Monday, July 28, 2008

Excuses and Overcoming

One of the activities that Greg enjoyed at Gull Lake was the zip line. We had a young member of our party (not one of our children) who was eager to try it this year and Greg was happy to oblige her. After years of experience climbing lighting rigs, heights are not an issue for him. He did check everything out for safety first; had there been any question, he would have walked away.

By the last day of camp, I agreed to go on the zip line myself. You have to understand something, though. For a long time, things like this have been in the category of "If I wasn't so overweight or uncomfortable with how I look, I might try _______." Yes, I've lost a little weight, but not enough to drastically change the things that fell into that category. Something prodded me to take a risk this time, though. I told my sister, "I could die in my sleep tonight or get hit by a car - any number of tragic things could happen. If I continue to put things off because I'm overweight or uncomfortable with how I look, who knows what I could miss out on?"

*I should make note here that the pictures I have included are of one of Greg's trips down the zip line - not mine. I put my sister in charge of my camera, but in her defense, it is very hard to take pictures of someone hurtling through the air.*

Greg went with me. Actually the whole family went with me, as though it was some sort of historic event. Once we were in harnesses and helmets, we climbed the steps of the 40-foot tower and did the safety checks. With great trepidation, I inched forward toward the edge and sat down (which, for the record, I think is the scariest part of the whole zip line experience).
The part that was not quite clear to me until the critical moment was that you have to scoot yourself off the platform to go down the zip line. Since you are seated, it is hard to consider it jumping off. I don't know what I was expecting, but I learned that it wasn't enough to climb the tower and sit down. In order to overcome my fears and excuses, I had to willingly take that last, very scary step. Or scoot, as it were. I had to take the risk to go from the nice, solid tower to the unknown of the zip line.
I did it. Twice, actually. I'm not sure "fun" is the word I would use to describe it, but I am proud of myself. I think my husband was shocked - and pleased. The whole experience meant a little bit more to me the next day when I learned that a friend of a friend had just lost her husband. He was a few years younger than I am - no obvious life-threatening issues...he simply had trouble breathing one night and died soon after arriving at the hospital.

Life is so short, friends, and none of us have any guarantees.

Have you taken a risk lately? Or are you putting something off until _____? I would love to hear about it.