Everything That Puts Me in a Mild Amount of Danger Makes Me Feel Alive

by 9:00 PM 0 comments
A few weekends ago I did two borderline-athletic things. On Saturday, I went Ice-Skating with USY. On Sunday, I took a fencing lesson with Jews Next Dor. Both were strangely exhilarating.

I hadn't been ice-skating for about ten years, and it's kind of terrifying. I wasn't ashamed to keep my arms extended at a 45 degree angle to aid my balance. I didn't fall, but I was never able to forget about the possibility of falling. The funny thing was, I got a ton of energy from the experience. I was actually kind of giddy for about two hours afterwards. I used that energy to clean the house at 11 PM. Fun!

Then, on Sunday, I went to this fencing lesson. It was obviously not really dangerous, but we did put on a ton of safety gear and poke each other with sticks in a way where it was very easy to pretend I was a grown-up version of Arya Stark in Game of Thrones.

What do we say to death? "Not today."

Anyway, both experiences were new and exciting and made me feel invigorated. Seeing a new kind of movie or reading a new kind of prose poem just don't bring the same kind of excitement to life as physically doing something new does. 

I wrote a while ago about seeking joy, and I think that this is maybe one of the ways to do it, even though it's a little inconsistent with my well-cultivated persona in which I don't mix social activity with exercise. Ever.

Why, though? Actually, I was more than willing to huff away at the gym with co-workers, but they weren't relying on me to reach their goals. My fear is letting down a team; being the slow one on a hike, the one who misses the goal, etc. I'm a lot more confident that I can be a good member of a mock trial team than a soccer team.

So I have a new goal: don't let fear of being the worst one in the group stop me from doing something. And the flipside of this goal: be more forgiving of the worst person in the group, whoever they may be. I have a gut feeling these two attitudes must be related. 

Marina Gafni

Marina Gafni is a 28-year-old speech pathology student. She lives with her husband in San Jose, CA.

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