From the Publisher

"It is in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves-in finding themselves."  -Andre Gide

Occasionally a situation arises that allows you to learn an awful lot about yourself. I recently had the opportunity to experience a real eye-opener. Last week, while I was diligently editing articles, an email message popped up in my inbox. The subject line read: A Surprise Adventure for You! The message read: Are you up for a delightful and thrilling adventure? If you're available this Friday at 5:30 p.m. or Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m., I would love to take you for a "bucket list" experience. It is not dangerous or nauseating or scary-just very different and very fun. That's all the details I have to share for now.this is about Living Out Loud!

This came from Jane Kendall, a lady who I admire very much, but don't know very well. What I did know is that she is adventurer at heart, and much, much braver than me. I don't know what came over me, but I called her and told her I would be available Saturday morning. At that point, the only detail I was clear on was that I was to meet her in the Harris Teeter parking lot in front of Hilton Head Plantation at 7:30 a.m., and that I would be home around noon.

You can't imagine the thoughts that ran through my mind. Just as a reminder, I am the girl that had a panic attack on the Peter Pan ride at Disney World, and then refused to go on Winnie the Pooh-just couldn't handle it! So, what was I doing and why wasn't I nervous?

Our trip took us to Butter Bean Beach on Skidaway Island on the outskirts of Savannah. The conversation on the way over had been interesting-girl talk mostly-getting to know each other better. I had not pressed for information; I was just along for the ride.

When we pulled into the landing at Butter Bean Beach, I knew our adventure must have something to do with water. But then I saw it. I didn't know what it was, but I knew it wasn't on my bucket list. I looked at Jane and questioned, "Is that it?" She beamed, "Yes, isn't it great?"

It was an amphibious trike, a powered hang-glider, a motorcycle that floats and flies, a contraption that Elizabeth Millen planned to steer clear of her entire life! I begin to put on the floatation device, wondering what the hell I was doing. For some reason, my nerves were in tact. I climbed on as if this was going to be way less scary than Winnie the Pooh.

Dave Myers was my pilot and we could communicate through the headphones we were wearing. We taxied down the ramp, splashed into the water, lifted the landing gear, and we were off. We were frolicking in the water with dolphins around us, and then it happened. He asked, "Are you ready to take off?"

"Yes," I replied as he hit the gas and we started zooming across the water. Right at lift off, I said, "Nooooooo, don't do it!" Ah, the Elizabeth I know all too well had finally showed up. I'm a baby-step girl. I asked if we could fly just like five feet over the water. He said we really needed to get some air. I needed air too, but in a whole different way. I then learned that I was his first challenge. Imagine that.

So we tooled around some more to give me time to gain courage. It was so weird; I really wanted to do it. I felt like a failure not doing it. I wasn't overly nervous. This thing flies low, well not that low (500-1,000 feet), and slow. It was as if saying no was more of a habit, than my true desire. With all these questions toiling in my brain, we called it a day for me. Turned out my courage was on the shore, along with a lot of introspection.

So then it was Jane's turn to fly, and as I stood on the shore watching her soar, I cheered for her and analyzed what held me back. I knew it was safe, and I adored Dave, the pilot. He was kind, patient, trustworthy, and encouraging. I'm still perplexed; so, I am going with that's just who I am, for now.and that's okay!

There are some things in this adventure for which I want to give myself credit:
? I willingly went and honored Jane's desire to surprise me.
? I had an open-mind the whole time.
? I gave it a try-baby steps!
? I stayed true to myself.
? I expanded my vantage point.
? I met new people and had a great time.
? I went somewhere I had never been, and learned about something I didn't know existed.

However, I want you to know that I WILL fly on Mello One with Dave Myers. I want to be free like a bird; I want to see the marshlands from above, I want to say I did it.I'll let you know when I do!

So, what are you holding yourself back from? More importantly, what are you beating yourself up over not doing? Do you know why? What credit can you give yourself?
            Think Pink,

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