Tag Archives: face your fears

Paddle Boarding

13 Oct

Water has never been my favorite thing… balance has never been my forte… but in my attempt to “face my fears” and try “new things” I signed up for a Paddle Boarding tour this past Saturday. 

One of my good friends planned this. After I complained, and gave her a hard time for making me wake up super early, and making me be in the water (two of my favorite things in the world – extreme sarcasm here) on my actual birthday, I realized this would be a great idea.

Start the day trying something new and surrounded by friends. So, like I said, I signed up, paid, and there was not turning back.

6am, alarm goes off… Even though I was extremely sleepy (celebrations kept me up until 3am) I was not regretting it. I was actually really excited (and yes, a little nervous). 45 minutes later we arrived to the meeting place (planned by South Florida Paddle Inc) and we could not have asked for a more perfect day. High Tide, calm water, not too hot, it was beautiful!

 
After a short talk from our tour guide we were in the water ready to head out and enjoy our paddle tour.

I thought I would sit to start but being on your knees is pretty easy and comfortable. During the tour you may see dolphins, manatees, turtles, flying fish, birds… All going at your own pace and enjoying the open water, and peaceful environment. It is a small workout but it’s so relaxing being there that you hardly feel it.

I didn’t get to see manatees but I did see a dolphin swimming away and flying fish (that for some reason I think are funny). :p

I would love to go again and see manatees, that would have really made my day.

Eventually I stood up, which is a big accomplishment for me, and felt even more excited about having tried this.

  
If you fall the tour guide and your friends are there to help, and you get a refreshing splash. Get back up and try again. 

In the end it doesn’t matter if you sit, go on your knees or stand, the whole point of this is to enjoy the view, and unplug from the “real world”. 

I’m happy I’m pushing myself to do more things that, in the past, I would have immediately said no to without even thinking about it.

It’s made me happier, my is world bigger, get to do more things with my family and friends, and helps me build my confidence to do more.

Hope you open yourself to new experiences too, and enjoy life!

  

ToroVerde

8 Sep

As I’ve said before…  Yes, I’ve done skydiving but, still afraid of heights.

Just as that one time that I jumped off a plane, I pushed myself, to leave my fear behind and decided to go ziplining.

I was with my sister in PR, and out of nowhere I said “I think I want to do ziplining”. She looked at me in disbelief, but immediately started making plans with her friend, I think part of it was her wanting to do it too and, part of it, acting quickly before I lost my “courage”. Still she kept looking at me, wondering if I’d really do it. She paid, and said, “there’s no turning back…” with a smile and concern at the same time.

We drove the 2.5 – 3 hours it took for us to get to Orocovis. Lots of up curvy roads, no signs… thank God for smart phones and GPS! We did not get lost at all. First of all, the view is amazing from up here. Take a moment before or after you do the lines to enjoy it.  
  
Once inside, they give you a waiver, you sign your life away. My sister’s friend read it, the part I remember her saying is “basically you can’t complaint or sue period, even if 3 months after this you’re still having issues, pains, nightmare or trauma… nothing. I could only LOL, I mean, if I’m going ahead with these types of activities, the phrase “ignorance is bliss” always comes to mind. The less I know the less paranoid I get. So, I signed, I got my number and waited to get harnessed.
Once you have all your equipment, they send you off a trail, where after 5 minutes (if it takes you longer “you got lost or are going to slow” their words, not mine) you will find your first line. Yes, I got nervous, and my sister gave me that disbelief look again but I stood my ground and stepped on the platform. Not defying her look but my fear. I can do this, I thought, especially when right in front of us was a 96 year old man, ready to jump off that platform. Courage don’t fail me now, I thought… Would be very embarrassing to back down now.
My turn, hands shaking a little, and listening real close to the instructions. Down that first line I went and the feeling was incredible! This was a short one so, great way to start and ease your way to the next 7 that await.  
  
The guys working the lines are really cool. They make you feel comfortable and safe. They make fun of you (nicely) if they see you nervous, helping you laugh and forget your fear. Plus, just like one of them said “none complain if they fall”… Ha! Ha! Very funny! Not!
Line after line, they kept getting longer and harder to control. The wind started getting strong against us so, the challenge of getting to the end of each one, without having to pull yourself, was tougher but we were up for it and succeeded in most of them. On the ones that we got stuck, we still felt safe, and just pulled ourselves to the end. This is a workout! but, if you get too tired or can’t make it, one of the guys will come get you and help.
  
