps, other mountain peaks, and fog coming off of them. I was in awe of how high up I had actually climbed without really knowing it! The cars looked like toys, and buildings like those from our train set--miniature!

I still wasn’t going out on the edge, but I was nonetheless impressed that I had even come that far. In that moment, I realized that I had pushed myself--thanks to my friends who unknowingly “tricked” me--to do something adventurous. Then I also realized that any time I have done something adventurous, I have been completely unaware of what I was doing.

There are two other instances of this, both involving waterfalls. One if Puerto Rico and one in Jamaica. Both times I thought that I was going to enjoy a harmless little waterfall that would be nothing more than beautiful. Both times I was mistaken. In Jamaica I had to scale the waterfall, fighting my way through walls of water and up onto the rocks. I thought I was going to drown, but instead I just flashed an entire team of Jamaican water fall our guides. That was because I thought I was going on a relaxing waterfall excursion and wore a flimsy suit. Boobs. Everywhere.

 The waterfall in Puerto Rico was just the opposite, I had to scale down the waterfall and that time I thought I was going to plummet to my death. Before I knew it, I was something like George of the Jungle, flinging myself from roots to keep footing as we descended down the muddy slope. As it turned out, there were stairs just around the way, but we missed those.

The funny thing is, in all three cases, I rose to the occasion without even realizing it! I guess I am more formidable in these instances than I give myself credit for. Perhaps I am just more comfortable with pushing myself mentally than I am physically. Perhaps there is an adventurer in me yet to emerge, and to be truthful, I think that would be nice.

What have you done that surprised you? Was there a time when you were adventurous without realizing it? Share in the comments section below!

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