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Tourists come from all over the country for white water rafting, sight-seeing, rock climbing, and parachute jumping off the New River Gorge Bridge on the annual Bridge Day in Fayetteville, not far from my home.
As you might expect, you’ll find many an adventurous spirit round these here parts.
How often do you get outside your comfort zone?
Sooner or later in life, you will be faced with a choice for adventure whether it be a physical or mental challenge.
Will you take advantage of this opportunity, or will you immediately shut it down because you’re afraid?
Your kids are watching you. They pick up what you model.
My rock climbing friend, Luke, shared with me several keys that apply to this concept.
1. Be willing to take risks
This doesn’t have to be about rock climbing. It’s about anything you view as a risk.
a business venture
joining a book club
starting a mom’s day out program
____________________(insert challenging thing that freaks you out here)
When I turned 40, I made a decision to ditch my fear and take on the roller coasters. I was tired of being a scared, mousey mom.
Once I made the decision, I never looked back.
Even though I screamed my lungs out every time.
Plus the kids thought it was funny. So – win/win!
2. Never climb if you’re not in safety aka “belay”
One must be in the right frame of mind (sober), have the proper gear (belay), and if you’re a newbie – a guide.
Actually, it’s always a good idea to have a partner for support.
Pray about your decisions (even if it is a rollercoaster).
God sees your fear and knows your desires. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe He gave you that desire?
No desire or decision is too small for God to be involved. Seek His wisdom.Being in safety means you surround yourself with good advisors. Click To Tweet
Make sure you have wise people in your life to bounce your ideas (or your volleyball) off of.
3. Communication is key
So you’ve narrowed down your prospects. Now you need to discuss it with the important people in your life. Let them know what you’re thinking.
Your husband cannot read your mind. (At least mine can’t.)
Express to him your goals and dreams. Share your ideas with your kids.
Include your family in the adventure. You can’t do this alone. For two reasons:
1.Your first priority is your kids
Your risk should be something you’re doing because of your kids, not to get away from them (even though you may feel like running away sometimes).
If it takes you away for a considerable amount time, you need to consider another risk.
2.You need your cheer section.
This should be a family affair! Your kids need to see you growing. They get excited about it as they see you progress, and you inspire them in turn!
My friend Luke, the rock climber, takes his kids along probably 80% of the time he performs outdoor activities.
Rock climbing, biking, hiking, whatever. He’s involved with his kids because he makes time for it (and so does their mama)!
When we began taking our kids to amusement parks, I didn’t really want them riding roller coasters, but I didn’t want them to grow up to be scaredy cats like their mama either.
So as soon as they were tall enough, we took them along on the coasters.
Actually, we made them go.
We had a few cry all during the wait for the ride.
And when it was over guess what –
they LOVED it.
There was an era where the Gray family had seasonal tickets to Bush Gardens and we knew every twist and turn to every ride by heart (having a dad who travels and brings you along is a perk sometimes).
(Not my dad – they’re dad.)
4. Don’t do anything stupid
Don’t take your kid to an overlook and climb on the other side of the fence just to be cool.
Don’t put your kid on the other side of the fence, either.
If you’re 50 years old and you decide to take up the balance beam, you might want to rethink that.
If you want to start up a business but you have zero collateral and have to go $100,000 in debt, it’s a no-go.
I’m not advocating throwing caution to the wind.
Taking risks is about challenging yourself within reasonable limits.
5. Always listen to someone with experience
No matter how old you are, there will always be someone older and wiser than you.
If your goal is to learn how to roller skate with your kids, ask for help!
Seek wise counsel no matter what you’re interested in doing.
It’s good to have mentors in your life.
We mamas need seasoned mamas to bring us along in the balance of our lives and the rearing of our children. Click To Tweet
If you don’t have anyone in mind, church is a good place to start!
Find a mom you admire that has been around the block a time or two and pick her brain!
6. Never stop learning
Never stop challenging yourself, even in small ways.
Chances are, there is an opportunity lying right under your nose.
What have you been putting off because you’re afraid?
Moms can have all kinds of quirky fears –
fear of rejection
fear of not being good enough
fear of looking like an idiot in front of your kids
fear of failure
Stop overthinking everything and start taking risks.
I ran my first 5K when I was 42.
I took up mountain biking at 45.
I performed my first triathlon at age 48, and now, here I am, writing my first book at age 50.
My husband and kids cheered me on through it all. Jim even had “Team Ruthie” shirts made for the triathlon.
My oldest came up with the idea for“31 Hats MOM Wears”. Jim and I brainstormed hat ideas.
The fam reads my blog every day and tell me if I have typos (btw I know there are some I haven’t yet fixed) and get excited to read about the next hat.
Never stop growing, dreaming, or challenging yourself. Join the thriving, rock climbing moms of the world and set your spirit free to enjoy the wind at your back as you steadily climb that giant rock, one notch at a time. Seek wise counsel, don’t be reckless, communicate with the fam, and never stop learning.
You don’t really want to be that mom holding all the gear while everyone else has fun, do you?
Are you at a crossroads right now? Do you have an opportunity that interests you, but you’re afraid of failing? When was the last time you stepped outside that comfort zone and did something brave? Not brave for just anyone – brave for YOU.
Only you can choose your brave. Go 0n mom – get that helmet ready!
“Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be.” ~2Thessalonians 1:2
“He’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with His own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, He will honor you.” ~2Thessalonians 1:11, MSG