"The best thing you've ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all."
The Indigo Girls
My very first trail run was a night run out at Grapevine Lake. I was a tenderfoot, and the idea of a night on the trails was fresh, new, and exciting. The terrain and technique were foreign, so I clung to my new friend Lynn Ballard like a sucker fish. I darted over rocks and roots feeling free and exhilarated..until I ambled through a grassy field, and I went down.
On the "easy" part.
I lay there, face down, questioning my sanity (and the status of my right shin) when I heard Lynn say "Well, now you're an official trail runner. Get up. Let's go."
And with blood running down my leg, I did.
Get up. Let's go.
I wonder how often we miss amazing opportunities because we are afraid of falling?
After all, if we never swim, we can't drown, right?
If we never bike, we can't crash.
If we don't let our kids out of our sight, they will always be safe.
If we don't love, our heart can never be broken.
We want so badly to protect ourselves, because pain- especially the kind that effects our heart, is excruciating.
People we trust will betray us.
People we love will die.
We will hurt people we don't even know.
We will disappoint those we care about the most.
This is part of being human. Part of being VULNERABLE.
Brene Brown says that "the most terrifying emotion we can experience is joy," because we know that as humans, part of the gig contains an agreement that we will not live in eternal bliss.
But I've found that foreboding joy, the kind where we're expecting the anvil to fall at any moment, is completely self defeating. You can't enjoy today. You will never appreciate the now.
Get up. Let's go.
Because risk taking presents the most precious moments.
The sunrises and fresh air.
The laughter and whimsy.
The connections and relationships.
The true love, and the happily ever after.
You can be brave and scared at the same time.
Dare to be vulnerable. It's so worth the risk.