Updated: Jul 12, 2019
I was lucky enough this week to be away with a friend to celebrate her 40th. We went to to Alps to places I’d only ever heard tell of in winter ski tales... before going we chatted about canyoning, paragliding, high wire trails, but it all felt rather abstract these big adrenaline challenges. Before I had my children I was an adventurer, my heart sang with excitement at skydiving, glacier climbing, getting lost in Hanoi, a myriad of bigger and smaller adventures which spun my adrenaline into joy in my body. With children, I noticed a fear of heights creeping in, an uncertainty of pushing myself, a need for safety. And that was fine because it’s partly fact, children need their mother to be safe, and partly there were none of these challenges landing on my doorstep. I didn’t have to make a decision whether I was still brave enough.
What interested me about being in Tignes this week was that I was faced very much with those challenges. Paragliding. I wanted to very much but had no idea if I could. So I just booked it. Didn’t think about it. Just did it. And the next day in windy sunshine, in Val d’Isere, I found myself at the top of the chair lift, being strapped into a harness and walking off a mountain. I didn’t think, didn’t give myself time to engage with what I was doing, was marginally removed - all this is true. But I didn’t equally feel any fear, any nerves, any nausea or uncertainty. It was just pure magic. I flew. For what felt like hours.. flew high high above the mountains and the valleys and the villages and towns. My heart sang again.
It made me think, later that day sitting by a river watching the water rush by about how important it is for me as I get older to not become scared of things. I don’t want to let fear dictate - I want to always drive myself, be ok driving a van if needed. I want to be able to confidently walk into situations I don’t know and find myself there, be capable. And I want to say yes to things I don’t know if I can do. I want to give it a go.