Monday, April 14, 2014

Facing Our Fears by Robin Janney

Jaclyn loves going along on rides with us!
Talk about a tough act to follow!  After reading C.P.'s post from last week, I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out how I could even begin to match her excellent post!  She and I have vastly different lives and sometimes I feel so booooring! I work a demanding full time job, and don't even have children so I can't share any anecdotes of that nature.  I have a husband and a dog.  Granted, Jaclyn's a cute dog...and a perpetual toddler in many ways.

As I thought about it, C.P.'s delightful post was about a common motherly fear of lettering the first child leave the nest.  While it is something I can't identify with, I have my own fears.

One I do share with my writing cohort and that is neither one of us is fond of public speaking.  Give me a script and ask me to act out a character, and I am all for it!  I love being in plays or skits, though I haven't been for years.  Oddly enough for a woman of my size, I once belonged to a church dance group.  But ask me to be myself in front of people, regardless of whether I know them or not, and my heart starts doing double time!  In fact, in tenth grade I was so afraid of getting up in front of my classmates that I reused to give a mandatory speech for English class.  If I didn't do it, I wouldn't pass the tenth grade.  In the end, I was allowed to give it to just the English teacher in the principal's office on the last day of school.  It was enough to allow that wall to begin to come down; in fact, for eleventh grade not only did I give the speech for that year with no problem, but managed to be so persuading about mental abuse being a legitimate form of abuse that I was called into the school's Guidance Office to make sure I was okay!!

Stronger together!
Back on the 5th, when C.P. and I gave our presentation at the library, I had the stray thought that my tenth grade teacher would have been so proud of me.  She is no longer with us, so if those who have passed on into another life are truly aware of current events, it may well be that she is. And no doubt, she delights in the irony of it.  She was a great lover of irony in storytelling.

She may have despaired over my actual execution of my side of the presentation, but she would have been proud nonetheless.

There is strength in numbers, and together C.P. and I pulled it off.  There was a decent crowd that day, not too many and not too few.  More chairs were filled than empty.  We fielded some good questions afterward, which was it's own satisfaction.  It's always nice to know that people are genuinely interested in what you're talking about.  Not like those days back in school when not only were we required to give speeches, but we were also required to listen to the speeches of our classmates.  There were even a few 'after' questions, when the time was up and the people began to disperse except for the few that wanted to talk to us one on one.  I can only hope we were able to clear up the one gentleman's belief that Kindle Direct Publishing charges us for our self-publication!

Over on my own blog, I touched on one of my other fears.  Last summer, in my first attempt to operate one of my in-laws four wheelers, I managed to run myself over with the machine.  No, really, I did.  I took a turn too sharp and hit a pile of logs hidden in the high grass of their field.  It threw me off balance, and dummy me put a foot on the ground in a futile attempt steady the machine.  Not my brightest moment.  I ended up falling off the machine, with my leg getting tangles up with the foot rest and the back tire ran my ankle over.  I did one smart thing though, I got back on the machine and drove it back down to the trailer so that I could get a better idea at my injuries.  Largely just bruised, although the side of my leg was sorely scraped by the foot rest.  I am truly lucky I didn't snap my neck when I fell.
All set to ride...

For the rest of the summer, I only rode behind Mr. Janney when we went out for rides.  But fears are meant to be faced.  This past Saturday was a delightful day here in NE PA.  The weather was beautiful, as it is today on Sunday as I begin this post.  Sunshiny and warm.  Neither Mr. Janney or I wanted to stay indoors and we spent most of the day outside up to his parents.  And yes, once again I got back on the beast that had dumped me and I rode it around.

And had a blast!  I zipped up and down the field you see behind me in the picture I've shared.  Well, ten miles per hour may not seem like much in a car, but on a four wheeler it was enough for me!  Sometimes I did reach as high as fifteen and twenty.  I followed my husband as he broke me into easy forest trails. The end goal of all this is to get me comfortable enough on the machines so that I can go on the mountain trails with him.  I doubt I will ever be as bold as he is; the times that I've ridden double with him in the past, he's taken some pretty harrowing trails.

Thankfully, he was smart enough to keep it easy on Saturday.  I trusted him to remember that I was a newb and he did.  And then his parents came home and his father joined us in our fun.  And my sense of adventure, which is tentative at best, was put to the test.  Father Janney wanted to know if his son had taken me on any of the mountain trails yet.  The answer was no, not solo. We'd gone up early riding double, but even then we hadn't gone all the way up.  So it was that Father Janney talked me into taking on the mountain.  Being the beginner, I was placed in the middle.  He would lead and my husband would follow behind.  All I had to do was follow his tracks.

Easier said than done!

Especially when the trail we were on was rocky in places!

But I did it!!

It may not seem like much to some, but for this country raised girl who wasn't raised with any kind of ATV's, it was a proud moment.  And let me tell you, going UP the mountain was far easier than coming back DOWN!  Some part of the trail were steep, and the angle was a bit intimidating. I can't help being afraid, I will almost always be afraid of height's...but I can decide how I'm going to handle that fear.  It won't rule my life.  It won't stop me from having fun and learning new things!

Just waiting for all this to turn green!!
Part of me regrets not taking my phone along with me on my rides, so that I could have captured some impressive scenery.  We saw at least two deer on our first trail, and when we were out with Father Janney we saw a grouse in the brush.  And the view from that high up, without leaves on the, just wow.  The pic that I've posted is a portion of their lower fields, the easiest part of the rides.  But the other part of me loved being free from my phone for the afternoon.  Indeed, I barely went on Facebook at all yesterday, even before we arrived at his parents.  And it was wonderful!!  Maybe next time I'll take the camera along and see if I can't capture some of that awe inspiring serenity.  Maybe...  ;)

What about you, dear readers?  What fears have you overcome?  What fears do you still battle?

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