Anyone ever notice how June is the fastest month of the year? Maybe it’s because it always starts with my birthday, rolls right into an annual camping weekend with friends, and then inevitably involves some other kind of travel until it suddenly it’s the 4th of July, and I’m looking around like “WTF? Where am I?” like I just woke up from one of those dead-to-the-world coma-naps.
*Rubs eyes* I’m here. I’m alive. It’s July.
The rest of June aside, I spent it’s final few days with my husband's family on Catalina Island off the coast of southern California. (Yes, it's the F&$^ing Catalina Wine Mixer. Yell it. Get it out of your system.)
It was a beautiful place to call home for a few days, and the trip was full of inspirational moments, like zip lining very high above a canyon (if you got here via my email newsletter, then congrats – you got to see the video!) and, uh, ordering a lot of “sunset lemonades” from the shade of a cabana and buzzed impulse-buying a hat.
In all seriousness, that zip lining experience was pretty emotional. It’s been awhile since I’ve been legit nervous about possibly meeting my own death, and the adrenaline required to get me to jump off of the first platform was intense. It’s hard not to recognize all of the symbolism is taking a “big confident step” (in the words of Cameron, our guide) out into a semi-free-fall 600 feet above the ground: It’s a literal leap of faith in the very small amount of metal and nylon tethering you to a zip cord.
But after that first split second of “HOLY SHIT THERE IS NO GROUND,” I was able to trust the system, relax into the harness, and really enjoy the ride. I also liked the tip of curling yourself into a cannonball to go really fast – that’s a good trick and very helpful to ensure that you get enough momentum to hit the break at a high enough speed that you don't need to be rescued.
As I was gearing up for the final ride with Cameron doing my 10-point safety check, he remarked on how my mother-in-law’s demeanor had changed from the first platform to the last. He said, “My favorite part of this job is seeing someone so nervous at the beginning totally shift by the end to feeling confident and excited. It never gets old.”
I smiled and replied, “That’s how I feel about teaching aerial yoga. Clients are terrified to lift their feet off the ground and 60 minutes later they’re asking for crazy tricks and flipping upside down.”
We then had a very brief conversation where I tried to explain what aerial yoga is and how this dude should not be that impressed because he literally flies above the trees 15 times a day… but, I guess it is pretty cool.
But that thing he said, it is so, so true – the feeling of watching someone’s confidence bloom right before your eyes really doesn’t get old. It’s empowering and inspiring to see a person look at one of their fears head on and decide to go for it. I also love that Cameron shared that feeling with me. He called himself an “emotional junkie,” and I like to think that he felt a little spark of that connection in me, too. Working with people in a physical space takes a certain kind of energy – it can be draining and exhausting to be a human cheerleader every day, digging motivation out of a sometimes very deep well and giving part of yourself to others. But it’s so rewarding, and once you witness someone transform, you want to give that gift to everyone you meet.
That’s why I’m excited to be laying the foundation to begin offering workshops in the fall related to growth and change. Everything is in the very baby stages, and I don’t have much to share, but I can’t wait until I do.
That “big, confident step” is required of me over and over again, and I know that they’re all putting me on a path in in the right direction, one adrenaline jump at a time. In the meantime, I'll be cannonballing myself toward the next step and enjoying the ride.