Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Last week this summer’s “On the Ave” event kicked off with a circus theme, so Jeremy and I walked down the street to check it out. There were circus performers spread out throughout the streets, walking on stilts, dancing with fire, making balloon hats and bending their bodies in ways that just look painful. I haven’t been to the circus in years (and I don’t support them because I don’t believe in the animal cruelty that takes place at them). Luckily I saw no poor animals and I was having a blast. I felt like a little kid and wanted Jeremy, who is not quite as giddy and immature as me, to feel the same way. I decided that he should get his face painted. Being the great, easygoing boyfriend that he is, he agreed after I promised to do it too. And he could pick what was going to be painted on my face.  Sure, why not? I love being outrageous as much as possible.

Fifteen minutes later we were painted like little black cats and continued down the Ave. I had read that there was going to be a trapeze that you could pay and sign up to try. We came across it and I got a little knot in my stomach. I’ve always wanted to swing on one but I’m aeroacrophobic, or absolutely terrified of heights. This is something that definitely began in my adult life.  As a child I’d climb to the top of trees or jump off the roof into the pool with no fear.  Now I don’t even like climbing on the kitchen counter to reach something on the top shelf, so was I really going to climb this crazy ladder onto a little platform with no rails and then jump?

I guess I love trying new things and taking up on opportunities a little more than I’m afraid of heights. How many times is there going to be a trapeze in front of me that I can swing from for only $20? YOLO.

“What am I afraid of?  Getting hurt?  Dying?” I asked myself.  “What are the odds? You’ll regret not doing it.”  I’ve told myself this many times, before I zip-lined and jumped off cliffs in Jamaica and before I did the bungee free-fall at Six Flags.  I have accepted that while I may never overcome my fear of heights, I can at least make myself stronger than it for a few minutes.  Experience something new.  Say I did it.  Get the adrenaline pumping.  There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes after completing something that scares you.  I love it.

I signed my life away, strapped on the belt, told Jeremy to take lots of pictures and climbed the ladder without looking back (or down).  The worst part was the few seconds where I had to bend my knees and lean over the edge of the platform.  But once I was flying, I let go of all fear and made it the best experience possible.  I figured that I was already painted like a cat and flying on a trapeze, so why not hang from my knees and do a flip as well?  I’m glad to say that I can cross that one off my bucket list.

“On the Ave” events take place throughout the summer on selected Thursdays from 6-10 p.m. Atlantic Avenue in downtown Delray Beach is blocked off to traffic and replaced with live music, open house specials, gallery exhibitions and other fun little things to take in.

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