For once in your life, take a chance. Haven’t you ever heard that expression before? Well, I have. Many times. Not only have I been told to do it, I’ve read about it too. I’ve read many inspirational stories, from page turners to personal blogs to promotional websites. Whether they’ve gently hinted that we should try this new venture while telling you about their experience of a life time, or true life stories about brave men and women who’ve taken epic journeys that no-one dared to before, or simply commercial ventures shoving their packages down our throats while silently emptying our pockets, great adventure stories (and the suggested ideas that go along with them) have been written.

Perhaps its childhood trauma but I’ve always been afraid to try these things out until now. It’s a bit personal but I suppose I could tell you my story because it happened years ago. There was a time in our lives that we could go on picnics just about every weekend. It was safe and gasoline didn’t cost much then. It was safe? Here’s what happened; I think we had finished our barbecue by then and our parents had settled into their beach chairs, warning us not to venture too far from our site. But as always, the curious, adventurous mind of the ten year old child took hold of me and off I went.

I found a beautiful stream, not far from where we had a picnic, and decided that its deceptive calmness was enticing enough for me to cross it. But as I nimbly tip-toed over the slippery rocks, I fell. And as I fell, the current just swept me away. Boy, did I get a fright. All I could do was scream as loud as I could – help, help – until a handsome, well-muscled man dived magnificently into the water and swiftly scooped me out of harm’s way as if I were just a gentle leaf. I was shivering all over, not from the cold water but from shock.

By the time my parents arrived to collect me – they had heard my hoarse screams – I had shrugged off the water and gruffly informed them that I was ok and the kind man had misunderstood my screams. I lied that I was screaming out of delight, was having a wonderful time in the river and was swimming like an Olympian. But by the time our next school gala arrived I looked like a right royal fool with my rose-colored swimming cap and one-piece suit. All I could do was waddle like a duckling and take clumsy steps over the pool’s bottom. It was plain to see that I could not swim to safe my life.

So, ever since that day, I’ve always been a cautious girl. Where adventures are concerned, the farthest I go these days is to the park and back. Still, it is a lovely walk. In fact, the sun is quite gorgeous at the moment, so I may just leave you in a moment. But, even so, between you and me, perhaps we ought to take a chance and plunge into an awesome adventure. Never alone, mind you, it would be too dangerous. The first thought that I had was whale-watching. Then there’s hang-gliding, soaring over the cliff like an eagle. Hiking’s another thing altogether. Oh, and what about bungee jumping?

By now you know the list is endless, so many ideas to ponder. For now, let’s end with a thoughtful note on these idyllic pace-setters I’ve just mentioned. Whether I could swim or not, I’ve always loved the ocean and nothing would thrill me more than to be up close and personal with those magnificent sea kings, singing their welcome. I’ve been on a plane once or twice in my life. Strange that that didn’t startle me. But it will never come close to silently soaring through the wind and truly taking a bird’s eye view of life.

Bungee jumping is not quite the same as flying like a bird but I have heard some funny and hair-raising stories from folks who have gotten all giddy just talking about their experience. Hiking, on the other hand, probably seems the most sensible dare for a ninny like me. Let me get my bag and go try out a pair of boots.

 

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