50 Crazy Things in my 50th Year – Recap

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With Dawn Nelson at the Polar Bear Swim – blame her, she started all of this!

The dust is starting to settle after my birthday and the completion of 50 Crazy Things in my 50th Year. I’ve heard congratulations from many of my friends, and even people I don’t know. I’ve heard of how my adventures have inspired others to try new things, and even some people planning their own list of crazy things before a significant birthday. It’s amazing how we can have an affect on people just by being ourselves, and sharing our lives.

In the past year I faced some of my fears head on. Think dating… and trapeze school! I may not have conquered them, but I stared them down and made them just a little smaller, and a little less powerful. Each time I try something that fear monster will keep getting smaller – I definitely confirmed that in the past year.

The Scream

The Scream

I did things in the past year that were just silly, or spontaneous like driving to Kelowna to do an escape room, or getting my nose pierced with Krista, Monica, and Jody – I definitely didn’t see that coming. These are the things we hear about and think, “Gee, that sounds like fun…” but then we get to busy and never do them. I’m happy to say I did them… and more! What I discovered is looking at the world in a certain way becomes a habit. If I saw the opportunity for adventure I usually took it, and I put it out there for others to join me. The cool thing is, they often jumped at it, and then we were all a little more spontaneous or silly.

When I went back to Meadow Lake, SK, in the summer with my mom I went back to the place where I was born. It doesn’t sound like a big deal. It’s not like I was born somewhere exotic. But I’d thought about it for so many years and found all kinds of lazy reasons not to do it. We went, and it was a good thing for both of us, facing the past and the future. I’m so glad we took the time to go.

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I did some things alone, and they were magical. I hiked the Berg Lake Trail, having never done an overnight backpack before. I spent time with myself and discovered not only a beautiful outer landscape but a special inner one as well.

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On the Berg Lake Trail – my first glacier

Friends and family jumped at the chance to get crazy with me, and several jumped multiple times. I had enthusiastic bridesmaids for the Rock n’ Roll 10K, a group of crazy people did the Conair plane crash hike with me. Amanda flew to Florida with me, ran her first half marathon (actually ran her first anything), and rode rides with me while risking the fact that I could very well throw up on her. Krista, Monica, and Jody (all repeat Crazy Thing participants) even ate bugs with me… that is true friendship! And I can’t even count how many people generously supported me by helping me raise an insane amount of money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand while they enjoyed “dressing the fairy”. Dawn Nelson, the crazy woman who suggested my 50 Crazy Things in my 50th year, even did the Polar Bear Swim with me and together we encountered magic we truly weren’t expecting. There were also countless people who supported me in the best way they could – by cheering me on, reading the blog posts, and enjoying my frequent episodes of discomfort. Support comes in many forms and I recognize and appreciate all the support I have in my life.

I want to thank all of the people who helped me, participated with me, and cheered me on. I love all of you.

The biggest thing I learned, or maybe remembered, is that life rarely happens when you’re sitting on the couch looking out the window. It happens out there. Habits are meant to be broken, and rebuilt as new habits. Bars are meant to be raised. Fears are meant to be faced.

What next?

I plan to continue my crazy things – just not with a deadline. I plan to live a crazy life. There were a lot of things I couldn’t fit into my year. The list is still there and it is growing. I will keep blogging about it because people seem to enjoy reading about my discomfort.

My whole reason for starting this journey was to stop the trends I saw solidifying in my life. My life was getting smaller… I’m stopping that. I was saying no more than yes… I’m stopping that too. I want a life that is richer, and one that is filled with more great adventure and more great people. My next 50 years are going to be very busy!

Oh, and to answer that question AGAIN… I am still not jumping out of a perfectly good airplane or tying an elastic around my ankles and jumping off a cliff! Crazy… not stupid!

The list

So here it is, the complete list of my 50 Crazy Things with links to each of the blog posts. Thank you all for sharing this with me. It’s been a wild ride and I’m only getting started! Who’s in?