Towards the 8th and last line, there’s a steep path you need to go up. Some, might have to skip this (due to health or physical impediments), and get off on the 6th line, but my sister and I went together and almost simultaneously did our last line. Funny thing, we both got stuck on this one. Even after the strenuous effort of working against the wind and pulling ourselves to the platform, we both were smiling and so happy we had this experience together.
At the end we went back to where we started, to the restaurant upstairs. The service here is a little slow but friendly, and food is delicious. Plus, again, the view is priceless.

This is, without a doubt, a must do in Puerto Rico.
  

Face Your Fears

2 Apr

I’m going to start by confessing something…  I am a big scaredy cat.

I’m afraid of heights, I’m afraid of high speed, I’m afraid of things that aren’t stable and might make me fall. 

I’m scared of things that hurt, yes, that’s it, I think that’s the right way to say it.

 

With that being said, lately I’ve pushed myself a little to face those fears…  


First thing I tried, rollercoasters.  I would not even consider getting on one when I was little.  Now, there are some I can do, so decided to step it up a bit and did “Rock It” Orlando.  Only way I did this one was because my sisters were making fun of me and my brother promised to hold my hand the entire time.  I hated this one, I had a migraine the whole day, and the feeling I had during it I never want it again…  I was not able to breathe the entire ride.  Never again (this one, at least, and any big scary ones), but at least I can say I tried, and amble to do some and even enjoy them.

 

Second thing, skydiving!  I know, I know… How could someone like me do something like that?!?  I just didn’t think about it.  Got to the place, closed my eyes, gave them my credit card, and off we went.  They didn’t give me a chance to change my mind and I loved it, it’s such an indescribable feeling.  So, if you ask me if I’d do it again I would say, maybe, I’m still scared of heights but that feeling is incredible, you feel so free, it’s something I would recommend everyone to do.  Also, my sisters did this together, I knew I would regret not sharing this experience with them.

 

Third, riding on a motorcycle.  In my head these are not stable (they are missing two tires!) and they go fast but,  after the first time, I wanted to do it again and again.  The wind blowing, the way you see things (like first row to a live event), how you can avoid (some) traffic, and the feeling you get holding on to that person, it’s like you’re in your own world.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely but, only with someone I trust.

 

The last thing I did, Ziplining.  On my recent trip to PR, I decided I wanted to do something more than the usual, sightseeing, visiting family, restaurants…   I wanted to push myself once again.  I wanted to show myself I could face my fears and live.  I told my sister, who was with me, she called her friend and we all went to do it. 

Yes, I was scared.  My sister was even joking saying “let’s see if she goes through with it”, and after each line, she would look at me, like trying to make sure I was OK, and doing the next.  I did!  All 8 of them, and after each one, my smile got bigger and bigger not only because I did them but because it was so much fun.  There was a point, towards the last line, we had to go up an unstable, steep, path.  I stopped for a second, my sister sensed my hesitation and held my hand.  I regained my determination and went for it.  That last line was the hardest, wind pushing against us, longer than the rest, but we finished them, and I couldn’t be prouder or happier that I can say I’ve done Ziplining, and in my own PR.

 

I’m sure there are other things I’ll find to push myself, to keep facing my fears.  These, unfortunately, don’t go away just because we face them once or twice but, they do become easier to deal with.  The key is you!  Allow yourself to feel that fear but, don’t let it control you.  There’s one more important thing, which I hope you’ve noticed in each of my experiences, the people by your side.  Having someone you trust reassuring you, holding your hand, and cheering you on, be it in person or otherwise, it’s a great thing to have to succeed.  I’ve been lucky to have all these people in my life to accept me as I am.  To make fun of me when I was scared and even more when I decided to try things.  They helped me laugh through the nervousness and helped me face my fears.  When I haven’t been able to do so, they’ve been there to  say “it’s OK, we’ll try again” and, when I’ve succeeded, they’ve been there to smile and “celebrate” with me.

 

With our fears we might feel alone, like we’re the only ones feeling them but, we’re not.  Maybe not the same fear but we all feel it.  We can all relate so, rely on each other, and help each other.  Take that leap, stare that fear in the face and defy it, again and again until you (and only you) feel like you succeeded, and have fun with it.