The Scariest Thing I Did All Week

Not me. This is my fearless friend Tony. Photo by Dave LaPointe

So far this week I launched this blog, drove my husband’s truck for the first time, telemark skied some black diamond trails, and opened several plastic containers of unknown vintage in the back of the refrigerator. None of these feats, however, compare to the daring move I contemplated yesterday: pointing my Facebook friends to this blog.

I know…sounds bold.

“Should I really post a link on my Facebook?” I asked my husband, W.

He gave me that you’ve-certainly-gone-off-the-deep-end-this-time look. “Why wouldn’t you? Isn’t that the purpose of the blog…to have people read it?”

Of course I wanted people to read it. But I was perhaps imagining an audience of people I didn’t know. Strangers who might find anxiety sort of cool, like having a cast on your wrist when you’re in elementary school.

Why not share with my Facebook friends, the collection of people I knew from work, writing, skiing, and paddling? Suddenly I had that feeling I get peering over the headwall of a steep pitch, thinking, am I really going to ski down that? What was I so scared of? That my friends wouldn’t love me anymore because I admitted to freaking out?

That wasn’t it. My close friends all know I’m insane. They might even find it slightly charming.

It was the paddlers. I don’t know how many whitewater paddlers I’ve got on my friends list, but they’re mostly class IV and V boaters. That means they go out on icy spring days to plunge into churning rapids and over precipitous drops. Whitewater boaters can be a kind of macho crowd, though, to be fair, the people I hang out with don’t try to get me out on rivers I’m not ready to paddle.

Did I worry my paddling friends and acquaintances wouldn’t respect me anymore if they knew that I was not slightly wimpy, but genuinely freaking out? Yes, that was exactly it.

“Why do you care so much what other people think of you?” W asked, not for the first time.

Right again, W. So I did it.

“So…if you wanted to think of me as sane and collected, you probably shouldn’t read my new blog,” I posted on my Facebook, with a link to this blog.

My audacity was not in the cunning double psychology of my status update. No. The courageous move of the week was putting it out there even for my most fearless friends to read. And you know what? Two of my class IV-V boater friends already chimed in encouragingly. (Thanks, guys!)

Yeah, I didn’t huck myself over a waterfall, but still, I’m feeling pretty brave right now.

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