|Hubs + me on top of Vermont's Mt. Mansfield in our super-adventure days.|
I will break here to highlight the word "appeared" from the last sentence of the last paragraph, because, here's the thing... I was not raised to be a wilderness adventure person. I grew up in a very cushy New York suburb, and went camping a total of one time in my childhood, with a lovely Mormon family who took me and about 23 other kids on a weekend car camping expedition not too far from where we lived. Mountaineering it was not. I truly fell in love with the backcountry during my college years when I was an environmental studies major and my family took a (cushy) whitewater rafting trip in the summer between my sophomore and junior years. Nights spent sleeping under the stars (and one particularly handsome raft guide) had me crushing on the wilderness lifestyle, and I decided that guiding was for me.
|Deep underground exploring Vietnam's Củ Chi tunnels. A bit badass!|
|Running the 2003 New York City Marathon and continuing to dabble in badass.|
|Let's be real: my most badass moment to date.|
Once I kind of got the hang of the new parent thing, we were then mired in moving and other transitions, and slowly but surely, our life has become more safe and predictable, with nary a camping trip to speak of in the last few years, and precious fewer hikes, surfs, and other adrenaline-boosting activities than both of us would prefer. Now, with little guy being incredibly self-sufficient (except for the diapers) and adventure-ready himself, I know it is time to course correct, and become something of a hybrid of the wannabe badass I once was, and the more staid, predictable mom-person I currently am today.
So, how to do this? Well, I'm thinking the answer is baby steps. Yesterday, for example. The hubs needed the car, and I needed to get the little guy across town in a timely manner. The obvious answer? Bicycling! Something which I've been terrified to do with him in the city. I witnessed a horrible and fatal bike accident right after we moved here, and it put the fear of city cycling in me. I love to ride bikes, but am very cautious, and happily let the husband be the one with the baby seat mounted on his handlebars. Yesterday, though, I had to bite the bullet, or lose the most precious commodity in my life, time. So, on went the helmets, and out onto the city streets we went. I definitely messed up the the gear shifting element (not easy to shift when a large toddler is front and center on your handlebars), and probably was biking about 1 mile per hour, but you know what? I did it. And when we reached our destination and I caught my breath, I felt that old, familiar satisfied endorphin rush. And I liked it.
Now the thing is to reconcile our current reality and limitations with the original love of adventure and the outdoors that brought us together in the first place. I've been so busy just trying to survive in the last few years that I've let my sense of adventure slide, especially when the couch is so cozy and the Friday Night Lights DVDs are so plentiful and captivating. I've let that cautious suburban girl in me take over, even though I'm not as fond of her as I am of that tan chick paddling amongst the sharkies in the SF Bay. I've let her take over largely because of fear; irrational mom fears like toddler + campfire or toddler + mountain cliff or toddler + open bodies of water, but also more simple fears, like being cold and uncomfortable when so much else in life is necessarily uncomfortable these days (see: grocery shopping with a two year old boy) or losing another night of sleep to being kicked by the little man in my sleeping bag, when good sleep still seems so, so very precious, fleeting and necessary to our sanity. And in typical fashion, I've gone to extremes, and it's either a backpacking adventure or the couch. Sigh. How do we fall into these traps, even as we're so very aware of their existence?
|Sea kayaking with my dad. So relaxing and soothing it can hardly be considered badass, but an adventure nonetheless.|
Are you still with me? All of this pondering leads me to this: a promise to myself and my family to prioritize the effort for balance, and a return to some of things that were important to us before life changed so dramatically. After all, this is all we really have to rely on when life demands a fundamental shift from us: a silent, determined, will power-driven commitment to change. I believe that people can change, but not overnight. These shifts demand a daily nudging, a series of small, almost imperceptible mini-changes which over time grow to mean something truly significant. So, that's where I am... slowing pushing the boulder of post-parenthood life a bit back towards the middle. With some resolve and a little help from my dormant inner badass, I know I can get where I want to be.
How do you get out of ruts and channel your inner badass?
|Woods walk last weekend. Perfection. Mini-excursions are the new badass.|