What’s the craziest adventure you’ve ever been on? Or the craziest thing you have ever done? Really sit and think about it. I love to live life to the fullest, but then there is a part of me that is realistic, that thinks about the consequences, or the future, which makes it difficult sometimes to live in the moment.
I remember in college, when all my friends were applying to study abroad. I had chosen a major (athletic training) that if I wanted to graduate in four years, I couldn’t study abroad. Rather than go to school for 4 1/2 yrs, I gave up the chance to go study in a foreign country. Why? Because I wanted to make sure I graduated with all my friends? Because I thought it looked bad if I went to college longer than 4yrs? To this day this is my biggest regret. The opportunity to live somewhere else, and explore a different culture, learn a new language…who gives up an opportunity like that? AND it was the second time I had given up an opportunity like this. In high school, I wanted to be an AFS student and study in Argentina, but I gave that up, what for? Because I didn’t want to miss out on spending time with my boyfriend at the time, and spending time with friends, etc. Seriously? What was I so afraid of?
Often times I’m too scared to take “risks”, even though my mom in high school considered me a risk taker, because I got my belly button pierced, or because senior year of high school I went toilet papering with friends, or because I got busted for drinking. I can count on one hand, the times I drank in high school. I was terrified of getting caught.
When my friends and I were discussing where we wanted to live after college, everyone talked about moving to Chicago. In the back of my mind, I truly wanted to move to San Diego, but without knowing anyone? I couldn’t. I also, wanted to spend some more time living with my college friends and making memories before our lives eventually went in different directions. We were all single, and we knew that wouldn’t last forever. So, Chicago it was. As each friend slowly moved away, or moved on, I started to feel stuck. What I loved about Chicago was my friends, and probably the good food too. But, I never felt at home there. After 26yrs of playing it safe, I finally took a risk. A BIG RISK. And it has paid off!
I’ve always been one of those people who has dreamed of just packing up my things, taking off to Europe, and backpacking around for months, getting odd jobs to make some money, and staying at hostels. But, I constantly have this internal battle of adventure and reality. I recently read the book, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, and again this sparked something inside me, that side of me that craves adventure. I also prefer a few close friends, than a lot of friends, and the idea of not nurturing friendships and relationships, and never truly getting to know anyone scares me. So, San Diego was my opportunity to make a change, and go on an adventure.
Since moving out here, that adventure hasn’t seemed to stop. I feel like myself out here. Like everything I say and do is okay, and no one is going to judge me for it, or ask me “why?”. Instead they are just supportive. I will always have the side of me that thinks before I act, but I find myself more and more asking why not? Instead of why? I swear time goes by faster the older we get, and therefore, it makes me want to act now and do things now more than ever. Last year, there was a lot of chatter about going to Kona, and although I probably shouldn’t have gone, due to how much it was gonna cost, instead of saying why? I said, why not? And it was one of the BEST adventures I’ve been on. Cliff jumping, watching the best Ironman athletes in the world race, acai bowls, and meeting people who I never thought I’d meet, who have ended up becoming amazing friends. Every time Oakley asks if I can go somewhere, I jump at the chance, Scottsdale? YES! Palm Springs? YES! Hawaii? YES! Half Moon Bay? YES! MotoGP in Laguna Seca? YES! Snowbird? YES! When someone asks if I can do a modeling gig? YES! And when I meet a guy who I have a connection with, I want to pursue it, see where it goes, not shy away because I’m scared, scared of it not working out, scared of being rejected, or even scared of it actually working out.. (I’m suddenly reminding myself of the movie Yes Man…ha!) The point is I don’t want to live my life waking up every day and just worry about my triathlon training or going to a job to make money. When I look back at my life, I want to have stories to tell, and memories to see when I close my eyes. I don’t want to pass up opportunities of love, life, and laughter. I don’t want to wonder what if?
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. - Hellen Keller
I’m thankful for being surrounded by friends and family who too believe in adventure, and never playing it safe. It inspires me and drives me to keep saying yes to adventures, when the opportunity arises, because one day the adventures will stop, and I don’t ever want to ask myself again, why didn’t I do that?
The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams. - Oprah
So, when the next opportunity arises, don’t ask yourself why? Ask yourself why not?