I’ll be the first to admit. I am scared of things. Ever since I was seven years old falling badly on an icy sidewalk hurting myself on my way home from school because a group of bullies (the leader of whom thought I was his little brother) pelleted me with snowballs, I’ve been afraid of things. Afraid of falling. Afraid of heights. Afraid of water. Afraid of getting hit with snowballs.
And yet, I have swung on a trapeze in New York City (three times, and I hated every minute of each time). I have rappelled down a cliff in Utah (hated that just as much), went sky-diving 90 miles from Las Vegas (among the biggest and best thrills of my life), climbed some of the tallest peaks in the States (and loved every minute of every bit of those hikes) and white-water rafted down class 5 rapids in Yosemite (taking the front of the raft owning the angry waters making sure I didn’t fall into the river), not to mention so much more.
I am still afraid of falling. I am still afraid of heights. I am still afraid of the water.
And yet, I love to fly and believe someday that I will. I (think I) love to swim and believe someday that I will.
I am not afraid of being afraid.
Today, in Koh Smet off Hat Sai Keao beach, I went parasailing.
From the same group of women who gave me a foot massage earlier, one of them contacted the driver of the boat that was to take me. For the price of 1000 baht, I was on the boat within ten minutes, picking me up on the beach right where I sat.
After outfitting myself with a life jacket, two GoPro cameras (one over the life jacket in a chest harness and the other a handheld with an extender), I slipped into a seat harness. We picked up two more passengers on another beach and off we went. It wasn’t long before I was summoned. With a smile, I nervously stepped onto the back of the boat, quickly clipped onto the parachute, and before I could get my bearings as I frantically grabbed my GoPro, I was off the platform. And within no time, my anxiety vanished into a tranquil smile, fifty feet in the air with a view of the beautiful island. Much of it a natural preserve, I saw everything within a 360 degree view, trees galore filling every nook and cranny that wasn’t beachfront. I’ve written it before and I will continue to do so till I am blue (pun intended) in the face, but the water below me was a spectacular turquoise blue with tinges of green. It was simply stunning.
I was sailing for almost nine minutes, twice dropped into the water, both times not knowing how to drop my feet, so I clumsily went into the water and up before getting back up in altitude. I am quite certain I was funny-looking and the passengers in the boat I’m sure had a good laugh at my expense.
It didn’t wipe the smile from my face, as I kept a perma-grin the entire time. I talked to myself (ahem, the cameras) all the while up in the air, for some reason in my Matthew McConauhey voice. Cos well, that’s what I do. I’m Matthew McConauhey and I do voices. (And I parasail.) The funny thing about the Matthew McConauhey voice is that even Matthew McConauhey doesn’t sound like Matthew McConauhey. Ah, but I digress.
Being up there so high above the water, all alone to myself, was so serene. I thought of both nothing and everything simultaneously.
And that was my favourite part.
Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live
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