It seems that every year, I do another thing that I once told myself I would never ever do.
Currently, that activity is trail running. I wondered why someone would want to subject themselves to such a seemingly scary experience. I was running through a narrow, overgrown trail, single file with a friend. There was a thunderstorm moving over the area, and every once in a while the thunder would rumble all through me. It started to rain, but we hardly got wet because of the trees looming above. The raindrops sounded fat, and they truly made that "pitter patter" sound you read about in books. The bushes kept slapping against my legs, making my shorts stick to my skin, and dirtying up my ankles. I felt incredibly connected to nature. More connected than I've felt in a long time. In the trail, I have to move all other thoughts out of my mind, so I can focus on where my foot will land next, or where the trail turns right or left. There isn't time to wonder about my children's' recent behaviour, a poor reaction to stress, or how much longer the run is going to be. At the end of it, I am filled with new life.
So much of my youth was spent living in fear ... I don't regret that, but I am certainly embracing my new confidence. It has been so freeing for me to try something I wasn't sure I'd be good at - and to actually enjoy it?! - It feels great. I'm not sure why I chose to spend much of my youth in fear of the unknown, but I think it's made this part of my journey so much more gratifying. Now I actually feel excited to try new things!
I don't want to live in fear anymore. I know I'm asking a lot from myself, but I am ready for all the challenges I've yet to face. Because once I get through them, I know how proud I will be of all the things I have accomplished. I am becoming the woman I always wanted to be.