Risks worth taking

Boogie Board


My friend, Beth, and I stood at the edge of the water, digging our toes in the sand and watching her son and my husband take turns. The boys would get a running start and then throw down the boogie board. As the board skimmed atop the water, they’d hop on. Sometimes they caught a  ride. And sometimes, they fell.

“I going to try it, but I know I’m going to bust my butt,” Beth said.

“Not me,” I said. “I have no desire to inflict personal pain.” It was a windy day at the beach. I looked out and saw someone kite surfing, jumping the waves. It seemed like a blast, but I had no desire to do that either. With some things in life, I’m perfectly content to stand on the sidelines. I’ll cheer you on, but don’t try to get me out there with you.

About six years ago, this same group of friends drove 45 minutes out of town to go skydiving. It was a 30th birthday treat for Beth’s husband, Patrick, and I opted out that day, too. I was there to celebrate– safely on the ground.

I am not a thrill seeker.

But as I stood on the beach this weekend, watching my friends have fun, it occurred to me that I’m not afraid to take risks. I’ve changed careers. I’ve built a business with no prior experience. I’ve driven a moving truck (that was towing a car) across the country. I give my heart freely.

I listen to my gut, and ultimately, I trust. I’m sure that’s the same type of gumption it takes to jump out of airplanes or ride a wave. You have to push the fear aside and decide whatever happens, it’s worth the risk. You have to determine if the price of admission is worth the ride.

So are you a risk taker and/or a thrill seeker? What compels you to dive outside your comfort zone?