In Case of My Death, Read

I’m familiar with fear. Oh, am I familiar with fear.
In fact, I’m not actually a person. I’m a giant ‘fraidy-cat. Yup. A pussy, wimp, gutless turd.
I do it well.
If there’s risk of, you know, embarrassment or shame or, well, death, I’ll probably find a way to get out of it, if I can. I’m just being honest.
I’ve been working on this, uh, “quality” of mine for the last year or so. Headway has been gained. Kind of at a glacial 1-inch-a-year kinda pace, though. It’s a recession, I’ll take what I can get, man.
Luckily for me, it’s easier to swallow fear of adventure lifestyle because of my litany of fucked-up injuries over the last 15 years. The cheat-sheet version? Thrown from horse, fell down flight of uncovered stairs, five car accidents (one major), thrown off scooter in shoulda-been-dead accident, three blown knees, blown back, four cases whiplash, and maybe a few other things in there.
I’m a human crash-test dummy, and I’m not even TRYING to be.
But if I’m not dead yet, I’m clearly immortal.
If I survive The Year 2010, I’m starting a cult on an island with volcanoes, palm trees, and a well-stocked bar, because I’ll TOTALLY be worthy of worship.
As much as I am completely paralyzed by fear and don’t even REMOTELY want to do some of the things on my Not-A-Bucket-List, well, in the next 18 months, there’s a crazy list of shit I want to accomplish, as if to say “I’m not what my baggage is, not anymore.”
I have nothing to prove to anyone. It’s not about you.
These activities, in some way, aren’t even about me. The things I want to do (and the list stays with me and a few friends) all in some way are directly opposite what the Steff Of Old would have done, versus what the Steff Of Legend was capable of in my grade-five-fantasy mind.
Friday is day one of the slow ascent to some completely unreal chick I don’t even know if I can be, but I’m going to try.
It’s zipline day.
And not one of those nice, cushy ziplines where you might fall in a marsh or at least have a thorny bush to break your fall before you careen into a tree, or when that paperclip-wire snaps and you go hurtling to your inevitable death below.
No, this one’s zipping over one of the busiest squares in the Olympics. And glass roofs! Concrete! Glass! Steel! Humans that can be crushed like bugs! Death! Dismemberment!
Perhaps you don’t realize what it’s like to live inside my head.
I’m pretty sure there’s maybe a handful of people who could relate to what Inside My Head is like.
I’m… “imaginative.”
I can’t just see the potential for horror in my grand attempt at a zipline, I can imagine the bloodiest of calamities ensuing. Graphically. In slow motion. I see it all. Arterial splatter. Limbs flying. Screams echoing.
No, not pretty. In fact, my vision involves a mass grave out UBC way.
And yet.
Friday. Zipline. I’m doing it. I think. But that’s why I’m writing this posting, for peer pressure. Too many people in my life read this for them not to be able to mockingly lord it over me if I stay true to my marshmallow heart and want to run like the coward I am.
Fear’s fear. Sometimes it can’t be “gotten” over so easily. I’m going to try.
I am so fucking terrified of doing this, though. I don’t want to do the zipline. Nope.
But I want to BE THE GIRL who’d DO the zipline. So, to be that girl, it takes doing it, and it takes knowing on the flipside that I can do it and survive.
It’s not a big deal for other people, they’re just that kind of person. And that’s wicked. For them.
Me, I’m the girl who came close to 300 pounds, and who came through a lot of stuff I wasn’t sure I’d see the other side of. I’ve survived that. I’m pretty sure there aren’t many adversities or troubles in life that could beat me, not anymore.
I’m the girl who’s taken chances and has been horribly injured, in years of chronic pain, rehab for more than a year on four separate counts…
There is a LOT of argument for me to live my life in a bubble.
You have NO FUCKING IDEA how much validity the argument of living Bubble Life holds when you’re talking about the kind of stuff I’ve had to endure over the last 14 years, pain-wise and rehab-wise.
One injury after another, you’d think “Jesus, just stick to cycling and swimming,” too.
But if I got hurt that much, that often, that badly, from playing it safe, and had to suffer the consequences so long…
…Then why the fuck not try to at least HAVE the Big Bucket Experiences if I’m going to have that kind of fall-out anyhow?
Why not?
And why not be that chick that I have always considered hot? The chick who can do the things that the daring boys do? I’ve always wanted to be that girl, and always used my fat and my klutziness as reasons not to do it.
WELL, NOT ANYMORE. (I’m saying that like I mean it in case that somehow helps me believe it a little better. Just between us.)
Oh, god, help me. I’m scared. I want my mommy and she’s dead, so I guess that means I’ll either be wearing grown-up diapers or investing in alcohol for after.
It’s symbolic, this incredibly stupid Friday-morning plan I have. Very.
Ziplining is like how life should be, always.
Jump, know you’ve got safeties around you, so have faith, but move forward, get where you want to be, and appreciate that from which you’ve come.
Yeah. I’m terrified. I’ve got the zipline planned for this Friday, and I’m hoping this kink in my neck/shoulder isn’t going to interfere, but if it does, there’s another 9 days to get it done before this zipline’s dismantled after the Olympics. I think I’ll be fine, though.
Just scared. đŸ™‚
My fear of heights is pretty intense, but my fear of falling is one of my major nightmares. I’ve faced a lot of things in life that terrified me and had me sure Thar Be Monsters, but they were unavoidable and I either faced them and succeeded, or they’d beat me.
Fight or flight, man, and I fight. Rawr.
But choosing to willy-nilly go into the fray? Fuck, man, the fray finds ME, why help it out, right?
And yet.
I guess, for once, I wanna be that movie hero who doesn’t sit in the apartment and wait for the baddies to come breaking down the door. I wanna suit up, pack my weapons, have that big-bad shot of whiskey, go out, and kick ass and take names. None of this waiting-for-the-fray thing.
This time, I want the element of surprise to be on my side.
Here’s where, in reality, I’m muttering “Better be careful what I wish for.”
Yeah, well, in about 51 hours, I’ll know where I stand. Hopefully it’ll be on the NORTH side of Robson Square.
Pray for me.

2 thoughts on “In Case of My Death, Read

  1. Lara

    You can do it!
    I am terrified too – but my fears are less physical and more social – OMG going by myself to a group thing where I don’t know ANYONE in the group and what if I stand in line for three hours and NO ONE talk to me, or they all hate me, or I make a complete ass of myself? This is what is tying my tummy in knots but I will see you there!

  2. jade cibotti

    OMG your going to totally LOVE your zipline experience. My daughter works at ‘one’ of the resorts here in NH {USA} – 3 years she worked the zipline. It was fantastical for me, I’d go once or twice a month for 1/2 price. I’ll be going on the 22nd for my daughter’s 22nd B-day. I’ll think of you on friday, I’ll be anxious to hear about your experience and the incredible adrenaline rush you’ll feel. It’s wild in a wicked way. You’ll see.

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