Thursday, June 16, 2011

When I Was Fearless

When Chef and I were swimming the other night, I relayed to him a story from my childhood. I don't exactly remember how we got on it, but it was a story about a trip I took with my mom (and probably some other kids too, my brother I'm sure, I just don't remember who else was there) to Kramer's Lake. Kramer's lake was clearly a body of water, as the name implies, but also included some water slides and big trapeze, as well.

I think I was about 10 years old and all I wanted to do was swing out on that trapeze. Fly through the air and land in the water below. I'm not sure if my mom told me specifically not to do it or if she just communicated that with her eyes and demeanor. Either way, I ignored it.

So picture me as a not yet five foot girl, standing on top of a large trapeze that was on an elevated platform and landed in waters, the depths of which were unknown (at least to me). We had a pool, so I was a pretty good swimmer. None of this seemed to matter more than the thrill of the swing and release. I had to stretch my little toes as far off the platform as I could to grab the trapeze bar. I had just laid my fingertips on top of it when I heard a familiar voice yelling in the distance. I can see her now in a colorful, yet sensible one-piece bathing suit, her shoulder length hair pulled back in a pony tail, and large sunglasses (before they were really fashionable). Her arms were waving and she was yelling "DON'T GO! DON'T GO!".

The "lifeguard" who was watching the lake was distracted by the woman who was walking as fast as she could through thigh-high lake water to get to me. I used the distraction to my advantage and swung off the platform, letting go at the crest of my pendulum swing. I landed with a thud in the water and swam--albeit slowly--to my mother. At that point, I figured the lecture was probably going to be the same if I had gone or just prepared to go. The embarrassment of being called out in front of all of these older kids was more painful than any landing I could've taken, so I let 'er fly.

"You're too short." "You're too young." "We don't know how deep that water is." All were reasons that mom said made the trapeze too dangerous for me, but okay for my 13 year old brother. None of them really mattered, because I had already gotten what I wanted. A moment to disobey and FLY!

When I told the story to Chef, I said "That was back when I was young. And fearless."

Since then I've decided it's time to get a little more fearless again. We'll see what that ends up meaning.

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