I like big bumps and I cannot lie

I was a little uncomfortable standing on my skis. Who wouldn’t be? Today was the first time I’d worn them since April. My boots felt a little tight, my ankles slightly wobbly and I found myself wondering if my off season interval training program had prepared me for the “big bumps”.

About a month ago, I had an epiphany. (I have ah-ha moments most days, but not usually as it relates to mogul skiing)

If you met me, it wouldn’t take you long to identify my personality disorder. Oh no, I don’t have a chronic tick or yell out obscenities without warning. (alright, I’m tempted to belt out an f-bomb from time to time–just tempted) But my personality challenge is something that doctors don’t typically diagnose. The “Evel Knievel Syndrome”. It starts as a tickle in my tummy and then quickly shoots through my body. The sensation pauses, just long enough to light a twinkle in my eye, and then rushes up and ignites my brain. Boom, my body reacts, usually taking on some extraordinary feat without another thought. (It’s out of my hands. I was born this way and there seems to be no cure.)

Knowing this about myself, I realized (finally back to the epiphany) maybe I don’t need to attack the steepest slope with knee-high bumps and even deeper ruts. Perhaps a better choice might be a flatter run with wide spaced moguls covered with light, fluffy snow.

Wow. My brain sputtered. (A conservative approach never occurred to me before.)

Instead of the delightful buzz of tickle, my stomach cramped. It groaned, complained and wadded into a knot. What was this?

I knew the answer before I’d asked the question.

Taking risks. I thought to myself. Taking chances versus playing it safe. My stomach loosened.

Well heck, “Risk” is even the name of my novel. I thought some more. Of all the titles I could have created, why “Risk”?

When I first started the novel, “Risk” was a play on words for insurance. Maybe it also represented my character’s challenge to gamble and venture into the unknown.

But as I progressed through this story, the concept of risk has morphed into something different. A risk represents uncertainty, uncharted territory, a chance to break out of our comfort zone. An opportunity to test ourselves, to step through fear and move into confidence and self-reliance. To confront our preconceived limits and triumph in stretching, to establish new boundaries. Truly living the days we dream about and being the person we often times envy, but really, admire.

I carefully glided to the edge of the cliff. I sucked in the crisp air. As I emptied my lungs, I glanced around and noticed the majestic snow-covered valley. Endless acres of trees speckled the rugged side of the mountain. No matter how many times I looked, I never tired of the view.

I tightened the buckles on my boots and made sure my pole straps were securely fastened around my wrists. I flexed my legs and jammed my shins on the front of my boots. I rocked back and forth.

Maybe…I stopped. My fear tried to betray me. My mind drifted to my book.
Go on then, it’s worth the risk.

I dug my poles into the snow. And without looking, I pushed off and slid into the fall line. My knees compressed into my chest as I mounted the first massive lump.

My heart sang and I flew down the side of the hill. Giddy-up.

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