Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's not the number of years in your life, it's the awesomeness in your years

Every time I read or hear anything about ticks, I get a panicky feeling, like if I ever find a tick on me I will be so creeped out I will never run trails again. Which is just ridiculous. I would no sooner choose to stop running than I would choose to stop breathing. I am really hoping to beat the odds, but chances are that someday I will encounter a tick in my wilderness adventures. I feel like throwing up just thinking about it. So I'm going to have to stop thinking about it. That's just the price of adventure, of this whole being alive thing. There are inherent risks to living with your heart and arms wide open. You may suffer an injury, to your heart or your muscles or your ego. But only one thing will end up killing you. You will survive everything else. Though there are risks to going all in and taking chances and living boldly, bravely, bodaciously, I would argue that there is even more risk in not doing those things, in playing it safe and staying in your comfort zone. You risk never having fully experienced the immense awesomeness of being alive. And that is a risk I cannot abide.

Last night we were running at Seneca Park and Pete and I stopped to see the elephants. I wondered why they never tried to escape and Pete said they're safe there and they have no predators. Probably they were born into captivity and so they don't know any other way of life. But me, I would try to escape. I cannot thrive in captivity. I would choose freedom over safety every time. Safety is just an illusion anyway. Shit happens. Hurt happens. Such is life. Instead of closing yourself off, trying to avoid the pain, I think it's better to open yourself up and embrace it. Feel all the things. It's part of being alive. Let your experiences make you stronger, wiser, more compassionate. Let your struggles lead you to your successes. Let your hurts open you up to receive future joys.

In a few weeks, I'm running another 50K trail race. In a few months, I'm getting married. I never thought I would do either of those things. I'm afraid of failing. I'm afraid that I don't have what it takes to do those things well. But I have to tell those fears to shut the hell up. Maybe I'll fail. Maybe I'll get hurt. So what? Life will go on, I will go on. I can accept risk and hurt. I can't accept missing out on all the best things because I let fear trap me in the safety zone.

I don't know what happens after we die. Maybe it's another great adventure. But in case this is my one and only shot at life, I'm going to get the most out of it. Because in the end, it's not the number of years in your life that count, it's the awesomeness in your years.

Lyric of the moment: "You've been reading some old letters. You smile and think how much you've changed. All the money in the world couldn't buy back those days. You pull back the curtains, and the sun burns into your eyes. You watch a plane flying across a clear blue sky. This is the day your life will surely change. This is the day when things fall into place..." ~The The "This Is The Day"

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