#1 – Run the Disney Princess Half Marathon
#2 – Ride a roller coaster without throwing up
#3 – Fund raise for a charity
#4 – Run a 10K and a Half Marathon back to back
#5 – Run half marathons on each coast in the same year
#6 – Join the circus (Trapeze School)
#7 – Embrace Obstacles (Foam Fest)
#8 – Walk above the water (Suspension bridge)
#9 – The Berg Lake Trail
#10 – Return to the place where I was born
#11 – 10X up the steps to the lighthouse in Cochin, SK
#12 – Let my cousin drag me around a lake while she tries to kill me
#13 – Hike to the Conair plane crash site
#14 – Go on a date
#15 – Beat the Blerch – Get out of control
#16 – Ride on a motorcycle
#17 – Wear a wedding dress
#18 – The Moustache Miler – spontaneous mingling
#19 – Drive home in my pajamas
#20 – Night skiing away from civilization
#21 – Do a virtual run
#22 – Follow intuition and rediscover magic
#23 – Go out for New Year’s
#24 – Polar Bear Swim
#25 – Make a snow angel
#26 – Give blood again
#27 – Eat a bug on purpose
#28 – Ski the hills without putting the brakes on
#29 – Learn to paint
#30 – Climb a tree
#31 – Go ice skating
#32 – Go rock climbing
#33 – Get passionate (Passion Party)
#34 – Snowshoe race
#35 – Improve at a sport (Cross Country Ski Lesson)
#36 – Downhill Skiing
#37 – Have headshots taken by a professional photographer
#38 – Let a photographer do a portrait
#39 – Get a tattoo
#40 – Visit an Escape Room
#41 – Run a half marathon without training – just because
#42 – Volunteer somewhere scary
#43 – Ladies’ choice (get my nose pierced)
#44 – Ski a half marathon
#45 – Write a screenplay
#46 – Street photography
#47 – Photograph star trails
#48 – Take a selfie every day
#49 – Self portrait
#50 – Turn 50 with a smile on my face

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50 Crazy Things in my 50th Year #32 – Go rock climbing

20160129_195222This is another thing that I have avoided because my brother is really good at it. He has been a rock climber for years, climbed mountains, and naturally gravitates to this kind of activity. I have next to no grip strength, never have, and I’m short and uncoordinated. I know my attitude toward this stopped me from having fun or joining other friends who enjoyed it so I knew it needed to be on this list.

I discovered that Jaydan Dick, Krista’s son (she was one of my Brides Maidens, ate bugs, etc. etc.). Jaydan is 14 and growing so fast we can almost see it happening. He’s currently 5’11 and built like a spider – long limbs and hardly any torso. I, on the other hand, am 5’4” and built more like a bumblebee – an improbable flyer. Jaydan had done it before and already knew he loved it. I was not so sure.

We made plans for Friday night, January 29th. This was after I had done my ice skating crazy thing in the afternoon – I was already kind of dead. Cliffside Climbing Gym is pretty much the only place in town to go and it’s excellent. It was packed with a birthday party and loads of university students but there was always lots of room to move around.

We took the little orientation session and then started on the easy walls – I would call them the bunny hill of climbing walls. When I called earlier they said runners would be OK for a first timer. I learned quickly that this wasn’t the case. Just save yourself some agony of you go and rent shoes there – it’s worth every penny of the $3.

Jaydan flew up and when it was my turn I crawled up slowly. Then I got to the top. Then I realized why I really hadn’t wanted to do this before. Just like with Trapeze School (or maybe not quite as dramatic), when you get to the top you have to let go and there is a brief moment where that sensation of falling appears. I practically threw up right there. That would have ended our night pretty quickly because Jaydan was right below me and you know I wouldn’t have missed that target.

We kept going up and down and I got better at letting go at the top. The nice thing about a climbing gym like that is you can go with someone who is much more advanced than you are. Each time you have to unhook everything to switch positions – one person climbing and one person at the bottom – so you can quickly go from a bunny wall (me) to a spider wall with overhangs (Jaydan).

Although my arms were absolutely dead at the end, I really enjoyed this and Jaydan and I had a lot of fun. We plan to keep going and now there are others who want to come with us so we can have some fun as a group. I may even get my own climbing shoes. I think when my brother reads that he’ll fall over in a dead faint. “Who is this person calling herself my sister?” Perhaps I should warn him ahead of time.

Why was this crazy?

Fear of falling. Fear of jumping. Fear of public humiliation. Fear of not immediately being good at something

Would I do it again?

Oh yeah! Gotta get me some shoes!

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