While we were in Costa Rica we had the opportunity to go rappelling. Off of waterfalls. In the rain forest. My life is awesome.
One of the things I loved about the trip and about the rappelling is that there were so many different personalities on the trip. It was so much fun to watch people go after different tasks with their unique perspectives, desires and quirks.
The waterfall adventure was meaningful for everyone. At the very least we were in beautiful circumstances with a fun day’s activity planned. Better yet, some people were facing and conquering fears, literally looking over the edge, taking a deep breath and jumping into the unknown. For those who fear heights, I believe the experience was transformational.
I have to admit that I am ever-so-slightly an adrenaline junky. It’s probably why I like traveling to foreign countries, running relays and hot foods. So the rappelling was just a really great way to spend the morning, and the 220 foot drop was a heart pumping rush.
But I do have my fears just like everyone else and of course they manifest in a uniquely Michelle sort of way.
As an adrenaline junky, it makes sense that I’m a little afraid of aging. While I can get past the occasional wrinkle and the fact the my hair stylist is my link to youth (every 5 weeks), the idea of becoming incapacitated is really scary to me. Losing my abilities, losing my agility and worst of all losing my mind are very scary possibilities.
Yesterday I held my first grandchild in my arms. While it’s cliche, I’m just telling you right now, he’s spectacular. He’s beautiful. He’s off the charts amazing. As I think about that little person and the life before him, I hope that he lives well. I hope he faces his fears and learns how to enjoy the rush of doing things that are scary (but with a helmet on at all times).
As for his GrammaShell, or YaYa or whatever he ends up calling me, I plan to live my life as the best example I can muster. Of course I’m afraid of things just like everyone else in the world. But the fact is that I have no control over any of it, so I choose to put on that helmet, look over the edge of my life and jump with enthusiasm and with joy.