…on what has unintentionally become repeated exposure to my biggest fear.
Say Yes was intended to be a time boxed exercise to get me back out there. Borne from the rude awakening that I was a few declined invites short of becoming a social recluse who at 40, would find herself surrounded by only cats, a parrot and the stench of animal piss.
The “problem” is that I love my own company. I, like most introverts find being alone quite refreshing. Quiet time is quality time. But there came a point where I preferred my reading spot and Kindle over human interaction, which made this item incredibly necessary for my live life list. Because cats, parrot and piss.
The principle of say yes was very simple in my mind: if someone asked the answer would be yes, barring illegal requests. So armed with a lot of yeses and dash of trepidation, off I went into the world ready to open my life up to new experiences. So far it’s been a liberating exercise. It has led me to new friends, new hobbies and exposure to the things that have historically been out of my radar. By far the most surprising discovery from say yes is my attachment to obstacle course racing.
I first heard about the Jeep Warrior Race when a colleague mentioned it and invited me to join his team. That never materialised, but in the spirit of say yes, I went on to register for a solo race. Which I showed up to. And finished. And absolutely loved! But here’s the thing: the designers the Jeep Warrior Race as a standard put at least 1 jump or slide-free fall, usually as the last obstacle. That ordinarily wouldn’t be a problem except I have barophobia (a fear of falling), and don’t intentionally go around trying to cure it through repeated exposure. I hate flying, amusement parks and long elevator rides. The height thing doesn’t bother me and going up generally isn’t a problem either. It’s the gravity thing. It’s that moment during descent when my stomach drops. This brings me to the point I raised earlier about unintentionally facing your fears. With say yes coupled with my attachment to the Jeep Warrior Race and my brave heart, I find myself literally willing myself off a 6 meter platform at every opportunity.
That’s an action shot of me jumping. Looks cool, huh? Until you see my face…
That’s terror. I always look like this when I jump. Always
I love doing the Jeep Warrior Race, and I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing. I hate the jumps, but I always do them – once cradling my dislocated arm because for me, it’s not a Warrior Race without doing the jump or getting the finishers medal.
At every race without fail, I balk at the prospect of jumping. But still I say yes, because with every yes I learn more about my own strengths and limitations. I learn that in every experience there is beauty to be found.