Last week I went to Six Flags with my sister and my little nephews. We had a blast taking the boys on rides.
One of these boys, the three year old, was fearless – in fact, he was heartbroken when we told him he wasn’t tall enough to ride the scariest roller coaster in the park. The other boy, the four year old, was…not. Each ride we got in line for was met with protests and pleading. It didn’t matter how calm the ride was or how much he would end up enjoying it. The kid just hated climbing on a ride he hadn’t tried before. He was afraid of the unknown.
The last ride we went on was a pretty tall water slide – the kind where you can all pile in one raft together. There was a bit of a line, so we had to stand halfway up on the stairs for about ten minutes. All ten minutes he was crying. Everyone in line around us started stepping in to tell him there was nothing to be scared of, but it didn’t matter. It was big and he hadn’t done it before, so he was terrified.
Here’s the thing. I get this way too. Now, I don’t usually cry while I’m waiting in line for rides, but I am afraid of things I haven’t tried. Sometimes I’m afraid I won’t be good enough or successful enough or funny enough. But that fear won’t get me anywhere, and it’s usually lying anyway. Once I try get out there and do something, it usually turns out great. That’s why I joined something called the Start experiment. For 26 days, groups of 26 people are each tackling one risky goal. Mine began as this blog, but I’ve noticed that this attitude of punching fear in the face is kind of contagious. It’s spreading out into different parts of my life too (more about that another time). I’ve always heard that discipline begets discipline, and maybe the same is true for courage.
So here’s to 26 days of crazy courage. I can’t wait to see where this goes.