Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

Nope. This isn't about writing. Tomorrow is the twins 10th birthday. I'm letting them stay out of school and we're having a fun day. We are spending the day at the US National White Water Center. This center has been one of the best additions to our area in a long time. It offers so many activities to do. I've done white water rafting and hiking. This was also the location for the mud race I did a couple of years ago.

It's a great place, but I haven't participated in all they have to offer. Why?

Because I'm terrified of heights.

A lot of the activities are off the ground. Zip-lining. Two rope courses way up in the flipping trees. A rock wall. Some platform you jump off of and free-fall for 40 feet. Cringe. All I see when I look at this stuff is the fall to the ground. I don't care if I'm harnessed in. Harnesses break. And though there has never been anyone actually hurt on any of these activities, my mind likes to remind me there is always a first time. So my cautious side really has control over me.

Not tomorrow.

Both my kids are very excited about two different activities that will take my feet off their comfort zone and leave them suspended with nothing between them but a very long drop to the ground. However, my momma bear protective side is much stronger than my "No way in hell am I doing this," side. My kids won't be going on a rope course without me there. Or zip-line to the other side of the park without me right behind them. Nope. Not happening. And I refuse to be one of those momma's that won't let them do something because I'm afraid. My son wants to zip-line. My daughter wants to rope course it. All right. Let's do it.

Am I scared crapless? I!  BUT this is a perfect lesson for my kids. I don't hide my emotions well. So they will see I'm scared. They will most likely laugh at me because I'm expressing how stupid this is. THEN they will see me face my fear...and succeed. Afterwards, mommy lesson "Don't let fear stop you" will commence.

Now I can see this conversation taking a turn to "Nope. We're not going there" territory and coming back to bite me in the ass. I'm also terrified of flying. I mean if I have a true phobia, its getting on an airplane. Seriously. I don't fly. I will drive, take a train, or sail to where ever I need to go. I don't care if it takes me an extra week to get to my destination. I. Don't. Fly. My kids know this. Their dad isn't afraid of planes. So I see them throwing that out there.

Lesson number 2 will commence then. That lesson is: sometimes you face your fear and realize that its a real fear. It's okay to accept that.

Yeah. I've flown. Once. Round-trip. Never again. It was the most terrifying three hours of my life. I cried. And not pretty tears. It was "Oh God, we're going to die," snot and shaky sobs. I felt horrible for the flight attendant who tried to make me feel better. I think I shook for an hour after I finally got my feet back on safe ground. That was thirteen years ago. I haven't stepped on a plane since. There are other modes of transportation that keep me on solid ground to get me where I need to go. BUT I did face that fear, realized I am truly terrified of it and came up with my alternatives so I wouldn't be stopped because of this phobia.

That's the lesson. Face your fear. Two things are either going to happen. You realize it isn't that bad. OR you will never do it again.

Hmm...writing this I guess I should also make sure my kids understand the difference between fear and survival mode. LOL. I'm afraid of heights and it makes me hesitant to do things I actually think I would enjoy. That fear is stopping me. However, I would never swim with sharks. That's not fear stopping me. That's my survival mode telling me, "Girl, those things will eat you." There's a difference. Need to make sure I emphasize that to both my kids or they will think I'm telling that anytime their instinct is telling them to not to do something, they should face it. If any two kids would do that, it would be my kids.

Good Lord this parenting thing is hard. But, at least, I know how they think.

Wish me luck tomorrow!

1 comment:

Angela Hood-Ross said...

I have a fear of roller coasters; however, I did the same as you. My children were not going to ride them alone. Now that they're 25 and 21...they're on their own. :) Have fun!