Small Steps To A Giant Leap?

Hey, if you’re the type who thinks nothing of jumping into the underwater cage to get an up close shot of the Great White Shark barreling towards you with his jaws open, or  are signing up for tight-roping lessons this week, because that Wolenda Grand Canyon thing just looked so do-able to you, then you might want to close your laptop now, cause my little adventure today might be just what you need to skip the sleeping pill tonight. 

It has come to my attention recently how little I know about the natural world, and have been determined to put myself in it, or as close to it as possible without being eaten by a bear. Last month I climbed up on the beautiful BullWinkle, a big, brown horse (sorry horsey people, the only horse name I know is a Clydesdale, and only because of the beer commercials.), something I hadn’t done since I was thrown on the back of a horse at my summer day camp, and “Sunshine”  headed straight into Baltimore City traffic. I was 12 years old and terrified..it took me 36 years to climb back up. No one should wait 36 years to do something they want to do, how stupid of me. Riding on BullWinkle on a beautiful trail in West Virginia with deer grazing gently nearby was joyous, I had to fight to play it cool, because I was bursting at the seams the entire ride. It was a nice, slow pace, but in my mind I was Lady Godiva, only with my clothes on. There’s always next time. 

So today’s adventure brought me and the family to a lake and a waiting Kayak instructor. A patient, wonderful teacher who screams outdoors.  A man, who when camping, tells his wife to go back to sleep while bears circle their tent at night..no biggie. Once again, I felt the joy rising in my throat, but played it cool. This man guides people through the Florida Everglades, has been feet away from gators and grizzlies..but I showed my hand when I squealed with glee when he said we would be passing a beaver lodge on our paddle.  I am not afraid of the water, I can swim, but my fear of tipping over and not being able to climb back in my kayak has kept me on the shores of lakes and bays for years, watching people glide by me. I dreamed of being them. How stupid. Today I put my stupid ass in that kayak. I imagined the astronauts stepping outside the spacecraft with those tethers holding them to the Mother Ship. You’re laughing at me, I know..but it’s true, I felt that brave and alive paddling my own kayak on that beautiful lake today. If you fall out, the instructor said,which you won’t, but if you do, you just swim to shore.  Oh, yeah, the shore..it’s right there, how stupid of me, it’s always been there. Image

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12 thoughts on “Small Steps To A Giant Leap?

  1. You are a wonderful writer and the lesson in this blog is a valuable one. “the shore..it’s right there, it’s always been there”. Keep writing Tessie!

  2. I am right there with you! Sometimes it’s downright embarassing the utter delight and joy you can feel doing something that everyone else has done for ages. Fear stands in our way in all sorts of insidious ways and when you break through it is hard to remember what you were so afraid of. I loved your post; I recognize myself in there so thanks for the old heave ho!

  3. You are just too funny! I look forward to your posts, and am so happy when I get one. You brighten my day.

  4. Brave Woman. I remember hearing one of the guys who walked on the moon (I don’t remember which one) he became an artist, which is what he always wanted to be but was afraid to be. Years after walking on the moon, he said he figured if he could walk on the moon he could be an artist. I
    I guess everyone’s moon walk is different.

  5. Awesome story, enjoyed the read! My favorite canoe story was with my dad and my sister. He was standing in the canoe yelling at my brother, when I spotted a fish. I leaned over and said, “Look at the pretty fish” my sister leaned the same way. Then the canoe was suddenly lighter.

    • Oh no Kelly! My instructor said imagine your head is a bowling ball..it will tip your kayak…I held my head very, very straight, because I believe it actually is a bowling ball, which most hats don’t fit. I was afraid of tipping- no way would I be able to climb back in.

  6. Wow Tess, Good for you! I wrote on FB before I read this blog. You did kayak! Didn’t you just love it? I’m in love with my dream horse, a beautiful Palomino named Maya. I go ea. Wed. at 2:15 and am learning so much about natural horsemanship.I had a frightening past horse experience also, despite enjoying lessons at age 13-14. I was determined to return to my beloved horses. 🙂
    Cindy
    PS: We are awesome.

    • haha Cindy! Sometimes I think I am an awesome dork, but I am having fun! I think turning 50 for me is going to a whole lot less of Tess caring what everyone thinks and looking for approval..although I would be lying if I didn’t say that I enjoy it when people say they like my blog! Maya sounds beautiful..how wonderful for you!

  7. Tess, I really,really like your blog! Feel good! How can you find the time? Re: Turning fifty. It was really nice for me. Honestly. Like I became free. I no longer focused on others opinions of me.(I’m not easy to like or work for. I was nursing then.) I decided I lived a half a century and that entitled me to take no more shit from anyone. I didn’t! I stopped people pleasing and being a doormat.I spoke my feelings, my limits and my needs. I still do this today and I really like myself. That, to me, matters the most.
    Cindy

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