I just gave my husband a birthday present — the experience of floating in a 120 mile per hour wind tunnel. And I decided to try it too.

I can’t believe I did this — or at least, I couldn’t until I saw the pictures of it afterwards. I know, I felt that it while it was happening, but it was so quick and the feeling went away.

All I can actually remember is thinking with wonder, “Oh, this is how it works and encountering the sign that said, “smile” — so I did!” The rest is a blur, and I was surprised when the instructor gave me a high five after I was through. People were smiling and proud but I didn’t understand why.

And I was so scared I almost backed out before I started. Actually, I thought of backing out with one part of my mind while moving forward with my body. I heard constant mind chatter of “Why on earth are you doing this? You could have just given this to Jon as a birthday gift. You can still back out.” The warnings went on and on and on. Fortunately they put me second in line, so I didn’t have much time to think about it.

In retrospect, I have heard that chatter before. I think I started learning that I could do things even when I was scared the time I got back on, after falling off the horse when I was 11.

When I first walked on hot coals I thought the risk was huge, but I really wanted to. At the time firewalking was a rare opportunity and I thought this might be my only chance to experience it.

But I was really scared. I was leaving on my very first trip to Europe in a few days and burning my feet would severely mess up my plans.

The voice in my head told me I could just watch — that I could stand in the observer line. The voice said, “ Don’t take the risk.” But my body went into the participant line anyway. I walked!

I did get one tiny burn when I didn’t wipe an ember off my foot. (This was before the footbath at the end of the firewalk was added for protection.). My foot was fine the next day and my European trip was fabulous. Since then, I take being scared much less seriously.

Now I remember the exhilaration I always feel when I take the (exaggerated, imagined) risk and do it anyway.

Be sure to watch both videos. The first shows me, dressed in pink, and my husband, dressed in yellow, indoor sky diving for the first minute. The second is the end of my third minute— the experience I just described.



[tags]Self-Improvement, Personal Growth[/tags]