Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Pushing Myself to the Limits, Or Maybe Past Them

Now firmly in the second half of my 40s, I realise that if I am going to get out there and try new things, I probably should get on that sooner rather than later. It's less a matter of teaching an old dog new tricks, and more about the increasing possibility of breaking a hip and decreasing ability to manage that. Let's be honest here!

There are things that are bucket list items, like tree-top trekking or swimming with dolphins, and things that are about facing my fears, like ziplining. I think it's important to keep pushing ourselves to try new things and jump out of our comfort zone. I already find myself sometimes second-guessing whether a particular event is worth driving at night, or in the snow, and I don't like that. I don't want to be afraid. And I do want to discover my capabilities.

So, what am I going to do about it? I'm going to stretch out of my comfort zone and say "Yes," to as many adventures and new experiences as I can. Like this one, back in April, when I actually rode a motorcycle.

I've been on a motorcycle exactly once in the past, as a passenger in high school. We weren't going far, but I was freaked out. Especially with the very specific instructions to keep my helmet lined up with my friend's at all times. I was convinced if I went out of sync we'd topple over and be killed, or at least maimed. I survived that ride, but it took 30 years to get me back on a bike. This time was at a media event connected with the Toronto Motorcycle Spring Show at the International Centre. They were offering short learn to ride courses on site. I was nervous when I got the invitation, but then I decided this was my chance to take the first leap beyond my limits. I was terrified at first, but once I got the basic hang of it, I had a great time. We didn't do anything fancy, but I now know that I can in fact get on a motorcycle and live to tell about it. And I think I have a better appreciation of why my brother loves his so much.

And then there was that time I ate a bug. On purpose.

A photo posted by Deb Coombs (@raisingmyboys) on

I had almost worked up the nerve to try mealworms at the Royal Agricultural Fair back in the fall, but Boo was so grossed out, he wouldn't let me. This time though, when I saw Entomo Farms again at the Ontario Science Centre in May, I went for it. I had to psyche myself up, and I admit I could not do the crickets. (Legs!!) But I tossed back this little pile of dried mealworms, and they didn't taste half bad. They come in a few flavours, are packed with protein, and leave such a tiny resource footprint in their production. I completely get why they are an important and rising food source. But I still can't completely get past the "ick" factor. I ate these, chewed and swallowed, and admit they tasted ok. But I had a funny feeling in my mouth for a good while afterwards. Totally psychosomatic I'm sure, but there you go.

So, I rode a motorcycle, and I ate bugs. What's next?? I'd like to say swimming with dolphins is next up, but that will require some saving and planning. In terms of things I will seek out - tree-top trekking for sure, and likely ziplining. Those are about conquering fears (heights). Maybe I should consider the CN Tower Edge Walk? I came close to applying to go with Breakfast Television for the 40th Aniversary last week, but I already had plans that day.  We'll see. What I do know is that I will endeavour to say "Yes" most, if not all, the time when/if someone asks me to try something or go somewhere that initially makes me hesitate.

Do you have any ideas for me?

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